PI: Katharina S. Schuhmann, Ph.D.
We study how speech sounds are perceived and produced by native speakers, second language learners, and bilinguals. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms that allow linguistic knowledge to develop and adapt in certain contexts, for example as a result of exposure to new accents, second languages, or (phonetic) training.
Katharina Schuhmann’s Specific Research Interests: I am interested in a) uncovering the principles and underlying mechanisms of cross-linguistic effects in second language (L2) and bilingual speech perception and production, and b) in linguistic adaptation phenomena within and across languages. Discoveries from L2 and bilingual speech perception and production studies provide a unique perspective about the role of experience and input for the development of mental representations of linguistic structures. I am particularly interested in the plasticity of linguistic representations, and I study how hearing a novel accent or learning a second language (temporarily) changes representations or processes in one or both languages. In another line of work, we investigate the factors influencing how native speakers come to share perspectives and entrain on lexical expressions in referential communication tasks. Ultimately, the goal of my research endeavors is to understand the mechanisms that lead to changes in linguistic knowledge and behavior over short or long time spans.
Research Opportunities: Motivated undergraduate students with an interest in speech perception and production in monolinguals and bilinguals are welcome to gain research experience as RA’s in the Speech Lab. Email me for more information.