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Francesco Burroni & Simone De Lemos presents paper at the 50th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages

On July 2nd, 2020 PhD candidates Francesco Burroni & Simone De Lemos presented a paper at the  50th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages titled:  "A unified account for morphologically-governed stress systems in Romance"

8th March 2022

Seung-Eun Kim & Dr. Sam Tilsen present poster at ASA

On November 29, 2021 PhD Candidate Seung-Eun Kim presented a poster titled  "Evidence for F0 preplanning with delayed stimuli" at The 181st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

The poster - titled Evidence for F0 Preplanning With Delayed Stimuli, presents data suggesting that speakers plan F0 targets and range before production, and such planning restricts subsequent control of F0.


A sentence production experiment was conducted to investigate F0 preplanning, specifically examining whether speakers plan pitch targets according to utterance length and whether preplanning limits dynamic control of pitch range.

The experiment used a novel elicitation method in which visual stimuli that cue part of the utterance are delayed so that participants initiate the utterance without knowledge of its length.

Participants read sentences in which the subject noun phrase was composed of one, two, or three conjoined noun phrases with controlled lexical and phonological content A72 J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 150, No. 4, Pt. 2, October 2021 181st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America A72 (e.g. Eight red weasels and nine green rhinos and eight blue llamas live in the zoo).

On half of the trials with two and three noun phrases, the presentation of the visual stimuli that cued non-initial phrases (e.g., nine green rhinos and eight blue llamas) was delayed until after detection of utterance initiation. The effects of length and delay on F0 measures were analyzed.

The results showed the length effect; the utterance-initial F0 peak was highest when three phrases were presented initially and lowest when one phrase was presented initially.

Moreover, the utterance-initial peak in delayed stimuli was similar to that of the single phrase stimuli. In non-initial phrases, the pitch range of the delayed stimuli was constrained such that the F0 peak of the stimuli without delay was higher than those with delay.

The findings suggest that speakers plan F0 targets and range before production, and such planning restricts subsequent control of F0.

8th March 2022

Sireemas Maspong gives talk on Khmer onset voicing at The Fifth Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology

On December 6, 2021 PhD candidate Sireemas Maspong gave a talk titled "Khmer onset voicing at the end of the 13th century: Zhenla Fengtu Ji revisited" at the The Fifth Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology


Her poster discussed whether Khmer stops at the end of 13th century had already undergone (i) implosivization, and (ii) devoicing and merger of voiced and voiceless stops.

8th March 2022

Nielson Hul to present at SEALS 2022

PhD candidate Nielson Hul will present a paper titled "An Acoustic Analysis of Bilabial implosives in Khmer" at the 31st Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS) Conference in May, 2022. 

The abstract for this talk:

Implosives are a marked class of sounds occurring in an estimated 60 languages distributed across equatorial regions in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas (Ladefoged & Maddieson, 1996). The two most common implosives are voiced bilabial /ɓ/ and alveolar /ɗ/ with the former appearing more frequently. Literature investigating these implosives is unbalanced focusing on languages in South Asia, Africa, and the Americas, which calls for an acoustic investigation of implosives in Southeast Asian languages such as Khmer.

This study examines the acoustic parameters of bilabial implosives in Khmer to determine systematic differences in their realization due to syllable structure and word position. Unlike other implosives, Khmer implosives derived historically from unvoiced stops rather than voiced ones.

Standard Khmer data were recorded from 7 participants in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Each participant repeated 11 target words within a carrier phrase 6 times each. Target words with bilabial stops including implosive [ɓ] in monosyllabic onset and sesquisyllabic/disyllabic medial, both open [ɓ] and nasally closed [m.b] minor syllables.

Data were extracted using Praat scripting and MATLAB. Acoustic parameters examined included closure duration, amplitude, F0 Vector, HNR, jitter, and shimmer. One key methodological finding is that the amplitude cline from plosive to implosive serves as a primary acoustic cue of implosivity as a continuous variable.

Systematic differences were found for both degree of implosivity and duration. Implosives were both more implosive and longer in word initial position and shorter and less implosive in medial position. This shows that implosivity is a continuous variable, but at the same time one that is sensitive to syllable structure and word position.

Further, an analysis of F0 vector revealed an unvoiced period of 20-50ms in the occlusion period of longer implosive segments, consistent with the historic source of implosives in Khmer.

15th February 2022