Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
linguistics masthead linguistics masthead
Richard P. Meier, Chair CLA 4.304, Mailcode B5100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1701

Scott P Myers

Professor Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Scott P Myers

Contact

Biography

Scott Myers received a PhD in Linguistics in 1987 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He taught at Temple University and the School of Oriental and African Studies before coming to the University of Texas in 1990. His early research was in formal models of phonology and morphology, particularly with respect to the Bantu languages of Africa. More recently, he has focused on experimental approaches to linguistic issues, in phonetics and phonology.

 

Interests

Bantu languages

LIN 344K • Phonet: Prod/Percpt Spe Sounds

41060 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm JGB 2.202
show description

Linguistics 344 is an introduction to the sound structure of language. We will learn to describe speech sounds in the three domains of speech: the articulatory domain (how speech sounds are produced in the human vocal tract), the acoustic domain (their form in the acoustic medium), and the perceptual domain (how listeners process the incoming speech signal). We will explore how the sounds differ across various dialects of English and across the world's languages. We will learn how children acquire the sounds system of their language and how language experience shapes that acquisition. Finally, we will address topics, such as second language acquisition and current speech technology as it applies to computerized speech synthesis and speech recognition.

LIN 372K • Sound Patterns: Sound To Word

41515 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 301
show description

Phonology is the study of the distribution of speech sound categories, i.e. what sounds can go where in an utterance. It is an important aspect of what you know when you know how to speak a language.

In this course, students will learn to recognize phonological patterns in language data, state such patterns precisely, and represent them in a formal model. We will explore prosodic patterns, which are how sounds are organized into larger units such as syllables, stress feet, phonological words, and phonological phrases. We will also consider how phonological patterns arise out of variation in production and perception, how knowledge of phonological patterns influences speech production and perception.

Grading Policy
The grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and two tests.

Texts
There is no textbook for this course.

LIN 392 • Experiments In Linguistics

41595 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.108
show description

            Across the field of linguistics, more and more scholars are using experiments to investigate linguistic issues, and to provide evidence that stands up to skeptical scrutiny. This course is a hands-on introduction to how one does this. Students will design and run two small-scale experiments on any linguistic issue they choose: a production experiment oriented toward the speaker, and a corresponding reception experiment oriented toward the listener. The topic of the research can be in any area of linguistics, and involve any particular language.

            We will work through the process of doing an experiment step by step from the beginning:

  • Coming up with a hypothesis
  • Designing an experiment
  • Formulating and submitting a human subjects research proposal
  • Recording speech
  • Doing acoustic measurements using Praat
  • Synthesizing speech using Praat
  • Presenting stimuli
  • Running the experiment
  • Doing basic statistical analysis in R
  • Presenting results of experimental work - orally and in print.

          In order to learn how your work can be interpreted and evaluated, we will read and critique published work from the experimental literature in various areas of linguistics, including phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, language acquisition, language processing, sociolinguistics, and language change. The readings will be made available in electronic form.

          The grade for the course will be based on two short papers presenting the results from the two pilot experiments.

          The course is open to any graduate student.

LIN 350 • Doing Experiments About Lang

41303 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am GAR 1.134
show description

Across the field of linguistics, more and more scholars are using experiments to investigate linguistics issues, and to provide evidence that stands up to skeptical scrutiny. This course is a hands-on introduction to how to do this. Students will design and run two small-scale pilot studies on any linguistic issue they choose a production experiment oriented toward the speaker, and a corresponding reception experiment oriented toward the listener. The topic of the research can be in any area of linguistics, and involved any particular language.

LIN 380K • Phonology I

41390 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ 1.118
show description

Course DescriptionThis course is an introduction to phonology for graduate students, presupposing no knowledge of either phonetics or phonology. It consists of three parts.

1. Sounds of the world's languages

•    What they sound like

•    How they're produced

•    How they differ physically (acoustically)

2. Basic phonological analysis

•    Distributions of speech sound categories

•    Morphological alternations

•    Phonemes and allophones

3. Laboratory phonology

•    Experimental evidence in phonology

•    The relation between phonetics and phonology

•    Where phonology comes from

•    How phonological knowledge affects speech processing and production

Grading Policy:  The grade will be based mostly on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and tests at the end of each section.TextThere is no textbook for this course.

LIN 344K • Phonet: Prod/Percpt Spe Sounds

40760 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 301
show description

This is an introduction to the study of speech sounds – how they are produced, what they sound like, what their physical properties are, and how listeners identify them. The course will have two parts.

In the first part we will focus on the sounds of English. Among the questions we will address will be the following:•    How are the sounds of English produced?

•    What’s the difference between British accents and American ones?

•    How does pronunciation in Texas differ from elsewhere in the U.S.?

•    What are the acoustic differences among the sound categories of English?

•    How do the sound categories vary according to context and speaker?

