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Phonetics Laboratory


The phonetics laboratory at the University of Cambridge was established by John Trim, lecturer in phonetics, in 1958. When the Department of Linguistics was born in the mid 1960s, with Trim appointed as its Director, the phonetics laboratory was incorporated into the department and based briefly in the centre of Cambridge before moving to the Sidgwick Site, just west of the city centre. Initially the lab, along with the rest of the department, was housed in a former sports pavilion, left over from the site's previous incarnation as a College playing field.

In 1993, after the pavilion was demolished to make way for the new Law Faculty building, the laboratory was moved to its present location in the Raised Faculty Building, making use of some space between offices and classrooms. Three offices for staff are enclosed within the laboratory space, as well as a suite of computers for use by students and lab members, and a sound-isolated room used for recording and perceptual testing. 

For more history, please consult Nolan (2007), which is published in the Phonetician 2007-I /No.95.

Past PhD Students

Name Thesis title Date Supervisor(s)
Tim Lameris Non-native perception, production, and lexical processing of tone 2022 Brechtje Post
Jasper Hong Sim Phonological acquisition in a multidialectal and multicultural context: The case of bilingual preschoolers in Singapore 2022 Brechtje Post
Yixin Zhang Neutral Tone in Mandarin: Representation and Interaction with Utterance-level Prosody 2021 Brechtje Post,  Elaine Schmidt
Kayeon Yoo The production and perception of domain-initial strengthening in Seoul, Busan, and Ulsan Korean 2020 Francis Nolan
Geraldine Kwek An analysis of /r/ variation in Singapore English 2018 Francis Nolan
Ricky Chan Speaker variability in the realisation of lexical tones 2017 Francis Nolan
Yvonne Flory The impact of head postures and body orientations on the acoustic speech signal 2014 Francis Nolan
Calbert Graham Japanese and Spanish L1 adult speakers’ L2 acquisition of English prosody 2014 Brechtje Post
Aike Li L2 rhythm development by Mandarin Chinese learners of English 2014 Brechtje Post
Elaine Schmidt The acquisition of prosody in Spanish-English bilingual children 2014 Brechtje Post
Marco Aldo Piccolino Boniforti A hybrid episodic-abstract computational model of human speech perception 2012 Sarah Hawkins
Spyros Armosti The phonetics of plosive and affricate gemination in Cypriot Greek.  2011 Francis Nolan
Katharine Barden Perceptual adaptation to talker-specific characteristics. 2011 Sarah Hawkins
Hae-Sung Jeon Prosodic phrasing in Seoul Korean: the role of pitch and timing cues.  2011 Francis Nolan
Margaret Zellers Prosodic detail and topic structure in discourse 2011 Brechtje Post
Eftychia Eftychiou Lenition processes in Cypriot Greek.  2009 Francis Nolan
Rachel Baker The production and perception of morphologically and grammatically conditioned phonetic detail 2008 Rachel Smith
Eric Fixmer Grouping of auditory and visual information in speech. 2008 Sarah Hawkins
Pik Ki Peggy Mok Influences on vowel-to-vowel coarticulation. 2007 Sarah Hawkins
Lluisa Astruc The intonation of sentence-external elements in Catalan and English.  2005 Francis Nolan
Mark Jones The phonetics and phonology of definite article reduction in Northern English dialects.  2005 Francis Nolan
Kirsty McDougall The role of formant dynamics in determining speaker identity.  2005 Francis Nolan
Eva Liina Asu The phonetics and phonology of Estonian intonation. 2004 Francis Nolan
Rachel Smith Fine acoustic detail and context effects in spoken word recognition. 2004 Sarah Hawkins
Rachael-Anne Knight Peaks and plateaux: The production and perception of intonational high targets in English. 2003 Sarah Hawkins, Francis Nolan
Margit Aufterbeck Scottish English intonation: a phonetic analysis of a Fife dialect.  2003 Francis Nolan
Keiko Masuda A phonetic study of sound symbolism. 2002 Francis Nolan
Elinor Payne Consonant gemination in Italian: evidence for a fortition continuum. 2000 Francis Nolan
Alison Tunley Coarticulatory influences of liquids on vowels. 1999 Sarah Hawkins
Jonathan Rodgers

Vowel devoicing in English.  

1999 Sarah Hawkins
Ee Ling Low Prosodic prominence in Singapore English. 1998 Francis Nolan
Sarah Barrett Prototypes in speech perception. 1997 Sarah Hawkins
Ian Watson The effects of bilingualism on the acquisition of the voicing contrast. 1997 Francis Nolan
Paul Foulkes Theoretical implications of the /p/>/f/>/h/ change. 1994 Sarah Hawkins, April McMahon
Helen Pandeli The articulation of lingual consonants: an EPG study.  1993 Francis Nolan
Amalia Arvaniti The phonetics of Modern Greek rhythm and its phonological implications. 1991 Sarah Hawkins
David Deterding Speaker normalisation for automatic speaker recognition.  1991 Francis Nolan

Paul Kerswill

A sociolinguistic study of rural immigrants in Bergen, Norway.  1986 Francis Nolan
Jonathan Harrington The phonetic analysis of stuttering.  1986 Francis Nolan
Paul Warren The temporal organisation and perception of speech.  1985 Francis Nolan
Clive Grey The word phonology of Welsh. 1983 Francis Nolan
Briony Williams Stress in modern Welsh. 1983 Francis Nolan