Our faculty members maintain research laboratories in which they conduct cutting-edge studies exploring intriguing aspects of human communication and interaction.
The UC Davis Phonetics Lab engages in cutting-edge linguistic research exploring the nature of sound patterns in the production and perception of speech. The emphasis at the PhonLab is on the acoustic measurement and perceptual evaluation of speech patterns, using laboratory phonology and psycholinguistic methods. The PhonLab is co-directed by Dr. Georgia Zellou and Dr. Santiago Barreda, and is dedicated to teaching and mentorship through numerous training programs at the graduate and undergraduate level. We have several lines of research ongoing in the PhonLab, including examining phonetic variation (production and perception), vowel perception (models and mechanisms), coarticulation, human-voice AI interaction, perception of apparent speaker characteristics, speaker production adaptations (clear speech, child-directed speech), social factors in phonetic imitation, and mechanisms of sound change.
At the Computational Linguistics Lab, co-directors Dr. Kenji Sagae and Dr. Raúl Aranovich investigate various aspects of the exciting intersection of language and computing. Their investigations coalesce methods and insights from various areas in linguistics and in computer science to advance understanding of the nature of language, its structure and its use, and to develop the fundamental ingredients of language ability in artificially intelligent machines.
They and their colleagues focus on issues of language structure, including syntax and semantics, and on various application areas, including assessment of child language development, modeling language change, modeling persuasion in political discourse, and language processing for cybersecurity. Their natural language processing (NLP) reading group includes undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members from various departments, with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.
The Language, Logic, and Learning Lab, directed by Dr. Masoud Jasbi, studies how humans understand and learn linguistic meaning. The lab uses behavioral experiments and observational studies with adults and children as well as formal and computational models to address questions at the interface of language development, natural language understanding, and the psychology and philosophy of language. The lab has a special focus on abstract logical concepts and their associated words such as negatives (e.g no, not, never, …) , conjunctions (e.g and, but, ), disjunction (e.g. or), conditionals (e.g if, whether, ), modals (e.g. maybe, might, can, should, must, ...), number words and quantifiers (e.g. some, many, every, … ). The lab is also interested in concepts such as ambiguity, vagueness, truth, lying, common ground, cooperative and uncooperative communication.