Congratulations to Cindy Blanco for receiving the prestigious Dissertation Fellowship for 2015-2016 from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Her dissertation project explores acoustic detail in monolingual and bilingual listsners’ representations of English and Spanish.

I am very proud of our undergraduate research assistants and their newest accomplishments!! Lauren Franklin is starting the Linguistics program at Brown, Maddie Oakley is going to Linguistics at Georgetown, Emily Tagtow is joining the masters program for language technologies at Carnegie Melon, and Gaby Cook is joining the Communication Disorders graduate program at Texas State University! Well done and well deserved!

I am in awe of these women. It has been such a pleasure working with them in the lab! Hope everyone has a great summer!


Great presence of the UTSoundLab at various events during the UT Undergraduate Research Week!  Karen Johnson, Michelle Dubois and Andrea Manrique did a fantastic job talking about our projects! Thanks to Elisa Ferracane and Cindy Blanco for their contributions and help!

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Two successful sounds dissertation defenses: Niamh’s “An Experimental Approach to the Production and
Perception of Norwegian Tonal Accent” and Lauren’s “An Investigation of Asymmetries of Rhythm in Speech
Production.” Congratulations both!!!

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Brunch with my awesome students to celebrate the end of the year/semester. Thank you for your great contributions to the lab! Congrats to Gaby for graduating! Karen and Andrea, we missed you!


Come see Jeff Elman give a talk today!!

Fri, May 16, 2014 • 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM • CLA 1.104

 I present this talk as a story. The story begins and ends with words, and it concludes with a proposal for a new way of thinking about the meaning of words. The suggestion is that words do not have meaning. Instead, words are cues to meaning.

The story follows four decades of research that led to this proposal (not to fear—it will not take that long to tell). It begins with the development of a computational mechanism to model time sequences, initially focused on words. Prediction emerges as a valuable tool for both learning and assessing learning, and ultimately leads to an unanticipated exploration of event knowledge, causation, inferencing, and language deficits. And from here the story returns to words and the development of the “words as cues” hypothesis.


Dr. Elman received his doctorate in linguistics from UT Austin in 1977.  He is the recipient of the Graduate School’s Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2014 and will be honored at the doctoral convocation on Saturday, May 17. Currently Dr. Elman is Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California San Diego, where he serves as the Dean of Social Sciences. He is also co-director of Kavli Institute for Brain & Mind.

For the text of the Graduate School’s announcement of Dr. Elman’s awards, see: http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/awards/news/prof-winners2014.html


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