Congratulations Lydia!

May 24, 2023

Congratulations to Lydia Castro for successfully defending their thesis “Handshape markedness in American Sign Language” in August 2022! Their research project focused on markedness in sign languages, particularly handshape markedness, a relatively new area of study. Previous research has found that markedness and visual saliency interact and influence word learning, influencing Lydia’s study. Lydia’s study investigated the interaction of markedness and location contrasts, having participants learn pseudo-signed words that varied by marked and unmarked handshapes and locations. While their results did not show a significant effect of handshape markedness on participant response accuracy, they found that accuracy was significantly affected by whether target and competitor words were articulated in the same location.      

After being unable to celebrate Lydia’s successful defence in the Fall due to the snow at SFU, the Phono Lab finally congratulated Lydia in person this Spring semester! We are so proud of Lydia and their accomplishments and wish them the best in their future pursuits.

Transitions in the Phonological Processing Lab

November 01, 2022

We have fully returned to the lab this semester, and our team has been spending time together in person. This Fall, we are excited to welcome a few new faces: undergraduate research assistants Gillian Eggeling and Sadiya Liya and Lab Manager Janitta Wong. They have been getting oriented and involved in our current research studies, such as our in-person eye-tracking project, Categorical Perception of Marginal Phonemes (c-PoMP), and our online projects, Learning Complex Phonology (Alienology), and Phonology of Real and Fictional Names (FaNG).  

We are also proud to announce that our research assistant, Chelsea Riebesehl McGarvie, has been awarded an Undergraduate Student Research Award from the office of the Vice-President Research. She will continue working on FaNG analysis, c-PoMP testing, and ramping up on a learning opacity/eye-tracking study.  

Last but certainly not least, we would like to congratulate our longtime Phono lab member, Danica Reid, who started her PhD program in Linguistics at SFU this past summer. Danica has been an integral part of the Phono Lab for the last 9+ years, and we are so appreciative of her hard work and efforts and thrilled that she’s sticking around for a bit longer.  

New Faces!

March 31, 2022

We are excited to welcome two new undergraduate linguistics students: Kylie Brajcich and Chelsea Riebesehl McGarvie, as well as a new MA student from the department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's studies: Hannah Ghaderi to the Phonological Processing Lab as research assistants! They have been getting involved in our ongoing projects such as Alienology: Learning Complex Phonology, FaNG: Phonology of Real and Fictional Names, and helping us kickstart new, upcoming projects.

Although things have continued to be mainly online, we are happy to see new faces in our virtual meetings. Check out our people page to learn more about our new RAs!

Big Changes in the Phono Lab

October 15, 2021

A lot has happened this year in the Phonological Processing Lab. Not only did the way we conduct research change, but our team of reearch assistants did as well. It's been hard not spending time together in person, but we're excited to welcome several new students and to congratulate one of our longstanding rsearch assistants.

Since the Spring 2021 semester, we have welcomed five new undergraduate research assistants to the team. Sydney Walton, Nicole Wang, and Ali Wilson joined us online in the Spring 2021 semester. In the Summer 2021 semester, we welcomed Statistics Major Surbhi Negi to the team. Most recently, we welcomed undergraduate research assistant Sahibnoor Dhami in the Fall 2021 semester. These research assistants have been working on projects such as Alienology: Learning Complex Phonology and FaNG: Phonology of Real and Fictional Names. We're very excited to have all of these talented students in the lab.

We would also like to congratulate Larissa Melville on her graduation from SFU in Summer 2021. Larissa graduated First Class with Distinction with a BA in Cognitive Science and Linguistics. She has since started a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of British Columbia. Larissa was instrumental in our shift from in-person to online research and was a lab member since Fall 2018.

Writing (or is it Riding) an Honours Thesis

October 01, 2021

This semester, one of our continuing research assistants, Kira Bondi, has started the path to completing an honours thesis in the lab. Kira has been a part of the Alienology: Learning Complex Phonology team since she started working in the lab in Summer 2020. Her honours project continues her work on this project and is looking at the ability of children to hear and produce subtle differences in vowels that are specirfic to Canadian English. For example, think of the words "writing and "riding." Speakers of Canadian English will say the first vowel in those words differently, but speakers of American English typically do not produce or perceive the difference. The Alienology project itself is specifically looking at how children use these vowel differences to break down compelx word forms in a made-up language.

