Speech production and perception, speech learning, phonetics, second language learning.
My primary areas of research are speech perception and speech learning. More specifically, I focus on the characteristics of the speech signal and perceptual processes that enable constant perception of potentially variable and ambiguous speech signal. The speech signal is highly variable due to a number of factors that has differential acoustic consequences. Such factors include the sex and age of the speaker, phonetic context in which the particular speech occurs, and the rate of the speech. As a result of these sources of variability, identical acoustic speech signals may be perceived very differently. My interest is in uncovering how the perceptual system achieves perceptual constancy in the face of this variability.
I also have a research interest in second language speech learning. It is well known that second language learners, particularly adult learners, sometimes have severe challenges in learning certain second language sounds. The ongoing research in this area attempts to provide an account for learners’ challenges at the level of fine acoustic detail as well as to explore effective instructional/training regimens to aid second language speech learning.