Elise K. McClay

Lab Manager

Email: langdev@sfu.ca

Elise got her BA in Linguistics from McGill in 2012, her MA from UBC in 2017, and is happy to join the LangDev team as a full-time Lab Manager. Her interests include all aspects of First Nations languages (having worked with speakers of Mi'gmaq from Listuguj, and with speakers of Ktunaxa from Aq'am), the prosodic/semantic interface, and both L1 and L2 acquisition of minority and under-resourced languages. When not doing linguistics, Elise can be found baking, singing in a choir, watching TV, or wandering around in the woods.

Luca Cavasso

MA Student

Luca Cavasso has been a MA candidate in the Department of Linguistics at SFU since Fall 2016. They hold a BA in Spanish, in French, and in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin, and are a research assistant in the lab primarily working on their own thesis project, which explores the utility of speech production in second language phonetic acquisition. Luca is also involved in other lab projects that explore speech perception in adult learners, which reflects their interest in the sounds and sound systems of different languages, how adults perceive sounds in unfamiliar languages, as well as how adults can learn to distinguish sounds in such languages.

Xizi Deng

MA Student

Xizi (Danielle) Deng joined the Department of Linguistics at SFU as a graduate student in 2017 and completed a taught program at Chinese University of Hong Kong before that. Her research interests lie in speech perception, especially the perception of tone and tone sandhi, and also in Theoretical Phonology. Xizi is also working on projects that explore how humans' language ability is correlated with their musical ability. Besides Linguistics, Xizi is also a fan of science fictions and sci-fi movies.

Lydia Castro

MA Student

Lydia Castro is a current MA candidate in the Department of Linguistics at SFU. She got her BA in Linguistics with Honors from the University of Washington in 2017, and her interests include phonetics, phonology, and signed languages. Lydia is also a member of the Language and Brain Lab here at SFU. When she’s not doing linguistics, Lydia enjoys cooking, playing music, gaming with friends, or snuggling her two cats at home.

Ankit Dassor


Ankit is a fourth-year Computational Linguistics undergraduate student at SFU. His interests include web and mobile apps, artificial intelligence, and machine translation. Ankit is currently working with the LangDev team to translate lab projects to web apps to reach more participants. When he's not coding away, Ankit can probably be found listening to a podcast, cooking, or spotting dogs at the park.


Paula Correa

Summer 2018 - 

Paula Correa is completed her BA in Linguistics at SFU in May 2019, with an Extended Minor in Psychology, Minors in Learning and Developmental Disabilities and Early Learning, and a Certificate in Speech Sciences. Outside of the lab, she currently works as a SLP Assistant (SLP-A) working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology. She is particularly interested in the factors affecting speech and language in bilingual infants and children with developmental disorders. Apart from working with children, Paula enjoys being a foodie and (loudly) singing show tunes from musicals.

Emma Hutchinson

SUMMER 2018 - 

Emma Hutchinson is a fourth-year undergraduate student at SFU completing a Major in Psychology, Extended Minor in Linguistics, and a Certificate in Speech Sciences. Her main research interests revolve around phonetics, first language acquisition, and developmental psychology. After completion of her degree, Emma plans to continue with her education and pursue a career in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Outside of school, Emma enjoys cooking and is passionate about health and wellness.

Undergraduate Staff

Faith Yuen

FALL 2018 - 

Faith is a fourth-year undergraduate student at SFU completing a Major in Linguistics, Extended Minor in Psychology, Minor in Learning and Developmental Disabilities and a Certificate in Speech Sciences.  After graduation, she hopes to complete a Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She is interested in factors that affect language acquisition in normal developing children and children with developmental language disorders. Outside of school, Faith loves being on the ice/outdoors and is a skating instructor!