Research

My research in the CLR Phonetics Lab revolves around the production of speech. Questions that interest me are: What sounds are easier/more difficult to acquire by L1 and L2 learners, and why? How effective is the use of technology (e.g., acoustic analysis software, ultrasound for visual biofeedback of the tongue, etc.) in teaching pronunciation? In what specific ways is the Articulatory Setting (the underlying position of the articulators) of one language different from another? Does learning about Articulatory Setting improve L2 learners' pronunciation? In addition, I am interested in the Aizu dialects of the Japanese language, and I have created an audio database to preserve samples for future generations.

Before coming to the University of Aizu, I was at the University of British Columbia, where I worked in the Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory (ISRL). I have done research on the sound system of Nuuchahnulth, an endangered Wakashan language spoken by indigenous people on the west coast of Vancouver Island (Canada). I have also done research on how bilingual children acquire two languages simultaneously. In addition, my previous research includes phonetics work on ArtiSynth, an open source, modular 3D articulatory synthesizer. My doctoral dissertation was on Articulatory Settings in Canadian French and English. A copy of my dissertation and some of my other papers are available from my Publications page (see link in left column). Information written in Japanese about my research can be downloaded by clicking here.

CT and ultrasound image

This figure shows a CT scan of my upper vocal tract with various overlay percentages of an ultrasound image of my tongue. The image at 100% shows only the ultrasound image, while the image at 0% shows only the CT scan. The CT data and ultrasound data were collected separately, but I am attempting to produce the same sound ("ng" as in "sing") in each. An ultrasound probe is visible in the CT scan (between the mandible and hyoid bone) for reference.

Wordle of words in my papers, 2000-2004:

Wordle_MyPapers_2000-2004

Wordle of words in my papers, 2005-2010:

Wordle_MyPapers_2005-2009

Wordle of words in my papers, 2010-2013:

Wordle_MyPapers_2010-2013