Phonetics and phonology

The phonetics and phonology program at UMass Amherst is distinguished by its integration of innovative theoretical work with a wide range of empirical research. Phonological theory, usually within the broad framework of Optimality Theory, is developed with typological data, in-depth analysis of individual languages, and experiments with native speakers. Research on learning develops computational theories that are tested on natural language data, and that are used to model data from child language acquisition and laboratory experiments. Research on prosody probes the nature of phonological grammar and interfaces with phonetics, syntax, and semantics. Phonetics research develops theories of speech perception using behavioral experiments, as well as eye-tracking and ERP methods. The phonetics and phonology faculty also conducts field research, on languages as diverse as African American English, Samoan, indigenous languages of Brazil and the Oto-Manguean languages of Mexico.


Michael Becker
BeckerResearch interests:
Phonology, computational and experimental morphophonology, fieldwork, Semitic
Gaja Jarosz
Research interests:
Phonology, Learnability, Computational Modeling, Acquisition
John Kingston
Research interests:
Phonetics, Phonology, Psycholinguistics
John McCarthy (University Provost)
Research interests:
Morphology, Phonology, Semitic Languages
Joe Pater
Research interests:
Phonological Theory and Learning, Computational and Experimental Methods
Lisa Selkirk (Emerita)
Research interests:
Syntax-Phonology Interface, Prosodic Constituency and Tone, Information Structure and Intonation
Kristine Yu
Research interests:
Prosody from the Speech Signal on Up, Phonetics, Phonology

Graduate students

Maggie Baird
BairdResearch interests:
Phonology, variation, and learning
Year started:
Özge Bakay
OzgeResearch interests:
Sentence Processing, Prosody, Turkish and Laz
Year started:
Peyton Deal
OzgeResearch interests:
Phonology, Morphophonology, and Polynesian and North American languages
Year started:
Alessa Farinella
AlessaResearch interests: Prosody, language documentation, Indonesian & Javanese
Prosody, language documentation, Indonesian & Javanese
Year started:
Duygu Goksu
GoksuResearch interests:
Syntax, semantics, phonology
Year started:
Kaden Holladay
HolladayResearch interests:
Morpho-phonology, syntax-semantics interface, Yup’ik, Finnish
Year started:
Cerys Hughes
SongResearch interests:
Computational Modeling, Phonology
Year started:
Seoyoung Kim
KimResearch interests:
Computational phonology, Fieldwork
Year started:
Seung Suk (Josh) Lee
LeeResearch interests:
Phonetics, Phonology and Computational Linguistics
Year started:
Andrew Lamont
LamontResearch interests:
Phonology, typology, computational linguistics
Year started:
Max Nelson
NelsonResearch interests:
Computational Linguistics, Phonology, Learnability
Year started:
Alex Nyman
NymanResearch interests:
Phonetics and phonology, language acquisition, computational linguistics, and psycholinguistics
Year started:

Recent dissertations

Brandon Prickett. 2021. Learning phonology with sequence-to-sequence neural networks.

Ivy Hauser. 2019. Effects of Phonological Contrast on Within-Category Phonetic Variation

Coral Hughto. 2019. Emergent typological effects of agent-based learning models in Maximum Entropy Grammar.

Leland Kusmer. 2019. Optimal Linearization: Prosodic displacement in Khoekhoegowab and Beyond.

Amanda Rysling. 2017. Preferential early attribution in segmental parsing.

Aleksei Nazarov. 2016. Extending Hidden Structure: Features, Opacity, and Exceptions.

Claire Moore-Cantwell. 2016. The representation of probabilistic phonological patterns: Neurological, behavioral, and computational evidence from the English stress system.

Presley Pizzo. 2015. Investigating Properties of Phonotactic Knowledge Through Web-Based Experimentation.

Brian Smith. 2015. Phonologically Conditioned Allomorphy and UR Constraints.

Robert Staubs. 2014. Computational Modeling of Learning Biases in Stress Typology.

Kathryn Ringler Pruitt. 2012. Stress in Harmonic Serialism.

Michael Key. 2012. Phonological And Phonetic Biases In Speech Perception.

Emily Elfner. 2012. Syntax-Prosody Interactions in Irish.

Karen Jesney. 2011. Cumulative Constraint Interaction In Phonological Acquisition And Typology.

Wendell Kimper. 2011. Competing Triggers: Transparency And Opacity In Vowel Harmony.