Rory Turnbull

Lecturer in Phonetics & Phonology, School of English Literature, Language, and Linguistics (HASS)

Research Interests:

  • Experimental Phonetics
  • French Linguistics
  • Laboratory Phonology
  • Language Processing
  • Phonetics
  • Phonology
  • Prosody
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sound Change
  • Speech Perception
  • Theoretical Phonology

I am interested in the phonological processes and representations of the mental lexicon and as such my research sits at the intersection between phonetics, phonology, and psycholinguistics. In my PhD dissertation, I investigated the cognitive source of frequency and predictability effects in spoken language. More generally, I am interested in the ways that frequency, predictability, and other usage-based factors influence linguistic sound structures. My current research examines how factors of lexical organization, such as phonological neighborhood density, influence speech production and perception. Additionally, I maintain an active research agenda in intonation and prosody, investigating the relationships between predictability, context, and the phonetics of prosodic contrasts.

I use a wide variety of research paradigms, drawing from experimental phonetics, cognitive psychology, and theoretical phonology. There is no “one size fits all” solution to research in the language sciences. This methodological pluralism entails a cross-linguistic approach, which is vital for the advancement of the field, particularly when a key finding is based on data from a small number of languages. Several of my projects involve cross-linguistic studies and diverse methodological approaches.