Phonetics Laboratory

Research in the Phonetics Laboratory is focused on three questions:

  1. How do listeners perceive speech sounds?
  2. How is their perception of speech sounds influenced by the contexts in which those sounds occur?
  3. How does the perception of speech sounds influence their phonological patterning?

Presently, our work is concentrated on three more specific versions of these questions:

  1. When does a listener’s knowledge that a particular string of sounds is a word influence their perception of an ambiguous sound in that string?
  2. Does the order of two sounds in a string influence how they influence one another’s perception?
  3. How does a sound’s own intensity or the relative intensity of a neighboring sound influence its perception.

Facilities: The Phonetics Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst consists of four rooms, used for:

  1. Preparing stimuli (Praat), setting up and running experiments (PsychToolBox), and analyzing data (R)
  2. Presenting stimuli and collecting responses from up to four participants at once,
  3. Collecting electroencephalographic (EEG) data with a 64-electrode EGI net,
  4. Recording speech in a single-walled sound-attenuating chamber.


Faculty: John Kingston (director), Kristine Yu

Graduate students:

Undergraduate students: Emily Knick, Timafei Hushchyn, Sam Wasson, Levi Logan, Ella LeClaire, Gwen Van Allen