USC Phonetics and Phonology Group

What does the USC Phonetics & Phonology Group do?

We study how the sound patterns of languages shape the form of words and phrases (phonology)


What the articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual characteristics of those sounds are and how they are produced and processed (phonetics).

Recent News 

Fall 2023

Congratulations to Shri Narayanan on being named by ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, as one of 68 Fellows for transformative contributions to computing science and technology. All the 2023 inductees are longstanding ACM Members who were selected by their peers for groundbreaking innovations that have improved how we live, work, and play.

Congratulations to Shri Narayanan on being awarded the 2023 IEEE Signal Processing Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist Technical Achievement Award "for contributions to spoken language processing technologies and their societal applications." The award honors a person who, over a period of years, has made outstanding technical contributions to theory and/or practice in technical areas within the scope of the Society, as demonstrated by publications, patents, or recognized impact on the field.

Welcome to Canaan Breiss who has joined the faculty of USC Linguistics as an Assistant Professor in the area of Phonology.

Khalil Iskarous (PI), Dani Byrd, and Shri Narayanan (co-PIs) have been awarded a NSF grant, “Deep causal inference grounds the perception of cognitive objects in speech.” The goal of this grant is to use MRI imaging of speech production to probe the nature of the mathematical knowledge that current artificial intelligence systems extract from the speech signal.

Shri Narayanan (PI) along with a team including Dani Byrd, Assal Habibi, Idan Blank, Rael Cahn and Richard Leahy will lead a four-year project, supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to identify and interpret objective neural and physiological signal biomarkers that can support screening of “preconscious signals” of mental and behavioral health risk factors, including depression and suicidal ideation.

Khalil Iskarous and his research on Ladin was featured in the recent USC Trojan Family Magazine article “TransformAItion.”

Summer 2023

Shri Narayanan, Dani Byrd, and Louis Goldstein were awarded an NSF grant "RI Core: Medium: Structured variability in vocal tract articulation dynamics in speech."

Spring 2023

The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) has announced that the 2023 ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement – their most prestigious award – will be awarded to Prof. Shrikanth Narayanan, for his sustained and diverse contributions to speech communication science and technology and its application to human-centered engineering systems. Congrats Shri! Shri will also give the award keynote at Interspeech 2023 in Dublin this August.

Fall 2022

Alumnus Dr. Reed Blaylock has accepted a position as a USC Dornsife Fellow in General Education.

Congratulations to alumna Christina Hagedorn on her promotion to Associate Professor at College of Staten Island.

Spring 2022

Professor Stephanie Shih has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded Professor Shri Narayanan a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship.  There were 180 Fellows--scientists, writers, scholars and artists, about half from academic institutions--honored from among ~2500 applicants.   Shri was one of only two honored nationally in the area of computer science.

Stephanie Shih has been awarded USC Dornsife's Junior Raubenheimer Award in the Social Sciences for research, teaching, and service.

Welcome to Canaan Breiss who will be joining the USC Linguistics Faculty in Fall 2023, after completing a postdoc at MIT in the Computational Psycholinguistics Lab in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Leena Mathur, a USC senior completing a triple major in computer science, cognitive science, and linguistics, recently received the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) 2022 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award.  She also received an NSF Graduate Fellowship in support of her upcoming PhD studies at Carnegie Mellon.

Fall 2021

Jobs! Dr. Miran Oh is now working as a AI/ML - Voice Building Engineer (Korean) for Siri Text-to-Speech, Apple Inc. 
And Dr. Sarah Harper is now a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Neurological Surgery at UCSF.

Congratulations to Miran Oh who  has defended her dissertation entitled "Articulatory dynamics and stability in multi-gesture complexes."

Congratulations to Sarah Harper who  has defended her dissertation entitled "Individual differences in phonetic variability and phonological representation."

Dr. Sam Zukoff has joined USC as a post-doctoral scholar and teaching fellow.  

Dr. Anisia Popescu is visiting USC as a post-doctoral scholar.  She received her PhD in 2019 from University of Paris Diderot and currently has a postdoctoral grant from the German Academic Exchange to investigate the temporal organization of liquid consonants, both at the University of Potsdam and at USC.

Summer 2021

Congratulations to Miran Oh who  has received a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement grant.

Congratulations to Miran Oh who  has received the 2021-2022 Stetson Scholarship from the Acoustical Society of America.

Spring 2021

Dr. Charlie O'Hara has accepted a position as a Lecturer at the University of Michigan Linguistics.

The Dynamic Imaging Science Center (Prof. Krishna Nayak, PI) has launched in the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience with An Ultra-Rare New Low-Field High-Performance MRI Machine.

Professor Louis Goldstein gave a 2021 Invited Plenary Address at the meeting of the Linguistic Society of America.

Congratulations to Eve Perkins Booker on her entrance to UC Davis's Linguistics PhD program.

Fall 2020

Congratulations to Miran Oh for winning second prize for her student poster presentation at the International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP).
Congratulations to Professor Shrikanth Narayanan for being awarded the International Conference on Multimodal Interaction Sustained Accomplishment Award 2020 given to a senior scientist who has made innovative, long-lasting, and influential contributions to the field of multimodal interaction, interfaces, and systems.

