Division: Speech & Hearing Sciences

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Sonja Schaeffler (M.A., PhD) is a Lecturer in the Speech & Hearing Sciences Division. She is also a full member of the Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Centre CASL.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning

I joined QMU in 2006 – first as post-doctoral researcher, than as a lecturer. With a background in Phonetics (M.A.) as well as Psychology (PhD), much of my research and teaching takes place in the borderland between these two disciplines.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • BAAP

Professional Social Media

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

In my research I utilise instrumentation and methodology from the Speech Sciences (most notably Ultrasound Tongue Imaging) to enhance and challenge psycholinguistic experimentation. My projects include work on articulatory settings in bilingual speakers, speech preparation, verbal reaction time protocols and most recently, dialect variation.

Active Research Interests:

  • Articulatory methodology
  • Speech preparation and planning
  • Fine-phonetic detail and variation
  • Dialect variation, acquisition and attrition

Research Methods:

  • Ultrasound Tongue Imaging
  • Acoustic analysis
  • Psycholinguistic experimentation


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

2008 - 2010: PI on the ESRC-funded project "Open-Mouthed or Stiff Upper Lip? Exploring Language-Specific Articulatory Settings in English-German Bilinguals" (RES-000-22-3032, co-investigators: Prof Jim Scobbie and Prof Ineke Mennen).

2009 - 2010: Research Fellow on the EPSRC-funded project "An Edinburgh Speech Production Facility" (EP/E01609X/1 and EP/E016359/1, PI: Prof Alice Turk and Prof Jim Scobbie, Co-Investigators: Dr Simon King, Prof Steve Renals, Dr Robin Lickley, Dr Sonja Schaeffler).

2008: Named researcher on a British Academy small grant: "Exploring Differences in Articulatory Settings Across Languages" (SG-48460, PI: Prof Jim Scobbie, Queen Margaret University).

2008: Named researcher on a British Academy small grant: "Refining the analysis of acoustic indicators for the vocal expression of positive emotion" (SG-49512, PI: Dr Vera Kempe, Abertay University).

2007 - 2008: Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the ESRC: "The Phonetic Details of Speech Variation and Their Impact on Listener Comprehension and Attention" (PTA-026-27-1465).

Other Funding:

2010 (Jan-Mar): Named researcher on a grant funded under QMU's Project Investment Bid scheme: "Cognitive Correlates of Articulatory Settings" (in collaboration with Dr Martin Corley, Department of Psychology, Edinburgh University).

I teach on all aspects of typical lifespan anatomy, physiology and psychology that are relevant to Speech and Hearing Sciences. My seminars and lectures focus on foundations of linguistics, psychological perspectives, specific anatomy and physiology for speech & hearing and dentition, amongst other topics.