Jennifer S. Cole

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Jennifer Sandra Cole is a professor of linguistics at Northwestern University. Her research uses experimental and computational methods to study the sound structure of language.[1] She is General Editor of Laboratory Phonology[2] and a founding member of the Association for Laboratory Phonology.[3]

Her Ph.D. dissertation, Planar Phonology and Morphology, was completed in 1987, under the supervision of Morris Halle, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.[4] In 1991, the study was recognized by Garland Publishing and presented as an Outstanding Dissertation in Linguistics.[5] Cole introduced ranked constraints in formal grammar to model the interaction between morphology and phonology.[6] This was one of the first works in the generative phonology framework to model phonological grammar using constraint ranking, an approach which has been developed in Optimality Theory.[7]

A primary focus of Cole's research is on variation in the phonetic expression of words and the role of prosodic phrasing and prominence in influencing phonetic variation.[8] She applies linguistic models of prosody to research in computer speech recognition.[9]

Cole has carried out field research and authored encyclopedia articles on Sindhi (Indo-Aryan).[10] She served on the Board of Trustees of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (2006-2009).

Cole is promoting speech and language research in the broader context of interdisciplinary science in her role as Co-Chair of the Biological Intelligence research theme at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and as the 2015 Chair Elect of Section Z of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).[11] She has served as an elected member of the Executive Council of the Linguistic Society of America (2007-2010).

Personal life[edit]

Jennifer Cole is married to Gul Agha, with whom she has three daughters. They are vegans.


  1. ^ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Jennifer S. Cole
  2. ^ "De Gruyter - Linguistics, Communications - Journals - Laboratory Phonology". Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  3. ^ 'About the Association for Laboratory Phonology'
  4. ^ "Planar Phonology and Morphology". Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  5. ^ Cole, Jennifer S. Planar Phonology and Morphology, Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics. New York: Garland. 1991. ISBN 0-8153-0165-0
  6. ^ Cole, Jennifer (1995), "Eliminating cyclicity as a source of complexity in processing phonology.", in Cole, J.; Morgan, J.; Green, Linguistics and Computation, Stanford: CSLI, pp. 255–280, ISBN 1-881526-81-X 
  7. ^ "Optimality Theory: Constraint Interaction in Generative Grammar" (PDF). Rutgers Optimality Archive. 2004: 3. 
  8. ^ Cole, Jennifer; Kim, Heejin; Choi, Hansook; Hasegawa-Johnson, Mark (2007), "Prosodic effects on acoustic cues to stop voicing and place of articulation: Evidence from Radio News speech.", Journal of Phonetics, 35: 180–209, doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2006.03.004 
  9. ^ Chen, Ken; Hasegawa-Johnson, Mark; Cohen, Aaron; Borys, Sarah; Kim, S-S.; Cole, Jennifer; Choi, J-Y. (2006), "Prosody dependent speech recognition on Radio News corpus of American English", IEEE Transactions in Speech and Audio Processing, 14 (1): 232–245, doi:10.1109/tsa.2005.853208 
  10. ^ Cole, Jennifer (2006), "The Sindhi Language", in Brown, K., Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 11 (2 ed.), Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 384–386 
  11. ^ [1]

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