Kira's goal after graduating is to pursue a Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology. Her work in the lab allows her to learn more about the current practices in the field of child language acquisition. Kira will be presenting her research at the end of the term in the department's poster session.

Summer Research Award Recipient

May 11, 2021

We at the Phono Lab are excited to announce that Sydney Walton has been awarded the Vice-President Research Undergraduate Student Research Award. He will be working on a host of projects, including Child Learning Opacity design, PhoN analysis, Handshark, and will be designing a new learning opacity/eye tracking study for the lab.

Sydney is pursuing a BA in Cognitive Science with a minor in learning and developmental disabilities, in the hopes of becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist. Ideally, he wants to work with AAC tech (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) to help people who struggle with or who don't prefer verbal speech. In all, he's looking forward to learning how linguistic research works and putting experimental design into practice. He likes researching child language, and so is especially excited about joining in on the Child Learning Opacity study.

Onto the CULC15!

May 01, 2021

After presenting at the Linguistics Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference earlier in the year, Larissa Melville, Kira Bondi, and Ally Ugalde went on to show their research at the Cornell Undergraduate Linguistics Conference 15 (CULC15)! The project they presented is titled Reading between the rules: The acquisition of opaque phonological interactions and looks at how different kinds of phonological rule interactions are learned.

This is the 15th annual research colloquium at an undergraduate level that Cornell University's undergraduate linguistics association—The UnderLings—has presented. This year the colloquium was virtual over Zoom; the Phono Lab's poster is available on their website. The goal of this conference was to encourage growth and dissemination of research among all the linguistics fields in the community.

Reading Between the Rules at LSURC UBC

March 08, 2021

Congratulations to Kira Bondi, Larissa Melville, and Allyson Ugalde on their recent presentation Reading between the rules: The acquisition of opaque phonological interactions at the virtual 5th Annual Language Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference! This conference, organized by UBC’s Speech and Linguistics Student Association and the UBC Language Sciences Initiative, provides opportunities for undergraduate and early graduate students to share their research with peers and faculty members from various Linguistics related disciplines.

In their presentation, Kira, Larissa, and Allyson outlined the early stages of a new online research study that will be running participants in Spring of 2021.


Congratulations Marissa!

October 19, 2020

As a Phonological Processing Lab Alumni and recent graduate from University of Alberta with a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology, Marissa has recently begun a job as a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist at the Chilliwack General Hospital. There she assesses and supports adults' quality of life and independence by helping them maintain or regain swallowing, speech and/or language function and finding creative ways to support them in their communication environments. This includes working with adults who have had their communication impacted by a stroke or are struggling with a degenerative disease (e.g., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). An area of interest she hopes to explore further in her career is supporting the communication of individuals with dementia.

Marissa is very grateful for her time in the Phonological Processing lab. Beyond the fond memories, she is grateful that she learned about the research process and how to collaborate creatively with others. She relies on these skills daily to ensure she is using evidence-based therapy in her practice, and to facilitate interprofessional collaboration (i.e., with occupational therapists, physiotherapists, rehabilitation assistants etc.).

The Phonological Processing Lab has moved online!

September 18, 2020

Although COVID-19 restrictions may have suspended in-person research, that does not mean all research must end. We are excited to share that we are still conducting research and collecting data online. Current Linguistics students can find out more information about online research by checking the RPS webpage here.

While the move to remote work has been learning process, we are still looking forward to the plans we have for the fall!

Hellos and Goodbyes

July 29, 2020

It's that time of year again when we must say goodbye to our graduated students. Both Juliana Mitchell and Rachel Wang have been accepted into UBC's School of Audiology & Speech Science for the Fall of 2020. The former was accepted into the Speech-Pathology Program and the latter in the Audiology Program. While we are sad to see them go, we know they will excel in their chosen fields. Congratulations you two!

We are also excited to announce that despite our temporary departure from in-person research, the Lab has welcomed three new students into the fold: Kira Bondi, Jesse Hawker, and Allyson Ugalde! Transitioning online has been a learning experience for us all and may be strange to our new recruits, but we hope they have fun in the Lab regardless. Welcome all!

