Laboratory phonology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Laboratory phonology is an approach to phonology that emphasizes the synergy between phonological theory and scientific experiments, including laboratory studies of human speech and experiments on the acquisition and productivity of phonological patterns. The central goal of laboratory phonology is "gaining an understanding of the relationship between the cognitive and physical aspects of human speech"[1] through the use of an interdisciplinary approach that promotes scholarly exchange across disciplines, bridging linguistics with psychology, electrical engineering, and computer science, and other fields.[2][3] Important antecedents of the field include work by Kenneth N. Stevens and Gunnar Fant on the acoustic theory of speech production, Ilse Lehiste's work on prosody and intonation, and Peter Ladefoged's work on typological variation and methods for data capture. Current research in laboratory phonology draws heavily on the theories of metrical phonology and autosegmental phonology, and on the statistical methods of exploratory data analysis.

Laboratory phonology is particularly connected with the Association for Laboratory Phonology, which was founded to promote the approach. Among the researchers associated with laboratory phonology are Janet Pierrehumbert, Mary Beckman, Patricia Keating and D. Robert Ladd, who co-authored a paper discussing the approach. [4] Other prominent laboratory phonologists include Catherine Browman, Jennifer S. Cole, Louis Goldstein, Julia Hirschberg and Ian Maddieson.


  1. ^ Cohn, Abigail. Phonology: An Appraisal of the Field in 2007, Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. January 5, 2007. Anaheim, CA.
  2. ^ Beckman, M. and J. Kingston Introduction. In J. Kingston and M. Beckman (eds.) Papers in Laboratory Phonology I: Between the Grammar and the Physics of Speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 1–16.
  3. ^ Pierrehumbert, J.B. and C. Clopper What is Labphon? And where is it going?, Papers in Laboratory Phonology 10 113-132.
  4. ^ Pierrehumbert, J., M. Beckman, and D.R. Ladd (2000).Conceptual Foundations of Phonology as a Laboratory Science. In N. Burton-Roberts, P. Carr and G.J. Docherty (eds.) Phonological Knowledge: Conceptual and Empirical Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pages 273-303.