Thomas C. Veatch, Ph.D.
An academically-oriented, May, 1993, document
- University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in Linguistics. 1984--1991.
``English Vowels: Their Surface Phonology and Phonetic Implementation
in Vernacular Dialects.'' Thesis committee: Mark Liberman
(superviser), William Labov, and Richard Janda. Contains a novel theory of
vowel acoustics, a generative analysis of the English vowel system, a
number of innovations in computational analysis methods, and both
phonetic and phonological analyses of the pronunciation of vowels in
conversational speech in four vernacular dialects (Jamaican English
Creole, Chicago White English, Los Angeles Chicano English, and
Alabama White English), with special attention to acoustical vowel
targets, vowel reduction, and coarticulatory/allophonic effects.
- Stanford University, B.A. in Linguistics and Cognitive
Science, with Distinction. 1979--1984.
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Stanford University
1st Mellon Fellowship awarded in Linguistics in 13 years.
Official duties are to teach two classes per year. These include
Sociophonetics, an introduction to research methods, results, and
theoretical issues in socio-linguistic work on phonetic and
phonological variation; Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, an
undergraduate class covering general linguistic phonetics,
articulatory and acoustic description of speech sounds, phonetic
transcription, phonological theory, phonological problem-solving; The
Study of Language Variation, an introduction to variation theory and
to quantitative and experimental methods in linguistics, statistical
methods; Laboratory and Acoustic Phonetics, on acoustic phonetics and
on technical skills necessary for computer-based acoustic phonetic
- Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Phonetics.
class, Linguistics 520, 521, under Mark Liberman. Taught
classes on computer use, impressionistic transcription, mathematics
related to signal processing, vowel acoustics.
Research Assistant. Set up the new Phonetics Lab at Penn,
developed software for teaching and research.
- Spring 1990
- Linguistics Department Fellowship. Support for
- Fall 1989
- Instructor, Introduction to Sociolinguistics.
Undergraduate level class, CGS Linguistics 160, in dialectology,
Labovian socio- linguistics, languages-in-contact (bilingualism,
code-switching, pidgins and creoles), cross-cultural
(mis-)communication, discourse analysis.
- National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. 3
years of tuition and stipend, used over a period of 5 years.
- Research Assistant. NSF-sponsored project on
Comprehension, directed by William Labov. Investigated the perceptual
consequences of sound change by designing, producing, conducting,
and analysing results of experiments on phonetic perception using
resynthesized (formant-modified) and gated vernacular speech.
- Summer 1986
- ``Language in the U.S.A.'' Fellow. Tuition
Fellowship at the LSA Summer Institute, Stanford University.
- Fellowship, Advanced Hindi Language Training
Program, American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi.
- Fall, 1983
- Teaching Assistant for a graduate course in set
predicate calculus, and mathematical models relevant to the study
of syntax and semantics, under Stanley Peters. Stanford University.
- National Merit Scholar.
English Vowels: Their Surface Phonology and Phonetic Implementation
in Vernacular Dialects.
- Original version was my University of Pennsylvania doctoral
dissertation, August 1991.
- Modified and expanded version was
under revision for publication by
Cambridge University Press, in the series, Studies in Linguistics, as
of March 1993, but this project was abandoned when I left academics.
- A theory of humor.
- Paper presented at the Speech Communication
Association Seminar on Humor and Communication, Chicago, October 28,
1992. An expanded version is in preparation for submission to
- Racial barriers and phonological merger.
- Paper presented at the
conference on New Ways of Analysing Variation in English (NWAVE-XXI),
at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 16, 1992. Revised
version has been submitted to Language Variation and Change, 11/92.
- /l/ and /ng/ effects on vowel nuclei in four dialects.
- Paper presented
at the spring meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Salt Lake
City, May 1992.
- The English Glide Slot.
- Paper presented at the winter meeting of the
Linguistic Society of America in Philadelphia. January 1992.
- The Segmental Conditioning of Sound Change.
- Paper presented at the
conference on New Ways of Analysing Variation in English (NWAVE-XX),
at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. October 1991.
