Research

(Papers mentioned below can found at the Publications link.)

I principally work on the relationships between phonetics and phonology, applying the methods of laboratory phonology. The bulk of my current work is focused on how the perception of speech sounds is influenced by the auditory processing of their acoustic properties and the application of linguistic knowledge. This work involves me in two current debates:

Are the objects of speech perception the auditory qualities evoked by the speech signal’s acoustic properties or the articulatory gestures that produced them? The papers by Kingston, Kawahara, Chambless, Key, Mash, & Watsky (2014) and Kingston, Kawahara, Mash, & Chambless (2011) linked below present behavioral evidence suggesting that listeners perceive auditory qualities and not articulatory gestures.

Is the auditory processing of speech influenced by the application of linguistic knowledge?  Breen, Kingston, & Sanders (2013) presents ERP evidence suggesting that earliest stages in auditory processing are linguistically naive, but later stages are linguistically informed. Kingston, Levy, Rysling, and Staub (2016) presents behavioral and eye tracking evidence which shows that listeners’ knowledge of words influences their categorization of ambiguous speech sounds as soon as acoustic evidence that would activate a word becomes audible.

Besides behavioral measures of the categorization and discrimination of speech sounds, this work uses measures of electrical activity in the brain and eye movements to measure the time course of speech perception.

Since 2012, I have been working on indigenous languages of Mexico that belong to the Chatino and Chinanteco families (both families belong to the Otomanguean family).

In this work, I collaborate with:

Mara Breen, Psychology Department, Mount Holyoke College

Andrew Cohen, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Alexandra Jesse, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Amanda Rysling, Linguistics Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Lisa Sanders, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Jeffrey Starns, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Adrian Staub, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

I have also begun field work on two Otomanguean languages of Oaxaca, Chatino and Chinanteco, in collaboration with:

Emiliana Cruz, Anthropology Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Anthony Woodbury, Linguistics Department, University of Texas, Austin

Mario E. Chavez Peon, CIESAS, see pp. 12-13 in the linked document.

Miguel Castellanos Cruz, Chinanteco de San Juan Quiotepec, CIESAS, Mexico City

Alicia Gregorio Velasco, Chinanteco de San Antonio Analco, National Pedagogic University, Mexico City

I have also collaborated with:

Paul de Lacy, formerly of the Linguistics Department, Rutgers University

Shigeto Kawahara, Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies, Keio University

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *