**Tuvan throat singing vocal tract dynamics**

The intersections of infant speech perception and phonological typology

Patterns observed in language acquisition often resemble trends in the diachronic history of languages. For example, Jakobson famously noticed the correlation between age of acquisition of a particular consonant and how often the consonant is found in the world's languages. Our research extends these ideas by examining the intersections of historical phonology, typology, acoustics, and the nature of infant speech perception.

  1. Narayan, C.R. (2013). “Developmental perspectives on phonological typology and sound change,” in Origins of Sound Patterns: Approaches to Phonologization, ed. A.C.L.Yu (Oxford University Press). [pdf]
  2. Narayan, C.R., Werker, J.F., and Beddor, P.S. (2010). “The interaction between acoustic salience and language experience in developmental speech perception: Evidence from nasal place discrimination,” Developmental Science 13, 3, 407-420. [pdf]
  3. Narayan, C.R. (2008). “The acoustic-perceptual salience of nasal place contrasts,” Journal of Phonetics 36, 1, 191-217. [pdf]

Acoustics of infant-directed speech

Supported by a Standard Research Grant from the SSHRC, we are transcribing the Cross-Linguistic Corpus of Infant-Directed Speech (CCIDS), which is a collection of high-quality recordings of mother-infant dyads in three less-studied languages: Sri Lankan Tamil, Tagalog, and Korean. The goal of the completed CCIDS is to have accessible to linguists, psychologists, and speech researchers, a phoneme-aligned and transcribed corpus for phonetic, phonological, morphological and syntactic analysis.

  1. Peters, A. & Narayan, C.R. (in prep) "Forced phoneme alignment of a Tagalog corpus of infant-directed speech"
  2. Narayan, C.R. & McDermott, L. (2016). "Speech rate and pitch characteristics of infant-directed speech: Longitudinal and cross-linguistic observations." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 139 (3), 1272-1281. [pdf]
  3. Narayan, C.R. (2013). “Developmental perspectives on phonological typology and sound change,” in Origins of Sound Patterns: Approaches to Phonologization, ed. A.C.L.Yu (Oxford University Press). [pdf]
  4. Narayan, C.R. & Bowden, M. (2013b) “Pitch affects VOT: A cross-linguistic study” (2013) Proceedings of the Meetings in Acoustics (with Mary Bowden), 19, pp. 060095 [pdf]

  5. Pons, F., Biesanz, J.C., Kajikawa, S., Fais, L. Narayan, C.R., Amano, S., Werker, J.F. (2012). “Phonetic category cues inadult-directed speech: Evidence from three languages with distinct vowel characteristics,” Psicologia, 33, 175-207. [pdf]

  6. Narayan, C.R., Yoon, T-J., Denis, D. (2011). “Modeling laryngeal acoustics in early Korean Infant-Directed Speech: VOT and f0,” Presented at Acoustics Week in Canada, Quebec City. (Canadian Acoustics, 39, 3) [pdf]

  7. Narayan, C.R., Gorman, K., Swingley, D. (2007). “The acoustics of [voice] in infant-directed speech and implications for phonological learning,” The 33rd Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD33), Boston. [pdf]

Language and lower-level cognition

A new line of research for the lab explores the relationship between speech processing and lower levels of cognition, namely talker discrimination. Together with Molly Babel (UBC), Lorinda Mak (York Psychology), and Ellen Bialystok (York Psychology), we're beginning to understand that listeners cannot avoid processing speech linguistically, even when their task is listen for indexical characteristics of talkers' voices. 

  1. Narayan, C.R. (in prep) "The time-course of linguistic integration integration in talker discrimination"

  2. Narayan, C.R., Mak, L., and Bialystok, E.. (2016). "Words get in the way: Linguistic effects on talker discrimination," Cognitive Science [pdf] 

  3. Narayan, C.R., Mak, L., and Bialystok, E. (2014). "Semantic and phonological interference in talker discrimination," Presented at the 55th Psychonomics Society meeting. [pdf
  4. Narayan, C.R., Babel, M., McAuliffe, M. (2014). "Linguistic processing masks speaker and writer detail," Presented at the 9th conference on the Mental Lexicon, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. [pdf
  5. Babel, M., Narayan, C.R., (2012). "Linguistic effects on talker discrimination: The effect of semantic cohesion." Presented at LabPhon13, Stuttgart. [pdf]

We are also interested in the interaction (if there is one), between language and speech processing and spatial awareness, namely, whether pitch height (and by proxy linguistic tone) are represented by naive listeners in two-dimensional space. 

New methods for infant speech perception

In collaboration with Scott Adler's Visual and Cognitive Development Lab, we're exploring and testing an extension of the Visual Expectation paradigm for use in infant speech perception research. This methods has many advantages over the habituation methods used in the past and has the potential to offer