Research interests

My research interests are in linguistics and phonetics, including speech production and perception, prosody, phonology, and some areas of computational linguistics. I am currently focusing on Exemplar Theory and Information Theory as conceptual and computational frameworks for research in speech production, perception and acquisition.

I have also worked on multilingual text-to-speech synthesis, with an emphasis on prosodic models, morphological analysis, grapheme-to-phoneme conversion, syllabification, and the design of acoustic unit inventories.

Further research has included coarticulatory effects (e.g., on the formant structure of vowels and voicing profiles of consonants in several languages), and I have become increasingly interested in speech technology for language learning.

Current* and completed research projects

  • *Nonverbal vocalization: Pause-internal phonetic particles (DFG, 2019-2022)
  • *Phonetic Accommodation: Phonetic convergence in human-computer interaction (CHI-C) (DFG, 2016-2020)
  • *Phonetic Structure: Information density and the predictability of phonetic structure (DFG, SFB 1102, C1, 2014-2022)
  • *Intercomprehension: Mutual intelligibility and surprisal in Slavic intercomprehension (INCOMSLAV-2) (DFG, SFB 1102, C4, 2018-2022)
  • *SimPhon.Net: Usage-based approaches, computational modeling and simulation studies in phonetics and phonology (DFG, coordinator: Daniel Duran, University of Freiburg, 2016-2020)
  • Speech Learning: Individualized feedback for computer-assisted spoken language learning (DFG/ANR, 2013-2016)
  • Exemplar Theory: Exemplar-based speech representation (DFG, SFB 732, Stuttgart, 2006-2014).
  • Speech Production: The syllable as a processing unit in speech production: Evidence from frequency effects on coarticulation (DFG, SPP 1234, 2009-2012).
  • Prosody Acquisition: Tonal and temporal development of prosodic categories in children acquiring German (DFG, 2008-2012).
  • Prosody Perception: Phonetic perceptual reference space for prosodic phonological categories (DFG, SPP 1234, 2006-2009).
  • Prosody Acquisition: An exemplar-theoretic model of the acquisition of the acoustic correlates of word stress (DFG, 2004-2007).
  • SmartWeb: Speech synthesis in a system enabling mobile access to the Semantic Web (BMBF, 2004-2007).
  • Prosody Production: A perception and target oriented model of the production of prosody (DFG, 2001-2004).
  • SmartKom: Speech synthesis in a multimodal system, based on the IMS German Festival system (BMBF, 1999-2003).
  • DeKo: Derivational and compositional morphology of German (BW-MWK, 2000-2001).
  • G2P: Grapheme-to-phoneme conversion and syllabification.
  • Multilingual TTS: The Bell Labs system, and in particular its German version.