Research Fellow

SHS

Tel: 0131 4740000

Dr Eleanor Lawson completed a PhD in Medieval English dialectology in 2002. Between 2003 and 2007, she worked as a lecturer at the Phonetics Laboratory, University of Oxford, where she also conducted sociophonetic research into sound change.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Activities and Awards

In 2007 Eleanor came to Queen Margaret University to undertake ultrasound-based sociophonetic research into /r/-loss in Scottish English, and has alternated between lecturing at Queen Margaret University and the University of Glasgow and carrying out speech research using Ultrasound Tongue Imaging (UTI). Since 2011, Eleanor has obtained funding for four major UTI-based research projects at Queen Margaret University and the University of Glasgow.

Eleanor has been at the forefront of developing the potential of UTI in sociolinguistic research and also in developing methods to improve standardization of recording settings and normalization of UTI data. Eleanor has also pioneered the production of vocal-tract-imaging-based teaching resources for students of Phonetics, foreign language learners and Speech and Language Therapists, with the production of the Seeing Speech and Dynamic Dialects online resources. These resources allow users to view dynamic vocal-tract movement in both modelled and natural speech, imaged using UTI and MRI. These resources were the output of projects designed by Eleanor Lawson and involving collaboration between the University of Glasgow, Queen Margaret University, Napier University and University College London.

 

I have many years’ teaching experience at different HEIs, including the University of Glasgow, Queen Margaret University and the University of Oxford, where I taught a wide variety of Linguistics-related subjects including: General Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Practical Phonetics (including clinical ext-IPA), Old and Middle English, Phonology, Acoustics, Semantics, Speech Perception, Language Comprehension, and Statistical analysis. I have supervised both Masters and PhD level research.

Active research interests (list 10 key areas max):

  • Studying sound change from an articulatory perspective – finding mechanical reasons for the weakening and disappearance of speech sounds.
  • Articulatory variation in liquid consonants – variation in /r/ and /l/ production in different syllabic and prosodic environments.
  • Articulatory sociophonetics – how speakers vary their articulatory movements in the production of sounds to signal indexical information such as their social class.
  • Articulatory adaptation in speech mimicry and accommodation – how speakers adapt their articulatory movements towards those of another speaker.
  • Articulatory-acoustic (trading) relations - identifying the relationship between the movements of the speech articulators and the acoustic signal.
  • Coarticulation and its effect on phonology – how (covert) tongue posture variation in consonant production can lead to vowel mergers.
  • The impact of visual feedback on speech learning – how can viewing the hidden speech articulators improve speech production.
  • Phonetic variation in Scottish English

 

Research Methods (list 10 key areas max): 

  • Ultrasound Tongue Imaging analysis of speech
  • Acoustic analysis of speech
  • Mixed effects modelling
  • Quantitative sociolinguistic analysis
  • Real and apparent-time study of sound change
  • Quantitative survey of historical written language with multivariate statistical analysis

Research Knowledge & Exchange Memberships: Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre (CASL) - Full member

 

 

Please see my Research at: Research Publications

Principal Investigator for ESRC project “Changes in shape, space and time: the impact of position on the spatiotemporal and configurational articulatory properties of liquid consonants”. (QMU & Glasgow, ES/N008189/1). Sep 2016 – Aug 2019.

AHRC-funded ‘Dynamic Dialects: integrating articulatory video to reveal the complexity of speech.’ (fEC £230,258) January 2014 – March 2015. (principal grant writer, consultant and Research Assistant

ESRC-funded (RES 062-23-3246) (Co-I. and R.A.). ‘Seeing the Links in the Speaker-Hearer Chain: An investigation of the transmission of articulatory variation using ultrasound tongue imaging.’ (fEC £238,230) August 2011 – October 2014. (principal grant writer and Research Assistant)

AHRC-funded research network scheme ‘A multi-methodological approach to the instrumental phonetic and perceptual study of rhotic sounds in varieties of English.’ Co-ordinators Barry Heselwood (University of Leeds) and Paul Foulkes (University of York) October 2011- June 2014. (Research network member)

Carnegie Trust ‘An online Ultrasound Tongue Imaging resource for Phonetics, Linguistics, and Speech Therapy teaching at Scottish Universities.’ (£38,682 – non fEC). July 2011 – September 2013. (Principal grant writer and Research Assistant)

ESRC (RES-000-22-2032) – ‘Looking variation and change in the mouth: developing the sociolinguistic potential of Ultrasound Tongue Imaging’. Jan. 2007 - June 2008. Rated “outstanding” by the ESRC. ( Research Assistant)

I have many years’ teaching experience at different HEIs, including the University of Glasgow, Queen Margaret University and the University of Oxford, where I taught a wide variety of Linguistics-related subjects including: General Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Practical Phonetics (including clinical ext-IPA), Old and Middle English, Phonology, Acoustics, Semantics, Speech Perception, Language Comprehension, and Statistical analysis. I have supervised both Masters and PhD level research.

 

Plenaries and workshops:

Plenary ‘Seeing Speech and Dynamic dialects – building vocal tract imaging resources for use in Phonetics teaching’. At the Phonetics Teaching and Learning Conference 2015, University College London, 6/08/2015.

Plenary ‘Articulatory analysis in Sociophonetics: studying the performance of linguistic variation using ultrasound tongue imaging’ at the Sociolinguistics Summer School 6, Trinity College Dublin, 8/08/2015

Workshop ‘Using ultrasound tongue imaging in sociophonetic research: recording techniques and analysis methods’ at the Sociolinguistics Summer School 6, Trinity College Dublin, 8/08/2015

Invited talks:

‘Studying the performance of consonantal and vocalic variation using ultrasound tongue imaging and lip camera video.’ Institut für Phonetik und Sprachverarbeitung, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, 07/02/2018.

‘Dynamic Dialects - creating vocal-tract imaging resources for the study of speech.’ At the e-Research Centre, Keble College, University of Oxford, 28/11/2015