Spring 2020

Congratulations to Professor Shrikanth Narayanan for the honor and distinction of being named University Professor, in addition to his titles of Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science; Professor of Linguistics, Psychology and Neuroscience; Professor of Pediatrics, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery; and Niki and C. L. Max Nikias Chair in Engineering.

Fall 2019

Congratulations to Reed Blaylock for winning the Best Student Poster Award in Speech Communication for his poster  “Beatrhyming probes the nature of the interface between phonology and beatboxing” at the December 2019 San Diego meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. 
Alumna Dr. Cynthia Lee was awarded the Fall 2019 ASA Young Investigator Travel Grant sponsored by The Committee on Women in Acoustics of the Acoustical Society of America.
As part of a collaboration with the non-profit research and advocacy group Tourette's Hero, Mairym Llorens will be hosted by the Wellcome Institute for a two-week residency at their facilities in London, UK. She contributed a guest post on the Tourette's Hero blog.
The Washington Post featured facial and voice recognition technology developed by Shrikanth Narayanan of the USC Viterbi School and his team to help the Geena Davis Institute on Gender ascertain the screen and speaking time of men and women in movies, TV shows and ads. 
Dr. Brian Smith is continuing as a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow for 2019-2020.
Professor Khalil Iskarous is Senior Co-Chair of the LSA Program Committee, and alumna Jelena Krivokapić is Junior Co-Chair.

Summer 2019

Professor Sandra Disner has been named a member of NIST's Scientific Area Committee on Speaker Recognition.
Congratulations to alumna Michal Temkin Martinéz, who is PI on an NSF grant focused on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Linguistics. Michal is currently an Associate Editor of the Teaching Linguistics section of Language, the flagship journal of the Linguistic Society of America. Michal was also the subject of an LSA Member Spotlight for May/June 2019.
Congratulations to Sarah Harper for winning the Best Student Paper Award at the 2019 International Congress of Phonetics Sciences.
Congratulations to Mairym Llorens Monteserín for winning the Best Poster Award at the 2019 Phonetics and Phonology in Europe meeting.
Caitlin Smith has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University.

Spring 2019

Congratulations to Professor Shrikanth Narayanan who has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for his "pioneering contributions to behavioral informatics and applications to mental health, and to real-time magnetic resonance imaging of speech production."
Congrats to Professor Shri Narayanan for receiving the 2019 USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research.
Caitlin Smith has accepted a position as a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for Spring 2019.

Fall 2018

Congrats to Shri Narayanan and Reed Blaylock for the featuring of SPAN work  on beatboxing utilizing real-time MRI  in The New York Times, Popular Science, and Business Times.
Miran Oh has been selected as the Acoustical Society of American Speech Communication Technical Area Student Council Representative from November 9 2018 through the Fall 2020 meeting.
Brian Smith has joined the Dept. of Linguistics, USC Dornsife College, as a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow for 2018-2019.

Summer 2018

Sarah Harper presented a talk at LabPhon 16 in Portugal entitled "Quantifying labial, palatal and pharyngeal contributions to rhotic F3 lowering" coauthored with Louis Goldstein and Shri Narayanan, for which she received an IPA Student Award.
Cynthia Yoonjeong Lee has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Scholar in UCLA's Department of Head and Neck Surgery.

Spring 2018

Professor Shri Narayanan has won the 2018 Viterbi School of Engineering Senior Research Award.
Dr. Samantha Gordon Danner will be (re)joining the department as a Postdoctoral Scholar beginning May 1. She will be working in the Phonetics Laboratory focusing on the area of prosody and articulatory timing. 
The USC Department of Linguistics will be hosting the Southern California Meeting in Phonology (SCAMP) on April 7, 2018.
Cynthia Lee has successfully defended her dissertation entitled "The Prosodic Substrate of Consonant and Tone Dynamics."
Reed Blaylock has been selected to receive a USC University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.
Mairym Llorens Monteserín won first place in the Speech Communication student poster competition at the New Orleans Acoustical Society of American meeting for her poster "Verbal tic grouping and duration in the speech of a person with Tourette's."  
Welcome to Assistant Professor Stephanie Shih who has joined our USC Linguistics Department and PhonGroup.
Professor Khalil Iskarous has been appointed Associate Editor at Language starting January 2018.

Summer and Fall 2017

The SoCal Hearing Research Meeting will be at UC Riverside on Saturday, September 23 from 8:30am–5pm.  Further info can be found at .
Ben Parrell has accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Peter Guekguezian has accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester.
Brian Hsu is now a postdoctoral scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Samantha Gordon Danner has successfully defended her dissertation "Effects of communicative task on the relation between vocal tract and manual gestures."
Khalil Iskarous has been promoted to Associate Professor of Linguistics with tenure.
Shri Narayanan has been appointed the Niki & C. L. Max Nikias Chair in Engineering.
The Proceedings for AMP 2016, held at USC in October 2016,  have now been published by the LSA:, and the editors for the proceedings were Charlie O'Hara, Caitlin Smith, Karen Jesney and Rachel Walker.