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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Areas of Interest: 
The acoustics and perception of speech
Interactive aspects of speech and music


Research interests are in how humans communicate using sound-based systems. Early research studied timing and rhythm in children’s speech, subsequently turning to exploration of subtle differences in acoustic-phonetic patterns that systematically reflect distinctions in linguistic structure, and how listeners use these subtle cues to understand natural and synthetic speech (‘Roles and representations of systematic fine phonetic detail in speech understanding’, Journal of Phonetics, 31, (2003) 373-405, and 32 (2004) 141). These interests have been extended to the study of musical interaction and performance, as well as speech.


Key publications: 

Hawkins, S. (submitted) Lexical representations, In A. Cohn, C. Fougeron, and M. Huffman (eds.) Handbook of Laboratory Phonology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Hawkins, S. (in press) Phonetic variation as communicative system: Perception of the particular and the abstract, In C. Fougeron, M. d’Imperio and B. Kühnert (eds.) Laboratory Phonology X: Variation. Mouton de Gruyter

Hawkins, S. (2009) Phonological features, auditory objects, and illusions, Journal of Phonetics

Hawkins, S. and Midgley, J. (2005) Formant frequencies of RP monophthongs in four age groups of speakers, Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35(2), 183-199.

Emeritus Professor in Speech and Music Science
Departments and institutes: 
Professor Sarah  Hawkins

Contact Details

Email address: 
(+44) (0)1223 761060