- An Acoustical Study of Jamaican Creole Vowels.
- Paper presented at the
1990 conference on New Ways of Analysing Variation in English
(NWAVE-XIX), Philadelphia. October 1990.
- Low Vowels and Velar Stops in Jamaican Creole.
- (with Peter Patrick).
Paper presented at the 1990 conference on New Ways of Analysing
Variation (NWAV-XIX), Philadelphia. October 1990.
- Word-Final Devoicing of Fricatives in English.
- Paper presented at the
winter meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Washington, D.C.
December 1989. An expanded version will be submitted to the Journal
- Pidgin/Creole Phonology: Tok Pisin Consonants in Speech.
- Paper given
at the 18th Penn Linguistics Colloquium. February 1988. Published in
the Proceedings of 18th Penn Linguistics Colloquium, 1988.
- On the Discontinuous Constituency of Parenthetical Clauses.
presented at the 15th Penn Linguistics Colloquium. March 1985.
- Phonetics and phonology in two related sound changes.
presentation at the workshop on Phonetic Implementation-the C/D
model, at the LSA Linguistic Institute, Ohio State University, July
- On variable rules and phonetic rules.
- Invited paper presented at the
Workshop on Sound Change, February 15, 1993, at Stanford University,
organized by Paul Kiparsky.
- Hidden Markov Models and Stochastic Context-Free Grammars:
Theory and model-fitting methods.
Two invited seminars at the Center for the Study of Language and
Information, Stanford University, February 4, 11, 1993.
- The Phonology and Phonetics of Vowels in Jamaican Creole.
talk given at the Phonology Lab Colloquium at the University of
California at Berkeley, October 1991. Also given at the Linguistics
Department Colloquium at CSLI, Stanford University, October 1991.
- The Surface Phonology of the English Vowel System.
- Invited talk given
at the Berkeley/Stanford Phonology Workshop, held at Stanford
University, September 1991.
- Vowel Formant Modification Experiments
- Report of the Project on Cross-Dialectal
Comprehension. Invited Paper presented at NWAV-XVII, Montreal.
- Contextual Gating Experiments:
- Report of the Project on
Cross-Dialectal Comprehension. (with William Labov). Invited Paper
presented at NWAV-XVII, Montreal. October 1988.
- A Phonetic Grammar of Closure, Aspiration, and Vowel Duration,
- Vowel Reduction and Coarticulation in Vernacular Speech. Dissertation
proposal. January 1989.
- Experimental Counterevidence to the Hypothesis of Perceptual
Compensation for Vowel Formant Undershoot. May 1988.
- Survey of Hindi/English Code-switching. December 1987.
- Stress and Vowel Quality in Southampton Vernacular English (with C.
Mazzie). December 1986.
- A Partial Listing of Acoustical Cues to Segments in English. July
1986; updated October 1986 and May, 1992.
General Unix programming: C, csh, awk, sed, egrep, perl, X11,
Xview, postscript, LaTeX.
Unix system administration: hard disk installation, computer
memory expansion, DSP accelerator installation, general account
creation and maintenance, filesystem maintenance, installation of new
software packages and updates, some minor kernel modification, etc.,
mostly on Sun 4 workstations.
Macintosh platform experience: Hypercard-based teaching
programs, Excel, Word, Systat.
IBM-PC platform experience: Windows, Turbo C, BASIC.
Speech and audio software: ESPS/waves+, HTK Hidden Markov Model
Toolkit, Sun audio i/o programming, some use of some Macintosh audio
Programming languages: C, FORTRAN, BASIC, Pascal, Hypertalk, S,
MINITAB, perl, awk.
Years of experience: C, Unix, and Sun workstation experience
since 1983 (10 yrs), IBM PC experience since 1984 (9 yrs), Apple
Macintosh experience since 1986 (7 yrs), computational phonetics since
1984 (9 yrs).
- Bit-reversal using
table-lookup followed by decimation-in-time FFT (after Oppenheim &
Schafer, 1975, Chapter 6.) 1989.