Summer 2020 USRA Recipient

May 29, 2020

Undergraduate Research Assistant Larissa Melville has been a member of our lab since Fall of 2018. she has been integral in the development of the lab’s two online research studies that were started in the Fall 2019 term. This term Larissa received a Vice-President Undergraduate Student Research Award to work on the project Learning complex phonology: Evidence for child, adult and simulated learners. Larissa is starting her final year at SFU with a Major in Cognitive Science and Minor in Linguistics with the goal of pursuing a Master’s of Speech Language Pathology following her time at SFU.

Congratulations on your USRA Larissa! We are excited that you will continue to play such an important role in the research being conducted in the lab!


Onwards from the Lab!

October 30, 2019

Shout-out to the Phonology Lab's alumni Vagrant Gautam and Kevin Kong for their personal features in Linguistics and SFU news! Vagrant shares xyr story in this article, detailing how it started by winning a scholarship for the Computational Linguistics program at SFU. Xe quickly got a job with the Silicon Valley start-up called Dialpad, where xyr team is working on automatic speech recognition. Additionally, Kevin was awarded the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award by the Linguistics department for Fall of 2019. This article explains his passion for linguistics and his journey to getting accepted into UBC's Master's Program for Speech-Language Pathology. We wish the best to both!

Day Camp Publication

July 09, 2019

Have you ever wondered why we have been running our Little Linguists Day Camps over the past few years? In this publication, Ashley and Danica document the methods used in the camps as well as the benefits that have been found for the children, the undergraduate volunteers, and the larger SFU community. Check out the article here for a peek behind the scenes of our camps!


June 21, 2019

This convocation season five Research Assistants have graduated! Congratulations to Anisa Dhanji, Vagrant Gautam, Holly Gendron, Rebekah Gingrich, and Danica Reid. We are incredibly proud of all of our lab graduates and will miss them dearly in the coming semesters. For more information about each of the graduates including their accomplishments and future plans, click here

Congratulations, Claire!

May 14, 2019

A warm congratulations to our postdoctoral fellow Claire Moore-Cantwell for accepting her offer to become an Assistant Professor at the Linguistics Department of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Claire completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and is excited to return to the department as a professor of undergraduate/graduate phonology. This position will also provide opportunities for Claire to continue her research on theoretical, experimental, and computational phonology. 

Undergraduate Research Symposium

April 08, 2019

Congratulations to Holly Gendron, Anisa Dhanji, and Vagrant Gautam for successfully presenting their work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in March. Holly and Anisa presented preliminary work on the S-cluster database entitled: sCIP: The s-cluster inventory project. Vasundhara presented on xyr work with Dr. Maite Taboada entitled: Automating Comment Moderation: Topics and Toxicity in Online News.

New Publication

March 22, 2019

What are characteristics of a Canadian accent? How do the characteristics of a Canadian accent affect the way listeners recognize words? Check out recently published research here which addresses this question!

Congratulations Danica

January 17, 2019

Congratulations to Danica Reid for successfully defending her thesis “Acoustic Cues Used by Learners of English” in early December (one day before her birthday!). Her research project focused on how non-native speakers of English were able to segment continuous speech using the word boundary cues found in the s+stop clusters of English. The goal of the study was to test the real-time processing of specific cluster types by second language learners from one language where cue adaptation was possible (Mandarin Chinese) and one where a new cue would have to be learned (French). Her results did not support the idea that first language segmentation strategies influence second language segmentation, but found that both language groups had high accuracy of identification despite showing uncertainty in real-time processing. She is still looking for additional native French speakers to participate in the study, you can find more information about the study here under the title "Acoustic Cues".


AMP 2018 in San Diego

November 07, 2018

For the first weekend of October Ashley, Claire, and Danica flew to the much warmer destination of San Diego, California for the 6th Annual Meeting on Phonology. The faculty and student organizers put on a great conference meant to showcase research in all areas of phonology. At this year's conference there was a focus on the collection and analysis of phonological data from underdocumented languages.

Ashley presented the poster "Introducing the Cross-Linguistic S-Cluster Inventory Database" which outlines the creation of and initial typological findings from a database developed by alumna Marissa Woods. Claire presented the poster "Event-related potential evidence of abstract phonological learning in the laboratory" which was a collaborative work with Joe Pater, Robert Staubs, Benjamin Zobel, and Lisa Sanders. Finally, Danica was given the opportunity to give a talk about some of the initial findings of her thesis project titled "Acoustic cues used by learners of English". Keep an eye out for electronic conference proceedings coming in the New Year.

