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Phonetics Laboratory


Here you can find links to news articles and features on members of the Phonetics Lab.


Recent news

Phonetics Lab Members Secure Incubator Fund for Innovative AI Speech Prosody Project

Phonetics Lab members and collaborators have successfully secured seed funding through the Language Sciences Incubator Fund for their new research project entitled, "Neural Encoding of AI-Generated Speech Prosody by L1 and L2 Speakers." 

Linda Bakkouche, Dr. Julia Schwarz, Stephanie Cooper, Xinbing Luo, Madeleine Rees, and Prof. Brechtje Post will be working on the project in collaboration with Charles McGhee from the Department of Engineering and Dr. Kai Alter from the University of Newcastle to investigate the neural responses of listeners to the prosodic features of human voices compared to AI voices.

AI-powered voice clones are rapidly becoming a crucial part of educational and clinical applications. However, despite the remarkable resemblance of AI voices to human voices, subtle differences persist, especially in the area of speech prosody. The project addresses the potential impact of AI-generated prosodic differences on speech processing to determine whether any resulting differences in encoding could have a potential influence on language comprehension, particularly among language learners.

Please join us in congratulating the Incubator fund winners and in wishing them every success in their forthcoming research endeavour!

Dr Calbert Graham discusses GEN Z Americans’ fascination with British accents. Fox News, Mail Online.


Congratulations to Bert Vaux, who together with James Burridge, has been featured as the cover article in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

Read the article here: Low dimensional measurement of vowels using machine perception. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 153, 304 (2023).


Tim Laméris wins 'Best student paper award' at Speech Prosody 2022.

Congratulations to Tim Laméris for winning 'Best student paper award' on his oral presentation 'The Effect of L1 Pitch Status and Extralinguistic Factors on L2 Tone Learningat Speech Prosody 2022, Lisbon, Portugal.


Research of the Phonetics Lab was applauded at BAAP 2022.

The Cambridge Phonetics Lab was very well represented at BAAP 2022 in York (the biennial meeting of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians) with Linda Gerlach, Tim Laméris, Emily Lau, Katrina Kechun Li, Kirsty McDougall, Francis Nolan, Alice Paver, Brechtje Post, Madeleine Rees, Julia Schwarz, Jasper Hong Sim, Heather Weston and Yixin Zhang presenting or co-authoring 10 papers. We are delighted that Jasper Sim’s poster on /l/ production by English-Malay bilingual children in Singapore and Julia Schwarz and Katrina Kechun Li’s co-authored oral presentation on children’s and adults’ perception of mask speech were both awarded best presentation ‘by someone attending BAAP for the first time’ in their respective categories. The full programme and links to abstracts is available here.


First results from the collaborative project ‘PerMaSC' were presented by Phonetics Lab member Julia Schwarz at the Cambridge Language Sciences Symposium 2021.

The project, initiated by PhD Candidates Katrina Kechun Li and Julia Schwarz, investigates the underlying factors of speech perception difficulties caused by face masks, including missing visual cues, subtle changes to the acoustic signal, and variation in semantic predictability, and whether these challenges are similar for Schule children and adults. PerMaSC aims to address current questions and concerns about the use of face masks in classrooms as well as provide some new insight into the theoretical underpinnings of integrating multiple linguistic cues in speech processing. The preliminary results can be viewed online on Cambridge Open Engage.

The study forms part of a new collaboration between the Phonetics Laboratory (Julia Schwarz, Katrina Kechun Li, Jasper Hong Sim, Yixin Zhang, Brechtje Post & Kirsty McDougall), the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (Elizabeth Buchanan-Worster), and the Faculty of Education (Jenny Gibson) and has received funding from the Cambridge Language Sciences Incubator Fund.


Students from the Phonetics Lab win recognition for their research at PaPE conference.

Congratulations to Maddy Rees for winning Best student oral presentation at the Phonetics and Phonology in Europe conference, and to Tim Laméris for the Special mention he received for his poster.


Overseas Institutional Visit grants awarded to Phonetics Lab members.

Julia Schwarz has been awarded an ESRC dtp Overseas Institutional Visit grant to spend three months at the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language, San Sebastian, Spain. Julia will be joining the Brain Rhythms and Cognition group under the supervision of Dr. Nicola Molinaro and Dr. Anastasia Klimovich-Gray. During her research visit, Julia will be working with combined MEG / EEG datasets from individuals with diagnosed dyslexia to investigate the effects that dyslexia may have on auditory single word processing, and how these effects may be modulated by word frequency.

Tim Laméris has been awarded an ESRC dtp Overseas Institutional Visit grant to spend a term abroad at the Department of Linguistics at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Tim will audit graduate courses in phonology and prosody, and he also plans to work on a collaborative project investigating the L2 perception of dynamic intonational contours, supervised by Prof. Mariapaola D'Imperio.