Research

Most of my published research has been in the area of phonetics and coordinated movement. My principal object of study has been speech rhythm and timing. Here are some notes on two experimental methods I have developed: Speech Cycling and Synchronous Speech.

My approach to understanding rhythm casts rhythm as an affordance that allows the entrainment of the motion of a body to a signal.  An account of this, published in Phonetica (2009), is here.

My empirical focus is the topic of joint speech. This includes all situations in which two or more people say (or sing) the same thing at the same time. Such speech is typically found in situations of great social significance, e.g. during religious rites, secular rituals, and protest demonstrations. It is also common in schools. I keep a small blog about it called Chant Matters. I see joint speech as a useful topic for exploring foundational issues in the sciences of the mind and behavior. The link between the themes of enaction and joint speech is best articulated in this 2011 paper in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Beyond empirical science, I am very interested in how science is conducted. My recent writing is concerned with the way in which we treat of the relationship between our representations (P, sentences, texts, images, theories, models) and the indubitable ground from which we speak (H, here-and-now, Brahman). I am organizing my ideas at a blog called the Gateless Gate. I do not know yet where this is going, but I am enjoying the experience of pursuing a number of parallel and interlocked themes that range from mysticism to the mundane.

I ran a funded research project in the area of speaker identification.  It is called CHAracterizing INdividual Speakers, or simply CHAINS.

My students have worked on a variety of projects including the visual perception of biological motion, the role of optimization in sequencing articulator movements, the nature of the coupling between speech and manual gesture, the synthesis of ecologically inspired sounds. Recent research projects included the phenomenology of singing, and Gaze and blinking in conversation.