Breaking the Ice

September 27, 2018

The tradition of semesterly get-togethers continues!

On Saturday, the Phono lab got together at the Delta Thistle Curling Club's Open House. We were joined by members both old and new for a fun afternoon of curling.

While most of us were new to the sport, Danica has been curling for 2 years. With coaching from her and her dad, we learned the basics of sweeping and delivery. By the end, we were able to break into teams and play an end on our sheet!

Thanks to all the lab members who could make it!

Our lab expands again

September 11, 2018

The Phono Lab welcomed several new and returning members this Fall:

Larissa Melville, Rebekah Gingrich and Vagrant Gautam.

Larissa has joined the lab in her third year at SFU. She's studying Cognitive Science and Linguistics, and hopes that her time spent in the lab will help to achieve her goal of becoming a speech language pathologist. Rebekah is a fourth year student pursuing a double major in English and Linguistics. She is working in the lab to complete a directed research course. Vagrant is returning after a year's hiatus when xe was doing a software engineering internship at General Electric and xee is also working with Dr Maite Taboada on discourse processing research. Check out their bios in the link here.

SFU Phono goes to LabPhon, and LabPhon comes to Vancouver!

July 23, 2018

LabPhon 16 was held in Lisbon this July, where Ashley and Danica presented their poster “Frequency and acoustic biases in the recognition of neutralized forms.” The conference, which had the theme Variation, development, and impairment: Between phonetics and phonology, included three days of amazing talks, full poster sessions, and delicious Portuguese pastries. SFU was well represented: Ashley and Danica were joined by the director and lab manager of the SFU Language Learning and Development Lab, Dr. Henny Yeung and Elise McClay.

The conference ended with one very exciting piece of news: LabPhon 17 will be held in Vancouver in July 2020! The theme, Laboratory Phonology on the Margins, will focus on communities, individuals, and phenomena that are understudied and overlooked in data collection and theoretical frameworks. Ashley joins UBC Linguistics faculty Molly Babel and Kathleen Currie Hall on the organizing committee. Save the date and come visit beautiful Vancouver!

Welcome New Lab Members

July 19, 2018

The PhonoLab welcomed several new members to the team this spring and summer:

Anisa Dhanji, Holly Gendron, Felicity Jiang and Rachel Wang.

Anisa also works in the LABlab, and Holly works in the XSyn lab. Felicity joins us from Psychology and Business, and is soaking up linguistics in the lab. Check out their bios in the link here.

Congratulations to recent graduates Marissa and Rilla!

July 11, 2018

Two PhonoLab students, Rilla MacDonald and Marissa Woods, convocated in June with a majors in Linguistics and minors in Psychology. Rilla worked in the lab for a year, where she was a core member of the Learning to Listen Flexibly team. Marissa worked in the lab for two years, including one semester with an Undergraduate Student Research Award and one enrolled in a directed research course; in her most recent project, she built a database (from scratch!) to document the s-cluster inventories of the world’s languages. Marissa also won the departmental award for highest GPA among students convocating this semester! Both Rilla and Marissa were very involved in planning and running day camps, designing studies, and collecting and annotating data. We’ll miss Rilla’s sense of humor and Marissa’s calm and collected approach to life. We wish them both luck in the MSc graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology they’ll start in the fall: Rilla at UBC and Marissa at the University of Alberta.

To find out more about Marissa's passion on Linguistics and her advice for students who are interested in SLP program, please click on here.

Day Camp Planning Extravaganza

May 28, 2018

Our lab facilitated two days of fun for research assistants and volunteers. The days were spent brainstorming creative linguistic activities for kids. The fruits of the labour (and laughter) will be used in the fall, in which we plan to run several free day camps. We hope these activities will inspire the children with a love for language and linguistics.

This planning extravaganza also began our research on student learning through day camp experiences (click here for information), as it gave volunteers and research assistants the opportunity to work together and extend linguistic knowledge beyond the classroom in new ways.

PhonoLab Grant to Study Student Learning in Day Camps

March 12, 2018

The Phonological Processing Lab recently received a grant through SFU's Teaching and Learning Development Grants program to study how and what undergraduate volunteer RAs learn as they plan and implement our day camps. We've long focused our energies on making sure that the children who attend the Little Linguist Day Camps learn about language and linguistics; this grant gives us the opportunity ask what SFU students get out of the camps. We hope to use the findings to hone our day camps so that children and SFU students both learn as much as possible, with the long-term goal of creating a day camp template that could be used by other SFU departments and faculties.

