Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Visiting Assistant Professor
UC Berkeley Linguistics
I teach phonetics and phonology in the Berkeley linguistics department. My research interests include phonetics, phonology, the interface between the two, prosody and the syntax-phonology interface, and the structural analysis and cognition of music.
I received my PhD in phonetics and phonology from MIT in 2010. My dissertation (PDF, 7 M) examines the interaction of articulatory and perceptual goals in the organization of speech timing and its interaction with systems of phonological contrast.
Here is my CV (PDF, 61 k, updated 10/2012).
Here are some papers:
- Asymmetries in English vowel perception mirror compression effects; PDF; 389 k. This paper, submitted to Phonetica, argues that subjects' ability to identify vowels based on information contained in adjacent consonants bears a systematic relationship to patterns of duration in speech production. Specifically, contexts where previous studies have found shorter vowels correspond to contexts in which this study finds more vowel information. The proposed analysis is one in which patterns of timing in speech production are organized in part to achieve perceptual goals.
- Compression effects in English; PDF; 979 k. This paper, a later version of which was published in Journal of Phonetics, shows that the phenomenon known as compensatory shortening or compression is more complex than previously reported. In particular, the relationship of vowel duration to number of adjacent consonants is strongly influenced by the manner and position of those consonants. I argue that the most common previous analysis of vowel compression, which characterizes it as an epiphenomenon emerging from general principles of gestural coordination, is incapable of explaining these facts, and that an adequate analysis will require reference to perceptual goals.
Focus vs. Discourse-New: Evidence from Prosodic Prominence in English (w/ Elisabeth Selkirk); PDF; 1.2 M. This paper, a later version of which was published in Language, demonstrates that the general term 'Focus' conflates at least two phonetically and phonologically distinct categories in English. Items that are explicitly contrasted with something in the prior discourse display greater duration, F0 movement, and intensity relative to other material in the sentence than items that are merely new in the discourse. We argue that the results are best explained in terms of differing degrees of phrasal stress prominence, coupled with a principle for mapping information-structural categories to relative phonological prominence.
- The Identity Thesis for Language and Music (w/ David Pesetsky); available at LingBuzz. In this paper, we argue that all differences between language and music are a consequence of differences in their building blocks: arbitrary pairings of sound and meaning for language; combinations of pitch classes for music. In all other respects, the two systems are formally identical. The arguments involve syntax, prosody, the syntax-prosody interface, and head movement. We argue that all of these have formal analogs in music.