The Phonetics Lab

Boston tongue

'Position of the tongue and soft palate in the English vowels of Boston', from Principes de Phonétique Expérimentale, L'abbe JP Rousselot, 1897. 

Below are lists of current or ongoing research projects in the Linguistics Phonetics Lab by our research groups and people we collaborate with.

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Documentary Linguistics

Phonetics and Instrumental Fieldwork

Recent publications

Conference papers, talks:

Dene Speech Atlas (DSA) online July 2013

An online speech atlas of the Dene speech communities in the Mackenzie River Basin area (Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba), funded by the NSF. The Dene Speech Atlas covers the five Dene language groups spoken in this area: Dene Sųłiné (Chipewyan), North Slavey, South Slavey, Tłį Chǫ (Dogrib) and Tsuu T’ina (Sarcee). The Dene Speech Atlas documents and describes the phonetic structure of the sound phonemes of these languages. 

Undergraduate students on the project:

Graduate students


Laboratory Phonology

Phonetic Structure and the Lexicon

Publications, conference papers, presentations:

Ultrasound Project

Lab members Heike Lehnert-LeHouiller and Joyce McDonough in collaboration with colleagues in BME BioMedical Engineering, are setting up an ultrasound project for collecting and analyzing data on tongue movement during speech. BME collaborators include: Steven McAleavey, Mathews Jacob, Diane Dialecki.

Publications, conference papers, presentations:

Nasality in Vowels

A research project investigating the perception and production of nasality in vowels. Collaborators include Heike Lehnert-LeHouiller, Joyce McDonough, Neil Bardhan, Michael Berger, Meghan Clayards.

Publications, conference papers, presentations:

Neural coding of vowels

w Laurel Carney and Tian Hao Li

This project investigates the representation of vowels in the responses of auditory models at the level of the midbrain (inferior colliculus).




Language and Music

Collaboration between Joyce McDonough and jazz pianist Harold Danko, Eastman School of Music (ESM), investigating the relationship between rhythm in speech and music.

This collaboration is part of the larger Sound and Music Initiative under development at the University, involving College faculty in Engineering, BCS, Linguistics, Music and faculty from the Eastman School of Music, with the intent of developing curriculum and facilitating research among faculty and students in Music Cognition, Music Engineering, Language and Music.

Publications, conference papers, presentations:

Equipment and Software

Main software on three Macs.

Sound and image editing:

Rochester Center for Brain Imaging (RCBI). Other special resources, such as MRI machines, are available for research use in the RCBI through the membership of Linguistics in CLS. The RCBI includes a research-dedicated state-of-the-art 3T magnet equipped for conducting fMRI during a wide range of cognitive and perceptual tasks.