Phon-Olympics Day Camp

February 27, 2018

On February 16th, our lab ran an another successful day camp! This time we switched things up and made the day camp a “Linguistics Olympics” to coincide with the greatest sports-related events which were happening in PyeongChang at the same time. The day was filled with fun as children participated in five linguistic based activities in teams, competing in these teams for the title of exhibiting the best sportsmanship, teamwork, enthusiasm and creative problem solving. Word formation processes, non-verbal communication, made-up languages in the world of Harry Potter and an introduction to the IPA were the linguistic skills children got to engage in throughout the day's events. The day also included an opening and closing ceremony! Thank you also to all our volunteers who helped make this day such a success! For more information about our day camps click here, or to read a complete news story on the SFU linguistic's department website click here.

New Publication

January 26, 2018

Recent research from our lab and Bob McMurray shows that listeners use knowledge of phonological rules during word recognition! Check it out here.

LSA in Salt Lake City

January 12, 2018

The 92nd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America took place in Salt Lake City during the first weekend of January. Our director Dr. Ashley Farris-Trimble and graduate student Danica were able to attend to meet and take part in a workshop about bringing language and linguistics into the K-12 curriculum. During this workshop they were able to present on the free day camps we run in the lab (find the presentation here and more information on our day camps here). They also learned about collaborations going on in other places in North America between schools and linguists; these collaborations allow for the introduction of linguistic concepts in day to day education for students. We are happy to have been involved in paving the way for more children to be intrigued in and inspired by linguistics!

Now that Ashley and Danica are back we’re excited to get started on the planning of our next day camp which will be happening in the middle of February. Keep an eye out for more details coming soon!


Fun with Little Linguists

November 30, 2017

Our lab ran another day camp for children aged 4-9 years this past week and it was a FANTASTIC day for all involved! The children enjoyed themselves as they used non-verbal communication in games, created novel words for their own made-up languages, and completed a fun scavenger hunt around campus from language based clues. Much creativity was utilized throughout the day - as demonstrated in the originality of the wugs during our craft activity! They also had the chance to participate in a variety of research studies run by our lab and the Culture and Development Lab. Check out our information page about past and future Day Camps here. We look forward to seeing you and your child at the next day camp!

We also wish to extend a special thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this day a success -- your hard work is much appreciated! 

Congratulations to Dr. Ashley Farris-Trimble!

October 25, 2017

Congratulations to our amazing lab director and wonderful professor Dr. Ashley Farris-Trimble on her Cormack Award!! This accolade is given to two professors in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to acknowledge their commitment to providing an optimal academic environment for their students. The winners are chosen from a pool of candidates that students and other faculty members provide.

Thanks to her great dedication and tireless patience, she creates a comforting environment which encourages learning and permits her students to be drawn out of their shell in her classes.   We are filled with the utmost excitement and joy that she has been recognized for her contributions, hard work and positive impact she has had on the students she has taught. We are so lucky and privileged to have her as a member of the linguistics faculty—thank you for all your hard work!!

Mark Your Calendars!

October 13, 2017

The Phonology Lab is happy to announce that we are holding another Day Camp on Friday November 24th from 9am to 3pm. This is a FREE day camp about the why, where, and how of language. Throughout the day children will get to make crafts, play games, and maybe even learn some hieroglyphics! 

If you know any children between the ages of 4 and 9 be sure to contact us at for more details.

Learn Something New

September 20, 2017

Our new postdoc, Claire Moore-Cantwell, has just published a paper! Claire and Lisa Sanders explore how probabilistic phonology and lexical access interact. Click here to access the article from the journal of Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.

Check it out and stay up to date on current research in Linguistics. And guess what -- you might even learn something new!

Hot off the Press

September 14, 2017

A new article, co-authored by our very own Dr. Ashley Farris-Trimble, has been published. Titled "Waiting for lexical access: Cochlear implants or severely degraded input lead listeners to process speech less incrementally," it is sure to be an interesting read. Check out the paper by Bob McMurrayAshley Farris-Trimble and Hannah Rigler here.

Access this article for free for the next 50 days!

