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The Cornell Phonetics Lab is a group of students and faculty who are curious about speech. We study patterns in speech — in both movement and sound. We do a variety research — experiments, fieldwork, and corpus studies. We test theories and build models of the mechanisms that create patterns. Learn more about our Research. See below for information on our events and our facilities.


Upcoming Events

  • 29th October 2021 03:30 PM

    Dr. Marissa Casillas speaks on Cross-Cultural Child Language Development

    Dr. Marissa Casillas - Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago - will give a talk on on cross-cultural patterns in child language development.


    Macro and Micro Patterns in Child Language Development: A Cross-Cultural Perspective


    How much language exposure do children need to become mature speakers? Child language researchers have long debated about the nature of children's language input—how much do they get, what parts of it matter for their language learning, and how does it relate to variability between individuals in linguistic behaviors? A 50-year body of work in developmental psychology has flourished around the idea that child-directed language (CDL) is the defining factor in shaping language development.


    However, this field has primarily limited itself to studying children in urban, industrialized settings. In contrast, anthropologically informed studies focusing on development in diverse cultural contexts have consistently argued that CDL is neither universal nor necessary for typical language development. 


    This debate, now primarily drawn along disciplinary lines, often seems to be at an impasse—an unfortunate outcome due to its influential role in, e.g.: strategies for developmental intervention, policies for language revitalization, and setting core puzzles for future research.


    Leveraging highly naturalistic language environment measures from children's waking days across diverse sociocultural contexts (Mayan, Papuan, North American, and more), as well as close analysis of young children's language behavior and related experimental data, I argue for a new story of children’s linguistic environments:


    Children around the world interweave information from infrequent CDL and other observable language to spur on robust linguistic development at the macro scale; variation in the content and style of that input refines what children tend to do with language, such that they ultimately resemble the other speakers in their community on the micro scale.



The Cornell Phonetics Laboratory (CPL) provides an integrated environment for the experimental study of speech and language, including its production, perception, and acquisition.

Located in Morrill Hall, the laboratory consists of six adjacent rooms and covers about 1,600 square feet. Its facilities include a variety of hardware and software for analyzing and editing speech, for running experiments, for synthesizing speech, and for developing and testing phonetic, phonological, and psycholinguistic models.

BIOPAC MP-160 System

The Sound Booth Laboratory has a BIOPAC MP-160 system for physiological data collection.   This system supports two BIOPAC Respiratory Effort Transducers and their associated interface modules.

Language Corpora

  • The Cornell Linguistics Department has more than 800 language corpora from the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC), consisting of high-quality text, audio, and video corpora in more than 60 languages.    In addition, we receive three to four new language corpora per month under an LDC license maintained by a consortium of the Linguistics, Computer Science, and Information Science Departments.  



  • These and other corpora are available to Cornell students, staff, faculty, post-docs, and visiting scholars for research in the broad area of "natural language processing", which of course includes all ongoing Phonetics Lab research activities.   



Speech Aerodynamics

Studies of the aerodynamics of speech production are conducted with our Glottal Enterprises oral and nasal airflow and pressure transducers.


We use a Glottal Enterprises EG-2 electroglottograph for noninvasive measurement of vocal fold vibration.


Our GE LOGIQbook portable ultrasonic imaging system is used for studying vocal tract kinematics and dynamics.

Real-time vocal tract MRI

Our lab is part of the Cornell Speech Imaging Group (SIG), a cross-disciplinary team of researchers using real-time magnetic resonance imaging to study the dynamics of speech articulation.

Articulatory movement tracking

We use the Northern Digital Inc. Wave motion-capture system to study speech articulatory patterns and motor control.

Sound Booth

Our isolated sound recording booth serves a range of purposes--from basic recording to perceptual and psycholinguistic experimentation.