Linguistics and English Language

Phonetics and phonology

Phonetics and Phonology Research Group

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 acquisition. 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 table spacer
Research interests
Dr Laura Arnold

Descriptive and documentary linguistics; tone, especially the tone systems of west New Guinea

Dr Peter Bell


Automatic speech recognition

Dr Julian Bradfield


Formal phonology; phonology-phonetics interface; click languages; simulations in phonology

Dr Jiayin Gao

Experimental phonetics and phonology; consonant-tone-phonation interaction; sound change; perception; cognition; individual variation

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; phonological dialectology; 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; language and music
Dr Catherine Lai Speech prosody; spoken language understanding; affective computing; semantics; pragmatics; information structure
Dr Warren Maguire Dialectology; varieties of English/Scots; phonetic and phonological variation and change

Dr Benjamin Molineaux

Prosodic structure and change; phonology and morphology of Mapudungun (isolate, Chile/Argentina); sound-to-spelling mapping, especially in Older Scots

Professor Mits Ota First and second language acquisition; phonology
Dr Rebekka Puderbaugh Acoustic phonetics; phonetic description of understudied languages; glottalic speech; phonation
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
Dr Korin Richmond Speech synthesis; articulatory data for speech technology; lexicography and pronunciation modelling

Professor Jim Scobbie

(Queen Margaret University)

Socio-laboratory phonology; child speech; covert and quasi-phonemic phonological contrast; clinical phonetics; Scottish English; articulatory phonetics; ultrasound analysis of the tongue

Professor Mark Steedman


Computational linguistics; spoken intonation; spoken language processing
Professor Alice Turk Speech production; speech perception; prosodic structure; timing


Research postgraduates working in this area include:

Mirella Blum Morphophonology; descriptive and documentary linguistics; morphosyntax; tone; Dinka (Western Nilotic)

Ryan Gehrmann

Historical phonology; tonogenesis; registrogenesis; Austroasiatic languages (especially of the Katuic and Bahnaric sub-groups)

Louis Hendrix


Matthew King

Phonology; phonological change; the phonological interface with morphosyntax; metrical phonology

Siqing Li English phonology; plural fricative lenisisation 
Gilly Marchini

Phonetics; phonology; Spanish and French dialectology

Jakub Musil

Phonological theory; the phonetics-phonology interface; Celtic linguistics
William Peralta Tonogenesis; perception and production in the context of prosody

Georges Sakr

Acoustic and articulatory phonetics; phonetics-phonology interface; laboratory and experimental phonology

Zhaoxi Yan

Sociolinguistics; sociophonetics; language variation and change

You can also see what some of our recent postgraduate students worked on:

Recently submitted PhD theses

Postgraduate Study

We welcome applications from potential postgraduates who would like to join our group:

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