Donald Derrick's Home Page

Articulatory phonetics:

- Wiley-Blackwell
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Online Materials





MARCS Institute
University of Western Sydney
Sydney, Australia
New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour
University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand
Personal email: donald.derrick (

Academic and Professonal CV

Related Sites:
Vocal Process Training - UK

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I study how subtle things like gravity, muscle elasticity, speech rate and tactile stimuli influence speech production and perception in order to understand how we interact with reality. So far, my research has had implications for speech planning, constraints on speech production, multi-modal speech perception, and enhancing speech perception.

Bryan Gick, Ian Wilson and I have recently published a textbook entitled Articulatory Phonetics. This book introduces speech science and articulatory phonetics to upper-level undergraduates and new graduate students in Linguistics and Speech Science. By presenting a unified path through these topics, Articulatory Phonetics promises to make the task of teaching these classes much easier and more effective than it used to be.

In 2011, I finished my PhD in Linguistics at the University of British Columbia. One branch of my research has attempted to explain subphonemic speech variability by taking into account a wide range of factors including potential upcoming articulatory conflicts, a person's motor skills, and constant effects such as gravity and elasticity.

I currently hold a Marsden Royal Society of New Zealand Grant entitled Saving energy vs making yourself understood during speech production to conduct joint ultrasound and articulometry research on the influence of speech rate on this categorical variation in speech. Part of this research also includes computational modeling of the human vocal tract with UBC's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as a member of the ArtiSynth 3D Computer Simulation of the Human Vocal Tract project.

I have also worked extensively on simulation and experimental validation of models of airflow during aspiration, and on the study of aero-tactile integration in speech production, which Bryan Gick and I published in Nature. This last study demonstrates that participants are more likely to perceive stop consonants presented in noise as aspirated when simultaneously presented with air puffs to the neck or hands. I have since been part of follow-up research demonstrating similar results with air puffs to the ankle, the effects of asymmetrical presentation of audio and air-puff information, and visual-tactile enhancement to speech perception.

I currently hold a Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment - Science and Innovation Group grant entitled Aero-tactile enhancement of speech perception, jointly with Jen Hay, Scott Lloyd and Greg O'Beirne. This commercial grant focuses on foundation research leading to improved audio devices.

My research also includes computational modeling and editing of linguistic theory as the designer and architect of TreeForm, a syntax tree drawing software package. TreeForm support, information, and publications are found on my Treeform page.

I have also studied Blackfoot phonetics and phonology, focusing on the nature of Blackfoot /s/. Current projects also include a general phonetic description of Blackfoot.

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