Dr Rachel Smith
- Senior Lecturer (English Language and Linguistics)
- Experimental phonetics and phonology
- Speech perception
Dr Rachel Smith is a Lecturer and Research Councils UK (RCUK) Academic Fellow. She previously held a temporary Lectureship in Phonetics at the University of Cambridge (2003-6).
Dr Smith’s research interests are in speech perception, phonetics (acoustic, linguistic and social), and psycholinguistics. Her approach to speech perception emphasises how the phonetic details of speech inform listeners simultaneously about the linguistic message, the speaker’s personal and social attributes, and the interpersonal interaction that is unfolding. Her doctoral dissertation was on the role of phonetic detail in word segmentation, with special reference to perceptual learning of speaker-specific phonetic detail. Current work explores timing and rhythm variation across accents of English and its implications for perception and interaction (ESRC First Grant award on Timing in Accents of English , 2009-2011). She also researches how people learn to understand speech in new voices and accents (with R.-A. Knight, City University) and how such learning is affected by whether speech is experienced in live interaction, or recorded (with J. Stuart-Smith, Glasgow). Other projects concern the perception of phonetic cues to morphological structure (with S. Hawkins, Cambridge, and R. Baker, UCL); the phonetics of reduced discourse markers in Dutch (with M. Ernestus, Nijmegen); and phonetic aspects of the neurological condition synaesthesia, in which speech sounds can trigger unusual percepts of colours and textures (with D. Simmons and A. Moos, Glasgow).
Dr Smith’s teaching interests are in phonetics, speech perception, psycholinguistics, research methods and statistics.
2011-12: Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Workshop Award: Rhythms in Scotland (£9000) (with Dr T. Rathcke, University of Glasgow)
2008: Nuffield Foundation Small Grant (SGS/35300), Perceptual learning about word boundaries in unfamiliar voices and accents (£7,491) (with Dr R.A. Knight, City University)
Dr Smith supervises at masters and doctoral level. She is available to supervise postgraduates in a range of areas within phonetics, especially experimental phonetics and speech perception. She also welcomes contact from prospective students interested in undertaking interdisciplinary work with a psycholinguistic element.
Sound files for Smith, R., Baker, R., and Hawkins, S. (to appear). Phonetic detail that distinguishes prefixed from pseudo-prefixed words. Journal of Phonetics.
The materials for this experiment are available below as .zip archives of soundfiles in .wav or .mp3 format. There are ten directories, two for each of the five speakers, with dis- and mis- words separately. Each directory contains 100 utterances containing the critical words in each dialogue. The ten directories are available below as ten individual .zip archives of .wav files, or as a single .zip of .mp3 files.
An example of a file name is APmistakesaN1.d.mp3. The coding of each file name is as follows. The first two letters (upper case) identify the speaker; the following lower case letters identify the critical word, followed in some cases (including this one) by another letter, a, b, or c identifying the particular dialogue with that word in it; the next upper case letters are either N or PN, for Nuclear and PostNuclear prosodic position respectively; the final digit is the repetition number; (.d indicates the file was first recorded in xwaves.)
Appendix 2 of the published paper lists these file names with the dialogue to which each applies, though without the speaker identifications and the repetition number.
Thus file APmistakesaN1.d.mp3 is Speaker AP saying the first repetition of No, Tess mistakes them, with nuclear stress on mistakes. This is from the second (pseudo-prefix) dialogue in Nmis2, as shown in Appendix 2 of the paper.
- AP dis wav
- AP mis wav
- AT dis wav
- AT mis wav
- KH dis wav
- KH mis wav
- RB dis wav
- RB mis wav
- VH dis wav
- VH mis wav