Linguistics and English Language

Phonetics and phonology

Phonetics and phonology; Centre for Speech Technology Research

The phonetics and phonology research group (or 'P-group') brings together researchers who are working to understand the phonetics and/or phonology of human language. We combine a broad range of expertise and interests, ranging from acoustic and articulatory phonetics to formal phonological theory, taking in sociophonetics, phonological dialectology, speech recognition and speech synthesis, speech perception, laboratory phonology, historical phonology, and developmental phonology. 

We explore these issues from formal, experimental, and engineering perspectives, with interests in synchrony, diachrony, and acquistion. Members of the group work as individuals, in collaboration with each other, and in a number of collaborations with other researchers in Edinburgh and at other universities. 

Most members of the group are primarily affiliated with Linguistics and English Language, but others come from elsewhere at the University of Edinburgh (e.g., the Centre for Speech Technology Research and Informatics), or from Speech and Hearing Sciences at Queen Margaret University.


The P-group normally meet (our meetings are called the 'Phonetics and Phonology Workshop', or 'P-workshop') on Thursdays (but not every Thursday) at 1:10pm, in the Dugald Stewart Building. For more information, contact Patrick Honeybone, James Kirby or Bert Remijsen.


Staff working in this area include:

  Research interests
Dr Ellen Gurman Bard Psycholinguistics of speech production and perception
Dr Julian Bradfield Modal and temporal logics; model-checking; concurrency; independence logics; descriptive complexity and set theory; UML and modelling languages

Dr Josef Fruehwald

Language variation and change; sociolinguistics; phonology; phonetics; quantitative methods
Professor Heinz J Giegerich Phonological and morphological theory, especially in relation to English
Dr Lauren Hall-Lew Sociolinguistics; sociophonetics; phonetic methods; English variation and change; language and ethnicity; language and tourism
Dr Patrick Honeybone Historical phonology; phonological theory; northern Englishes
Dr Pavel Iosad Theoretical phonology; phonological interfaces; historical phonology; Celtic languages; Germanic languages

Professor Simon King

Speech recognition; speech synthesis
Dr James Kirby Phonetics and phonology; sound change; tone and register; language and music; languages of Southeast Asia
Professor Bob Ladd Intonation and prosody (incl. phonology, phonetics, and paralinguistics); phonology-phonetics "interface" issues
Dr Warren Maguire Dialectology; varieties of English/Scots; phonetic and phonological variation and change
Dr Mits Ota First and second language acquisition; phonology
Dr Michael Ramsammy

Experimental and theoretical phonology; phonological change; Creole Englishes; articulatory phonetics

Dr Bert Remijsen Suprasegmental systems: how languages make use of pitch, duration, voice quality, loudness, and to some extent vowel quality
Professor Jim Scobbie (Queen Margaret University) Phonetics and phonology; allophony alternation and contrast; sociolinguistic laboratory phonology; child speech; covert contrast; constraint-based phonology; Sardinian lenition; Scottish English; articulatory phonetics; ultrasound analysis of the tongue; EMA (electromagnetic articulography)
Professor Mark Steedman Computational linguistics; spoken intonation; spoken language processing
Professor Alice Turk Speech production; speech perception; prosodic structure; timing

You can also see what our current and recent postgraduate students are studying.

Current and recent postgraduates' PhD theses

Postgradute Study

PhD and MSc by Research programmes 


Find out more about the roots of phonetics and phonology research at Edinburgh.

History of phonetics and phonology at Edinburgh