Exciting Lab Alumni Updates

September 11, 2017

Erica Halabourda, a past research assistant and lab manager of our lab, is beginning a Masters in Speech Language Pathology at UBC this fall. There she is joining another alumni, Marleis Bowering, who is in her final year of the same program. While we are sorry to say farewell to Erica, we are even more proud of her and thankful for all she has contributed to our lab! As she begins this new challenge we look forward to seeing how she will take her insight and conscientiousness to a clinical setting. Best of luck Erica! We would also like to congratulate another of our alumni, Ethan Pincott, who has been accepted into the Masters Program in Linguistics here at SFU and is beginning these studies this fall. He is interested in the documentation and revitalization of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language.

Way to go Erica, Marleis and Ethan – your drive and pursuit of studies beyond your time in the Phonological Processing lab makes us proud!

Welcome to our Postdoctoral Fellow

September 08, 2017

We wish to bestow a warm welcome to Dr. Claire Moore-Cantwell who will be working in the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. As a recent PhD graduate from UMass Amherst in 2016 it is a pleasure to have her joining our team to contribute her depth of knowledge to the research in our lab! She will be exploring the early L2 acquisition of English working on Dr. Anne-Michelle Tessier’s SSHRC Insight Grant.

Find out more about Claire and her previous research here.

Another USRA Recipient

September 07, 2017

As the semester kicks off we wish to extend our congratulations to Marissa Woods who will be working under Dr. Farris-Trimble for the next three months as a recipient of a part-time Vice-President Undergraduate Student Research Award (VPR USRA). Marissa is the fourth individual in the lab to be a recipient of this award. As a fourth year student majoring in Linguistics and minoring in Psychology, Marissa is preparing for a Masters in Speech Language Pathology. Throughout this semester she will be working hard conducting research in the Phonological Processing lab, focusing primarily on eye-tracking experiments and a large scale s-cluster typology study. We are excited and proud Marissa is receiving this chance to contribute more to our lab!

Convocation Congratulations are in Order

June 20, 2017

This spring's graduation has been a busy one for the lab — our lab manager, Erica Halabourda, and research assistant, Eri Ikezawa, have graduated! Erica and Eri both convocated with a Bachelor of Arts Major in Linguistics, and Minor in Psychology. Erica also walked across the stage with a Certificate in the Lingistics of Speech Sciences. We would like to extend our congratulations and well wishes to these two budding linguists. We could not be more proud! In the fall, Eri will be travelling and Erica will be beginning the Speech-Language Pathology Masters Program at UBC. May your time spent and experiences gained during university help you in all your future endeavours!

Language across Space and Time - LSA 2017 Summer Institute

May 30, 2017

Worldwide, bilingualism is the norm, rather than the exception. How do bilinguals produce, perceive, and process sounds in two languages? You can learn all about it at the 2017 Linguistic Institute in Lexington, Kentucky this July! Ashley Farris-Trimble, Anne-Michelle Tessier, and Melissa Baese-Berk will be teaching a month long course called "The Timecourse of Bilingual Phonologies." Ashley and Melissa were recently interviewed for the LSA 2017 Linguistic Institute's podcast, in which they discuss the course, the current state of phonology, and what to see in and around Lexington.

Lots of Linguistics in May

April 04, 2017

While April closes out the spring semester, there are some linguistics events to look forward to in the summer!

The North West Linguistic Conference (NWLC) is being held at UBC on May 5-7th. This conference is hosted by graduate students discussing all areas of linguistics, enabling them to share their work with local and international colleagues. Our very own graduate student, Danica Reid, will be presenting at this conference. Registration is now open at

Also being held at UBC is NoWPhon. This conference focuses specifically on phonetics and phonology and provides a space for researchers in the region to connect and share the work they are doing in these two interrelated areas. NoWPhon will be held during the May long weekend from May 19th-21st. More information and registration is available at

If you want to learn about some of the new and exciting research being done in linguistics be sure to mark these dates on your calendar! 


Arrival Movie Review

November 28, 2016

There has been lots of buzz lately surrounding the new movie "Arrival". The main character played by Amy Adams is a linguist. It's not very often that a linguist is a prominent charcter in a movie so naturally the lab RAs had to go see what it was all about! See our full review here.

Also can someone please point us in the direction of the university she works at? Her office is huge!

Halloween Phonology

November 03, 2016

What happens when Halloween falls on a the same day as phonology class? Dress up of course! Dr. Farris- Trimble challenged her LING 321 and 482W classes to come dressed up as a phonological concept and many responded to the challenge.

