HomePeopleResearchUndergradGraduateCoursesEvents & PublicationsResources


Phonetics is the science of speech. It studies the articulation, acoustics, and perception of speech sounds.

The phonetics group at Penn emphasizes the interdisciplinary and experimental nature of phonetics in both teaching and research. The group is engaged in a wide range of research topics, including laboratory studies of speech production and perception, prosody modeling, phonetic patterns in large speech corpora, integration of phonetic knowledge in speech synthesis/recognition, etc.

Mark Liberman's recent research in phonetics has focused on African languages, with particular attention to tone in Igbo and Yoruba and to the word-level phonol­ogy of Mawu, a phonologically unusual Mande language. Very recently he has been able to reach some interesting general conclusions regarding the alignment of tone contours and segmental representations, working jointly with Akinbiyi Akinlabi of Rutgers University.

The research of Jiahong Yuan focuses on speech prosody, with particular attention to tone, intonation, and their interaction. His work combines cross-disciplinary expertise in linguistics (phonological analysis and phonetic experimentation), psychology (speech and prosody perception), engineering (digital signal processing and speech technologies), and computer science (programming and machine learning techniques).

The phonetics group holds a weekly lunch-time meeting called Splunch (speech lunch).

Patricia Irwin
Syntactic theory, argument structure, unaccusativity, information structure, prosody, discourse, corpus and experimental approaches in generative syntax, syntactic and semantic variation in English dialects
Jianjing Kuang
Phonetics, laboratory phonology, speech production and perception, experimental fieldwork
Phonetics, prosody, natural language processing, speech communication
Mao-Hsu Chen
Sunghye Cho
Eric Doty
Guðrún (Duna) Gylfadóttir
Gayeon Son
Jingjing Tan
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2007
Department of Linguistics
619 Williams Hall (campus map)
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
Telephone: (215) 898-6046
Fax: (215) 573-2091
For more information, contact Amy Forsyth at