UK Phonetics needs your help!

The University of Kentucky Phonetics Lab is devoted to understanding how language and the minds of language users work. To do this we run a variety of experiments both in the lab and around the Commonwealth and the world. We are always looking for people who are interested in participating in one of these experiments and learning more about what we do.

I would like to participate.

Selected Research Projects

Wildcat Voices the University of Kentucky speech archive project

The goal of the Wildcat Voices project is nothing less than 100% coverage of the entire UK student population. We want every student, from every language background, to make their voice a part of our speech corpus. Please participate today and share the link with your friends. tweet. tumbl. snapchat. We can do this with your help.


Voice discrimination in the housing market

Kelly Wright & McGowan are collaborating on a replication and extension of Purnell, Idsardi and Baugh (1999); a matched-guise study on voice-based discrimination in leasing. The replication addresses possible methodological concerns while expanding the cities, regions, and speakers studied. Crucially, this replication includes a detailed survey of rental professionals themselves – in the hope of better understanding who is answering the phone and how that matters. This work combines Wright’s previous experience with lexically reified bias with McGowan’s previous research on expectation mismatches in matched guise studies.

Native Language and Trumpet Performance

Marisa Youngs, a doctoral of musical arts student in the College of Fine Arts, is working with our lab to investige the physical process of teaching vowel formation and consonant articulation in trumpet pedagogy. She is interested in the effect that native language and dialect have on trumpet technique and how this affects the learning process.

Speech perception is social and distracting

Jamison Nielsen, a high school student from Lexington’s STEAM academy and our intern lab manager, is working on a project with real safety implications for teens and adults everywhere. What role does the social aspect of speech perception play in distracted driving? Using a series of psychological tasks and a driving simulator, Jamison is working on ways to make talking to a friend on your phone as safe as listening to a podcast.

Visit the lab!