Check out all the great costumes on the Department webpage here.

Another Fun Day of Linguistics

November 01, 2016

October 21st was an exciting day for the Phonological Processing Lab! The lab collaborated with SFU's Culture and Development Lab to put on a Pro-D Day Language Day camp for children ages 7 1/2- 10.

To find out more about this day of games, fun and lots of learning about language check out the full article here.

Why Study Linguistics?

October 31, 2016

Our very own lab director Ashley, as well as directors of the Experimental Syntax Lab and the Language and Development Lab tell us about why studying linguistics is so exciting! Check out the video to learn more about why we do what we do.

Parents - Mark this on your calendars!

September 29, 2016

The phonology lab will be hosting another Day Camp for children aged 8-10 on Friday October 21st from 9am - 3pm. This will be a day filled with FUN as the children complete games and crafts and explore the exciting topic of language!

Save the date! Contact us at for more information.

A Good Time

September 27, 2016

The lab celebrated the end of summer and the start of the fall semester at a picnic! We were joined by both old and new members from our lab, as well as people from other Linguistics labs – including the Experimental Syntax lab and Language Development lab. The sun did manage to peek its head out to say hello to us, making it a great day, filled with delicious food and good company! Thank you to all who came out!

Another Grad Student

August 15, 2016

Congratulations to our lab manager, Danica Reid, who was accepted into the SFU Linguistics MA Program! Danica was also awarded a SSHRC grant and, starting this fall, she will conduct her very own study with Dr. Ashley Farris-Trimble as her supervisor. Her investigation of the adaptation of fine-grained acoustic cues will use eye-tracking technology to better understand how L2 learners of English segment the speech signal. Stay tuned for opportunities to participate in her research!

SLP to Be

July 25, 2016

Congratulations to Marleis Bowering, who was accepted into the Speech-Language Pathology Masters Program at UBC. Marleis has been a research assistant in the Phonological Processing Lab since its inception and we are proud to send her off to pursue the clinical applications of some of the phenomena we've looked at in our phonological research. We are all wishing Marleis the best of luck in her studies at UBC!

Convocation Celebration

June 14, 2016

June convocation is always an exciting time at SFU but this is a particularly busy convocation season for the lab, as two of the Research Assistants in the Phonological Processing Lab are graduating! Marleis Bowering and Ethan Pincott were two of the lab’s first RAs and have now completed their undergraduate education. Both Marleis and Ethan received their BA in Linguistics as well as a certificate in the Linguistics of Speech Science. 

Congratulations graduates! While we are sad to have them leaving the lab, we are wishing them all the very best in their future endeavors!

Summer Student Research

June 02, 2016

Erica Halabourda recently began her summer semester as a recipient of a Social Sciences Undergraduate Student Research Award! Erica is a fourth year Linguistics major who has shown great insight and care in her work as a student and in the lab. For the next three months, she will work closely with Dr. Farris-Trimble on the creation, set-up and conducting of studies, with a special focus on building new eye-tracking experiments. This is the third such award to be held by one of our research assistants and we know Erica will make us proud. We are looking forward to seeing the results of her hard work!

First Phono Lab Day Camp!

May 16, 2016

On Saturday April 30th the Phonological Processing Lab held our first ever Day Camp! The Lab RAs and Dr. Farris-Trimble were excited to welcome a group of budding young linguists for a day filled with games, crafts and learning. 

The camp was a success and everyone had a great time. For more information about future day camps keep your eyes on our website or contact us!

Vancouver is where it's /at/

March 24, 2016

The Vancouver Phonology Group is meeting Saturday, April 9th at SFU Harbour Centre. This team of phonologists from the Lower Mainland will meet to discuss current work and contributions to the field. Students are welcome!

Parents, mark your calendars!

March 23, 2016

Does your child like language, puzzles, and science? Sign them up for the Phonology Day Camp on April 30th! We're running a free camp for children ages 5-8 to learn about the why, where, and how of language. Contact the Phonological Processing Lab ( for details!

Linguistics, a Cognitive Science

January 26, 2016

Join SFU in kicking off the new year with the return of the Defining Cognitive Science Talks. On February 25th 2:30-3:30pm the lab's own Dr. Farris-Trimble will give a presentation titled "The Science of Phonological Processing", presenting work from our adult eye-tracking experiments, in which many students from the department have participated. For more details about the series, see the flyer.