- HMM training and decoding programs, implementing
the fundamental algorithms of current automatic speech recognition
- Programs which manipulate
and rearrange lists of cognate forms, establish the phoneme
correspondence sets, and display their distributions, thereby easing
the reconstruction of proto-phonemes and proto-forms. 1989.
- Teaches identification of Daniel Jones' cardinal
vowels. This solves one of the fundamental problems of phonetics, the
impossibility of learning what the standard vowel symbols refer to
phonetically, without a Jones-trained phonetician at hand. Written
for the Macintosh in HyperTalk. 1988.
- Numerous (approx. 180) programs for instrumental
analysis, modification and re-synthesis of speech, for interactive
display of vowel tokens in formant-space, for semi-automatic
phonological transcription of orthographic text, automatic extraction
of vowel phonemes and contextual features from phonological
transcripts, for sentence-based pattern-matching and string extraction
(``sgrep''), etc. 1987-present.
- Mark Liberman(215) 898-0141;firstname.lastname@example.org
619 Williams Hall, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Phila., PA 19104-6305
- William Labov (215) 898-4912; email@example.com
619 Williams Hall, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Phila., PA
Richard Janda (312) 702-8957/8522; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dept of Linguistics, Univ. of Chicago, 1050 E 59th St, Chicago IL
Bill Poser (604) 996-7963; email@example.com
Bldg 100, Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA 94305-2150 (will forward to B.C.)
John Rickford (415) 725-1565; firstname.lastname@example.org
Bldg 100, Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA 94305-2150
- Linguistic Society of America
- Acoustical Society of America
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- American Dialect Society
Speech Science Research Overview
Veatch's research has
investigated the physical, mental, and social aspects of the sound
system of human language. His dissertation, directed by Mark Liberman
and William Labov, explores aspects of the phonetic implementation
system, including a theory of the acoustic phonetics of vowels, a
treatment of the post-lexical phonological structure of a reference
American dialect of English, and a number of phonological and
acoustic-phonetic investigations of the mapping from sound structure
to measurable acoustic form in language production. His large-scale
acoustical studies are innovative in a number of ways. Rather than
studying elicited reading passages or other relatively artificial
forms of speech, the data is natural conversation. Several dialects
are studied: Jamaica, Los Angeles Chicano, Chicago, and Alabama. The
vowel systems in natural speech are characterized acoustically and
compared across dialects. Exhaustive analysis of a conversation,
measuring thousands of vowels per speaker, enables the effects of
stress and of consonant context on vowel pronunciation to be
quantitatively characterized. Differences in phonetic processes are
used to establish the existence of a phonetic component of linguistic
structure; a number of processes or patterns characteristic of this
level of grammar are explored.
Veatch's pre-dissertation research investigated perception of speech
across dialects using both natural (gated) and
modified-and-resynthesized speech forms in perception experiments. He
also explored the patterns of a very common yet largely unknown
phonetic process of English, word-final fricative devoicing. He
studied the differences in speech production between native and
non-native speakers in a newly-creolizing pidgin in New Guinea, and he
carried out experiments on the perception of rapid speech sounds. He
has also worked on applying the techniques of automatic speech
recognition to problems in speech research.
Veatch's post-thesis research has followed up on his thesis work on
the structure of the English vowel system, and on the theory of vowel
acoustics. He has added evidence supporting the hypothesis of
on-going historical linguistic divergence between African-American and
white dialects in the U.S. through a study of the low-back vowel
merger in California. He has done preliminary work on the development
of a grammar or model of acoustic-phonetic durational patterning, and
on applying these modelling techniques to questions of dialectal and
stylistic variation. He has studied the phonetics, phonology, and
sociolinguistics of the on-going historical change of a consonant,
/l/, to a vowel sound, in various dialects including that of the
African-American English Vernacular and that of Utah.
In an unrelated line of research, Veatch developed a theory of the
psychological phenomenon of humor, which was well-recieved at a recent
conference on humor and the write-up for which has been accepted for
publication by Humor, the Journal of the International Society of
Humor Research, from Mouton.