Nicholas Bamshad Aoki

Nicholas Aoki - Headshot

Position Title
PhD Candidate

Kerr 261
Office Hours
[Spring 2024, LIN 001, A05 + A06] Tuesdays (10am-1pm); Thursdays (12pm-3pm)


I am a PhD candidate in Linguistics working at the Phonetics Lab with Dr. Georgia ZellouMy updated CV is available on my website.

I am passionate about teaching! Please click here to learn more about my teaching philosophy, to view some of my sample presentation slides, and to read some sample evaluations.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, I was a co-chair of the Cluster on Language Research, which hosts biweekly talks and an annual conference. The theme of our conference was "The Intersection Between Language and Technology" - click here to access the program!

Education and Degree(s)
  • M.A., Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History, University of Chicago, 2021
  • B.A., Linguistics (Minor in Statistics), University of Chicago, 2021 (Phi Beta Kappa, Student Marshal, Summa Cum Laude)
Honors and Awards
  • Phi Kappa Phi, UC Davis, 2024
  • Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics Student Paper Competition Winner ($300), Acoustical Society of America, 2023
  • "Down Under Funder" Travel Grant ($1000), Acoustical Society of America, 2023
  • Steven Lapointe Award ($850), UC Davis Department of Linguistics, 2023
  • Student Award (£600), International Phonetic Association, 2023
  • Travel Award ($250), UC Davis Graduate Student Association, 2022
  • Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship ($48,900), UC Davis, 2022-2023
  • Provost's Fellowship in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences ($59,802), UC Davis, 2021-2022
  • Latin Honors (summa cum laude), University of Chicago, 2021
  • Leonard Bloomfield Prize in Linguistics, University of Chicago, 2021
  • Phi Beta Kappa (Early Induction), University of Chicago, 2020
  • Student Marshal, University of Chicago, 2020
  • College Summer Research Fellow ($5,000), University of Chicago, 2020
  • College Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities Scholar ($5,000), University of Chicago, 2020
  • Jeff Metcalf Internship, University of Chicago, 2020
  • Dean's Fund for Undergraduate Research Award ($1,271), University of Chicago, 2019
  • Liew Family College Research Fellow ($1,000), University of Chicago, 2019
  • Dean's List, University of Chicago (2017-2021)
  • National Merit Scholar, University of Chicago ($8,000)
  • LIN 171 (Introduction to Psycholinguistics) - Teaching Assistant - Winter 2024
  • LIN 001 (Introduction to Linguistics) - Teaching Assistant - Fall 2023, Spring 2024
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Phonetics/Phonology
  • Speech Perception
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Speaking Style Variation
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Nicholas B. Aoki and Georgia Zellou. (2024). Greater within-talker variation does not improve cross-talker generalization: Effects of speaking style on perceptual adaptation to L2-accented speech. Submitted for consideration to Cognition.
  • Julia Vonessen, Nicholas B. Aoki, Michelle Cohn, and Georgia Zellou. (2024). Comparing perception of L1 and L2 English by human listeners and machines: Effect of interlocutor adaptations. Provisionally accepted at The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
  • Nicholas B. Aoki and Georgia Zellou. (2024). Being clear about clear speech: Intelligibility of hard-of-hearing-directed, non-native-directed, and casual speech for L1- and L2-English listeners. Journal of Phonetics, 104, 101328.
  • Nicholas B. Aoki and Georgia Zellou. (2023). Visual information affects adaptation to novel talkers: ethnicity-specific and ethnicity-independent learning of L2-accented speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 154(4), 2290 - 2304.
  • Nicholas B. Aoki and Georgia Zellou. (2023). When clear speech does not enhance memory: Effects of speaking style, voice naturalness, and listener age. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 51(1), 060002.
  • Nicholas B. Aoki and Georgia Zellou. (2023). Speakers talk more clearly when they see an East Asian face: Effects of visual guise on speech production. In: Radek Skarnitzl & Jan Volín (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) (pp. 2294 - 2298). Guarant International. Available at:
  • Nicholas B. Aoki, Michelle Cohn, and Georgia Zellou. (2022). The clear speech intelligibility benefit for text-to-speech voices: Effects of speaking style and visual guise. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Express Letters, 2(4), 045204.
Membership and Service
  • UC Davis Linguistics Department - Website Manager (2023-)
  • Linguistics Graduate Student Association - Graduate Student Association Representative (2023-)
  • Cluster on Language Research - Co-Chair (2022-2023), Member (2021-2022, 2023-)
  • Sacramento Public Library Adult Literacy Program - Tutor (2022-2023)
  • Graduate and Professional School Events Grant Review Board - Member (2021-2022)
  • Ad Hoc Journal Review - Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (2022; Co-Reviewer with Georgia Zellou)
  • Conference Abstract Review - Cluster on Language Research Symposium (2021-2023)
  • Professional Memberships - Phi Beta Kappa, Linguistic Society of America, Association for Laboratory Phonology, International Phonetic Association, Acoustical Society of America