Phonetics Lab

Contact: Jason Shaw

Website: (coming soon!)

Meetings (AY 2020-2021): Contact the lab director for more information.

Description: The phonetics laboratory has equipment for high quality audio recordings, perceptual studies, and kinematic studies of speech articulation, including ultrasound and electromagnetic articulography. These sources of data are used to understand how language is produced and comprehended, including variation found within and across the languages of the world.

The lab also supports research projects by undergraduate and graduate students. Methods for acoustic and kinematic data analysis are introduced in LING 220/620; methods for data acquisition are taught in LING 236/636. Experimental methods for comprehension studies are taught in LING 200/600. Students interested in doing research in the lab are encouraged to take one of these courses or to contact the lab director about other ways to get involved with phonetics research.

Blackfoot Lab

Contact: Natalie Weber


Meetings (AY 2020-2021): Contact the lab director for more information. Most work will be done remotely over Zoom.

Description: The Blackfoot Lab began in Summer 2020, when we focused on three main projects: (1) digitizing legacy Blackfoot wordlists and grammars, (2) organizing existing fieldwork materials and beginning some basic annotations of recordings (in ELAN), and (3) creating language teaching games in conjunction with the Cuts Wood School in Browning, MT.

The lab will continue throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. Potential projects include: morphological analysis of stems within a lexical database, phonetic transcriptions of Blackfoot recordings, and glossing Blackfoot stories. The lab also supports research projects by undergraduate and graduate students, and lab members are encouraged to develop their own projects individually or as a group. No prior linguistic knowledge is necessary to join; jobs will be posted to the Student Jobs board at the beginning of the year.

Computational Linguistics at Yale (CLAY)

Contact: Bob Frank


Meetings (AY 2019-2020): Fridays at 1:30, Dow 314

Description: Research in the CLAY lab uses computational models to better understand the structure of language and the processes involved in language learning, comprehension and production. Work ranges from study of the properties of abstract computational models to practical applications of the models in language technology. The lab’s work brings together insights from linguistics, computer science, cognitive science and machine learning, and members of the lab have diverse backgrounds in all of these area. Current projects are investigating the representation of grammatical knowledge in neural networks, learning biases of different types of neural network models, and the construction of practical parsing systems that use the complex structural descriptions provided by Tree Adjoining Grammar to assign rich semantic representations.

Yale Grammatical Diversity Project (YGDP)

Contacts: Raffaella Zanuttini, Jim Wood


Meetings (AY 2019-2020): Alternating Fridays at 3:30-5:00, LingSem (DOW 201)

Description: This Project explores syntactic diversity found in varieties of English spoken in North America. By documenting the subtle, but systematic, differences in the syntax of English varieties, it provides a crucial source of data for the development of theories of human linguistic knowledge.

HistLing lab: Historical Linguistics and Australian Languages

Contact: Claire Bowern


Meetings (AY 2019-2020): 10:30-12 on Fridays, CLAY (DOW 314)

Description: In this lab, we research language documentation and change, with a particular (but not exclusive) focus on Australian languages. Our methods integrate archival materials with original fieldwork, andmuch of the work of the lab makes use of the Chirila database of Australian languages. We also have a strong commitment to builds bridges between academia and indigenous communities, through training and outreach.

Examples of our current interests include: computational phylogenetics, the comparative method, using Twitter to map social networks and change, asking how linguistic systems change, and discussing technology and practices in language documentation. 

Language & Brain Lab

Contact: Maria Piñango


Meetings (AY 2019-2020): Contact the lab director for more information.

Description: Our lab’s long-term research objective is to understand the structure of meaning, and how it is “packaged” or made visible through language within the constraints of mind/brain functioning. This objective brings together a set of domains that includes linguistics, psychology, and cognitive neurology. In particular, on the linguistic side, our research focuses on understanding the structure of the mental lexicon, from the perspective of the interface between morphological, syntactic, and meaning structures. On the cognitive science/cognitive neurology side, the lab’s research seeks to understand the interface between real-time sentence processing (comprehension), memory systems, and structural and functional connectivity (the latter through collaboration with Todd Constable and Cheryl Lacadie, Yale MRRC).