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LIN 253 - Speech Perception

Speech is a highly variable signal due to many factors: the same sound can be realized differently across talkers, phrases and words. This course investigates how listeners map the acoustic signal to a linguistic interpretation. The use of factors such as phonetic context, variation, linguistic knowledge, and social information in perceiving speech is the focus. Through this course, students gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for some of the questions that drive research in the psychology of language in its quest to explain how language is used to speak and comprehend, and how it is learned.
Course Image


Santiago Barreda-Castañón




LIN 103A


Spring 2022


The first goal of the course is to provide an overview of the theories and empirical findings on speech perception in humans, as well as review the latest findings and experimental techniques in the field.
Basic topics covered:
  1. How to characterize the knowledge that adults have once they have become fluent speakers of a language
  2. The mental processes involved when people produce and comprehend sounds and words
  3. How children learn sounds and words in the languages to which they are exposed
  4. The acquisition of more than one language
  5. Cognitive or physiological impairments that cause atypicalities in any one of these topics in an individual
The second goal of this course is to “learn-by-doing” — you will learn the practical skills necessary to design and execute an original speech perception experiment. 
“Speech Perception” is designed to give students from diverse disciplines skills for every stage of the research process: theorizing, hypothesis formation, experimental design, experimentation, and writing.