Phonetics Laboratory

Introduction and research interests

The phonetics laboratory was established in 1988, and moved to its current site in the School of Languages and Linguistics in 2009. The laboratory is multi-purpose in nature and is the focus for phonetics teaching, speech science and laboratory phonology research in the Department. The laboratory has collaborative links within the University of Melbourne, namely, Psychology, Cognitive Science, ESL, French and Italian Studies, and with other Linguistics and Speech Departments in Australia and overseas (Flinders University Speech Pathology and Audiology; IPS Munich University, Germany).

Research interests in speech science and laboratory phonology include

  • Modelling intonation and prosody of Australian English
  • Intonation of Australian and Oceanic languages
  • Coarticulation in Australian languages
  • Phonetics / Phonology interface
  • Sound change
  • Forensic phonetics
  • Sociophonetics
  • Phonetics of English as a second language

Staff information and contacts


During semester time, we run regular Phonetics / Phonology seminars (all welcome). These are generally fortnightly on Friday mornings. Please email Debbie Loakes if you would like to present your work at one of these sessions, or for more information.


The Phonetics Lab is equipped with the following:


The main phonetics workstation comprises a Dell Optima GX620 running Windows XP

  • Scicon R&D X16 Capture device
  • Electropalatograph (Reading EPG 3)
  • Ultrasound (Mindray® 6600 DP)
  • Electroglottograph (Laryngograph®)
  • RME Babyface Analogue/digital audio interface


  • Articulate Assistant Advanced - Acoustics, Ultrasound, Electropalatography
  • EDGETRAK, Tongue edge approximation for Ultrasound

The Scicon Suite

  • PCQuirerX - Aerodynamic and Electroglottographic analyses
  • Pitchworks - Fundamental Frequency Analysis
  • Synthworks - Speech Synthesis and Speech Modelling
  • Speech Studio - Laryngography (EGG)
  • Praat - Acoustic analysis
  • Emu Speech Database - Acoustic and Articulatory Analysis
  • RStudio - Graphical User Interface for the R statistical environment - Statistical analysis of speech corpora
  • Rpackages, emuR, lme4, ggplot2, ssanova

Teaching programs in Phonetics

Research projects

Through Janet Fletcher (CI) our laboratory is involved in The Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language funded by The Australian Research Council.

Brett Baker, Rikke Bundegaard-Nielsen, Janet Fletcher, "Are super complex words represented like sentences in people's minds" ARC Discovery Project

Recently completed research projects

  • Structure and meaning of intonation in three Australian languages
    Investigators: Janet Fletcher, Ruth Singer, Marija Tabain
    Funding: Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • The Big Asc. Audiovisual speech corpus for Australian English
    Melbourne investigators: Deborah Loakes, Janet Fletcher, John Hajek, David Grayden, Steven Bird
    Funding: Australian Research Council (ARC)

Current student research projects

  • Joshua Clothier, Variation in Australian English Accents and Ethnic Identities
  • Katie Jepson, Aspects of prosody and intonation in Djambarrpuyŋu
  • Eleanor Lewis, New Caledonian French: An acoustic and sociophonetic study
  • Catalina Torres-Orjuela, "The acquistion of prosody: The case of French and Drehu bilinguals".
  • Alex Kilpatrick, "Japanese Phonotactics and Non-Native Perception"

Recent completions

University of Melbourne theses are available on the University of Melbourne Library Thesis Collection web page.

  • An acoustic study of coarticulation: consonant-vowel and vowel-to-vowel coarticulation in four Australian languages. Simone Graetzer (PhD)
  • Perception and production of Geminates and prosodic contrasts in Kelantan Malay. Hilmi Hamzah (PhD)
  • Perception and production of prosodic elements in young people with cochlear implants. Colleen Holt (PhD)
  • Intonation and Prosody of Kannada and Bengali English. Olga Maxwell (PhD)
  • The prosody/syntax interface in Kayardild and Dalabon. Bella Ross (PhD)
  • An Articulatory and Acoustic Study of Consonants in the Northern Australian Language Bininj Gun-Wok. Hywel Stoakes (PhD)
  • Speech as a surrogate marker of central nervous system function: practical, experimental and statistical considerations. Adam Vogel (PhD - Neuroscience)
  • Perception and Production of Cantonese Tones by Speakers with Different Language Backgrounds. Mengyue Wu (PhD)
  • Tone in Sumi. Amos Teo (MA Research)
  • The Phonetics and Phonology of Lopit. Dr Rosey Billington