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.

Undergraduate Staff

Kim Mann

Summer 2017 -

Kim is a fourth year SFU Linguistics major and Psychology minor undergraduate. She is interested in language acquisition, bilingualism, and theoretical phonology. Her goals are to pursue a career in speech-language pathology and work with children in school districts. She is also involved in the Linguistics Student Union. Outside of work and school, Kim likes reading and strategy games, and enjoys making bad linguistics puns.

Paula Correa

Summer 2018 - 

Paula Correa is a fifth year undergraduate student at SFU completing her Major in Linguistics, 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 (SLPA) 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.

Clarissa Montgomery 

Summer 2018 - 

Clarissa is a third-year undergraduate student at SFU working towards a Major in Health Science, an Extended Minor in Linguistics, and a Certificate in Speech Science. Her interests include first language acquisition in infants & children, phonetics, and phonology. Outside of school Clarissa teaches piano, and loves to bake cookies and cakes (and eat them too!). In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in Speech Pathology, helping to develop communication skills in children with special needs and developmental language disorders.