Bring in the Phonologists!

January 22, 2016

A warm welcome to the newest assistant professor in the Linguistics Department, Dr. Henny Yeung, who is teaching his first class at SFU this semester! We look forward to seeing him bring his ideas and research interests to this campus in the areas of infant perception and langauge development. To learn more about Dr. Yeung's extensive research experience, visit his website or email him at 


Fall Convocation

October 08, 2015

Congratulations to Danica Reid and Sana Midha, the first of our lab assistants to receive undergraduate degrees. Danica achieved a Major in Linguistics and Program Exploration, and Certificates in The Linguistics of Speech Science and Teaching ESL Linguistics. Sana completed her studies with a Major in Linguistics, Minor in English, Extended Minor in Psychology, and Certificates in The Linguistics of Speech Science and Liberal Arts. We wish both Sana and Danica well as they bring their knowledge and experience to their next academic and vocational endeavours.

AMPed up for October!

October 13, 2015

SFU and UBC recently co-hosted the 3rd Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2015) in downtown Vancouver October 9-11th. Speakers and scholars from all over the world came together to share their research through talks and poster presentations. AMP proceedings are published electronically by the Linguistic Society of America and can be found at We're all looking forward to next year's AMP, which will be held at the University of Southern California.

LSA in Chicago

June 24, 2015

Best wishes to Danica Reid, manager of the Phonological Processing lab, who is off to Chicago for the LSA Summer Institute! The Linguistic Society of America partners biennially with a university to provide a place of study for scholars from all over the world. This year’s Institute, directed by Chicago Professors Alan Yu and Karlos Arregi, features a condensed timetable of courses, lectures, workshops and socials where attendees can meet linguists with affinitive goals and research interests. Danica was accepted to the Institute for her excellent academic record and keen interest in Phonology, and will be taking classes such as Computational Phonology, Constructionist Approaches, and Syntax-Phonology Interface. She will be studying among many graduate students who are looking to further their linguistic education and reach great academic heights. We look forward to hearing about her experience and future plans in the field.

Commencing: NoWPhon!

June 03, 2015

This June 4-5th Dr. Farris-Trimble is attending the first ever meeting of Phon{etics;ology} in the Northwest!  This informal event will bring together researchers from Canada and the United States to share ideas and develop future opportunities for collaboration.   Dr. Farris-Trimble is presenting exciting findings from the lab’s current adult eye-tracking projects, setting the tone for what will hopefully be the first official NoWPhon Conference at the University of Oregon in 2016. Details can be found at the NoWPhon website:

Out and About

May 19, 2015

...Or should we say [ʌʊt ænd əbʌʊt]

We are pleased to announce that the Phonological Processing Lab is taking our Child Phonology experiment offsite! Currently, we are working with the Kids R First Childcare Centre to test s-cluster productions of preschool age children out of their Delta facility. Collaborating with the centre enables us to reach a broader range of participants, making for more reliable research with a diverse sample. Also, it’s fun to converse with new children! To see pictures of our testing space at Kids R First or to learn more about the facility, click on the links at their website:

Gearing up for Summer

May 04, 2015

This summer Marleis Bowering is working in the lab on an Undergraduate Student Research Award under Dr. Farris-Trimble. In addition to part time studies, she will be preparing, piloting and conducting experiments with the other research assistants doing both child and adult phonological research.  A total of twelve part-time VPR USR awards were given in Social Sciences and Humanities at SFU this summer, and we are happy to have Marleis continue her work in the lab as a recipient of one of them.

Learn more about our Director

February 24, 2015

A student from the Cognitive Science Program recently interviewed our lab director Dr. Ashley Farris-Trimble. In the article you can learn about the research Ashley has been doing with the Phonological Processing Lab. If you want a sneak peak into the experimental work that we do here be sure to check it out on the Cognitive Science website!

Thanks SSHRC

January 30, 2015

Ashley Farris-Trimble received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant to study the specificity of children's underlying representations. This grant will fund research in the Phonological Processing Lab over the next few years.

Ashley Went to India!

January 12, 2015

Over the break between the Fall 2014 semester and the Spring 2015 semester a number of faculty members from the Linguistics Department went to India to visit the Centre for Linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. While in India, the group attended a workshop on Indigenous Languages in India and Canada. Check out this story to learn more.