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Seung-Eun Kim & Dr. Sam Tilsen publish new paper on how phonetic measures covary with speech rate

PhD candidate Seung-Eun Kim and Dr. Sam Tilsen published a paper in the July 2022 edition of the Journal of Phonetics.  The paper, titled  "An investigation of functional relations between speech rate and phonetic variables", characterizes how phonetic measures covary with speech rate. 


It is well known that speech rate is correlated with many phonetic variables. The current study aims to obtain a more precise characterization of how phonetic measures covary with speech rate.

Specifically, we assess whether there is evidence for linear and/or non-linear relations with rate, and how those relations may differ between phrase boundaries.

Productions of English non-restrictive (NRRCs) and restrictive relative clauses (RRCs) were collected using a method in which variation in speech rate is cued by the speed of motion of a visual stimulus. Articulatory and acoustic variables associated with phrase boundaries were analyzed; for each variable, Bayesian regression was used to obtain posterior parameter distributions for a set of generalized linear models.

Analyses of posterior predictions showed that:

  • Phonetic variables associated with a phrase boundary that follows the relative clause (post-RC boundary) were more susceptible to rate variation than those at a boundary that precedes the relative clause (pre-RC boundary).


  • Phonetic variables at the post-RC boundary also showed evidence for non-linear relations with rate, which suggest floor or ceiling attenuation effects at extreme rates.


  • On the other hand, substantial differences between syntactic contexts were found primarily at the pre-RC boundary.


  • A high degree of participant-specificity was observed in F0-related variables.




18th May 2022

Annual Phonetics Lab Bowling Party Was a Smash!

We had our first Phonetics Lab Bowling Party after a two-year COVID break.    Everyone had a good time through the lows of gutterballs and the highs of strikes.  Next year we'll modify the scoring system so that points are awarded for the most dramatic responses to said highs/lows. 

1st May 2022

Katherine Blake Accepts Position at Amazon Alexa AI

We are proud to announce that Katie Blake  has accepted a position as a Language Data Researcher at Amazon. She will join the Alexa AI team during summer 2022.


Katie has just defended her dissertation titled: "Phonological markedness effects on noun-adjective ordering", and she will complete her Ph.D. and graduate this May.


Congratulations, Katie - we will miss you!



18th April 2022

PhD Candidates Sireemas Maspong and Francesco Burroni are teaching & conducting research in Thailand

 PhD Candidates Sireemas Maspong and Francesco Burroni are now teaching & conducting research in Thailand. 

Their field research involves electroglottograph measurements of Thai vocalizations.


17th March 2022