I study linguistic sound patterns using laboratory and computational techniques. Sound patterns are of interest because they are fundamentally arbitrary, so they are a good testing ground for studying the interaction of physiological, cognitive, social, and other factors. Different sound patterns reflect these influences to different degrees. In recent years I have been particularly interested in segmental phonology, and the use of distinctive features to model it. I am also very interested in idiosyncratic phonological patterns, such as English /r/ allophony, and I am organizing a conference on sources of individual differences in language (particularly the Autism spectrum) in March of 2012.
In the Sound Patterns Laboratory (funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation), we use ultrasound imaging and other techniques to study speech production and perception in English, French, and other languages, and we develop computational tools for processing the massive amounts of data generated by our experiments. This laboratory work is complemented by computational modeling of language change and language acquisition, and by quantitative work with two databases developed in our lab and during my time at Ohio State and Arizona: P-base, a database of phonological patterns in 628 language varieties (funded by my current SSHRC grant), and the Similarity Database, which includes multimodal data on the production of 130 crosslinguistically frequent consonants and vowels (funded by an earlier SSHRC grant).
The vowel plot assignment. Follow the instructions and have plots of your acoustic vowel space e-mailed to you automatically. This is used for LIN1320, but participation is not limited to LIN1320 students.
Phonetic and phonological databases
Employment and Associations:
2006-present: Assistant Professor, Linguistics, University of Ottawa.
2009-present: Adjunct Research Professor, Institute of Cognitive Science, Carleton University.
2008-2010: Database Consultant, MPI-EVA.
2004-2006: Postdoctoral researcher, APIL, Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona.
University of Ottawa
Arts Hall Room 401
70 Laurier Ave East
phone: (613) 562-5800 ext. 2701
fax: (613) 562-5141
jmielke at uOttawa dot ca