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Alexander Francis

Associate Professor // Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Associate Professor // Linguistics // SIS

Associate Professor // SIS

Research focus:
Speech Perception, Cognitive Effort

Office and Contact

Room: Lyles-Porter


Phone: (765) 494-3815


SLHS 30200
SLHS 50200
SLHS 51900

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1999


Speech perception and acoustic phonetics

My academic training is in linguistics and cognitive psychology, and my primary research interests are in the areas of speech perception and acoustic phonetics. My research focuses on investigations of phonetic learning, studying how perceptual and linguistic experience affect the way listeners attend to speech and speech-like sounds. I am interested in relating behavioral research on phonetic learning to research in psychoacoustics and the cognitive neuropsychology of selective attention, audition and perceptual learning. My research is relevant to understanding how listeners can (or can't) develop native-like perception and production of foreign languages; how listeners with hearing impairment adapt to using hearing aids and/or cochlear implants; and how children develop native fluency in their first language(s). A large part of my recent research focuses on the perception, production, and acquisition of lexical tone contrasts by speakers of tone languages (especially Cantonese Chinese) and non-tone languages (especially American English). I am also interested in the interaction between speech perception and speech production skills, and in the development and evaluation of speech technology (especially speech synthesis).

You can read more about my work on my personal home page or my Community of Science page.  Or at the lab page: Auditory Perceptual Learning Laboratory