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Phonetics Laboratory
Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics

Phonetics research themes

Members of the Phonetics Laboratory at Oxford are engaged in a wide range of research themes related to speech and language, including speech synthesis, computational phonology, the neurology of speech production, vocal tract imaging and the analysis and modelling of intonation in English. Click on the links below to find out about each theme.

Current active research areas

Earlier projects


Our research in these areas is largely supported by externally-funded research grants. Past and present awards include:

  • The acquisition of rhythm in Catalan, Castilian and English. €7,100 from Batista i Roca Foundation, to P. Prieto, E. Payne, B. Post, L. Astruc and M. Vanrell. 2007-2008.
  • Using neologisms to test theories of speech production. £356,593 from ESRC to G. Kochanski and J. Coleman. 1/9/08-31/3/11.
  • Comparing dialects using statistical measures of rhythm. £284,099 from ESRC to G. Kochanski and E. Keane. 1/8/08-31/10/10.
  • A cross-linguistic study of intonational development in young infants and children. £7,365.50 from British Academy, to B. Post, E. Payne, L. Astruc and P. Prieto. 2009-2010.
  • AMENPRO: Automated metrics for the evaluation of non-native prosody. British Council France, to A. Loukina. 2010.
  • Mining a Year of Speech. £100,000 from JISC to J. Coleman (matched by an award from NSF to M. Liberman). 1/1/10-30/6/11.
  • Word joins in real-life speech: a large corpus-based study. £543,700 from ESRC to J. Coleman, G. Kochanski, R. Temple and J. Yuan. 1/11/10-31/10/13.
  • Project Bamboo: An international collaboration to advance Humanities research through developing shared technological services. US$131,941 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to J. Coleman.
  • The acquisition of consonant timing. £9,700 from British Academy, to E. Payne, B. Post, H. Simonsen and N. Garmann. 2013-2015.
  • Ancient Sounds: mixing acoustic phonetics, statistics and comparative philology to bring speech back from the past. £63,974 from AHRC to J. Coleman. 2015
  • Indian English in the diaspora: A study investigating linguistic modification among new migrants in Australia and the UK, AUD$ 17,097 from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Transdisciplinary Innovation Grant, to J. Fletcher, O. Maxwell and E. Payne. 2019-2021.
  • The Prosody and Phonetics of Venetian dialect and regional Italian. £4,000 from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, to E. Payne. 2021-2022.
  • Effects of dialect and setting on word stress perception in Indian English, AUD$18,189.7 from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Transdisciplinary Innovation Grant, tR. Fuchs, O. Maxwell and E. PayneG. Wigglesworth and P. Escudero. 2020-2021.
  • Indian English on the move: language contact and change in new urban diasporas. £34,309 from the Leverhulme Trust, to E. Payne. 2021-2022.
  • Eastern Origins of English. £174,862 from the Leverhulme Trust, to J. Coleman. 10/2021-9/2024.
  • Mapping prosodic convergence in Cyprus: a geo-historical acoustic investigation of the effects of insularity at a linguistic crossroads, £76,976.17 from John Fell Fund, to E. Payne, 0011309