Students will be engaged in this section in defining how particular speech sounds are produced, identifying sounds in English words, and identifying sounds in acoustic spectrograms.

In the second part of the course, we will expand the inquiry to the sounds of the world's languages. Among the questions we will address will be the following:

•    What sounds occur in the world's languages?

•    How do human listeners identify speech categories?

•    How can computers produce and process speech?

•    How do children and adults learn to produce speech in a language?Students will be engaged in identifying sounds in non-English words, describing how they are produced, and running small speech perception and learning experiments.

Grading:  The grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly on a week), and two tests (one at the end of each section of the course).Text There is no textbook for this course.

LIN 380K • Phonology I

40830 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ 1.118
show description

Course DescriptionThis course is an introduction to phonology for graduate students, presupposing no knowledge of either phonetics or phonology. It consists of three parts.

1. Sounds of the world's languages

•    What they sound like

•    How they're produced

•    How they differ physically (acoustically)

2. Basic phonological analysis

•    Distributions of speech sound categories

•    Morphological alternations

•    Phonemes and allophones

3. Laboratory phonology

•    Experimental evidence in phonology

•    The relation between phonetics and phonology

•    Where phonology comes from

•    How phonological knowledge affects speech processing and production

Grading Policy:  The grade will be based mostly on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and tests at the end of each section.TextThere is no textbook for this course.

LIN 372K • Sound Patterns: Sound To Word

40820 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 203
show description

Phonology is the study of the distribution of speech sound categories, i.e. what sounds can go where in an utterance. It is an important aspect of what you know when you know how to speak a language.

In the first section of the course, students will become familiar with phonological patterns through problem sets, in which they determine the distributional restrictions on particular classes of sounds in a dataset

In the second section of the course, students will learn to model phonological patterns within Optimality Theory (a current formal framework). Such an analysis not only represents the sound pattern, but also shows how a pattern in one language relates to typological patterns across languages.

In the third part of the course, we will examine phonological patterns from an experimental perspective. We will explore the relation between phonetic and phonological patterns, the effects of phonological knowledge on speech production and processing, and how this knowledge is acquired by children and adults.Grading PolicyThe grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and a test at the end of each section.TextsThere is no textbook for this course.

LIN 392 • Experiments In Linguistics

40913 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 305
show description

    Phonology is the study of the distribution of speech sound categories, i.e. what sounds can go where in an utterance. It is an important aspect of what you know when you know how to speak a language.     In the first section of the course, students will become familiar with phonological patterns through problem sets, in which they determine the distributional restrictions on particular classes of sounds in a dataset    In the second section of the course, students will learn to model phonological patterns within Optimality Theory (a current formal framework). Such an analysis not only represents the sound pattern, but also shows how a pattern in one language relates to typological patterns across languages.    In the third part of the course, we will examine phonological patterns from an experimental perspective. We will explore the relation between phonetic and phonological patterns, the effects of phonological knowledge on speech production and processing, and how this knowledge is acquired by children and adults.Grading PolicyThe grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and a test at the end of each section.TextsThere is no textbook for this course.

LIN 372K • Sound Patterns: Sound To Word

40730 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 301
show description

Phonology is the study of the distribution of speech sound categories, i.e. what sounds can go where in an utterance. It is an important aspect of what you know when you know how to speak a language.     In the first section of the course, we will learn how to do a phonological analysis: including how to determine the distribution of a sound class on the basis of a dataset, and formulate a formal model of the pattern. We will then examine such phonological patterns from an experimental perspective: how they emerge from patterns of production and perception, how the patterns influence on-line speech processing, and how they are learned.    In the second section of the course, we will examine how sounds are organized into larger rhythmic units such as syllables, stress feet, and prosodic phrases. We will analyze these grouping patterns within the formal framework of Optimality Theory, and explore their bases and effects as revealed in experimental studies.    There will be two kinds of assignments. In a problem set, students are given a set of data from some language, and they determine the pattern and give an analysis. In a lab assignment, students will run a small-scale experiment involving speech, and report on the results.Grading PolicyThe grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and a test at the end of each of the two sections.TextsThere is no textbook for this course. There will be 2-3 reading assignments using journal articles available in electronic form through the University Library.

LIN 380K • Phonology I

40760 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 208
show description

This course is an introduction to phonology for graduate students, presupposing no knowledge of either phonetics or phonology. It consists of two major parts.    In the first part, we will survey the sounds of the world's languages: how they are made, what they sound like, and how they differ from each other in acoustic properties. Students will learn to identify a broad range of speech sounds by ear and in an acoustic display.    In the second part of the course, we will explore patterns of distribution of speech sound categories, i.e. restrictions on what sounds go where. Students will learn to discover such patterns in data and analyze them within a formal model. We will also examine such phonological patterns from an experimental perspective: how they emerge from patterns of production and perception, how the patterns influence on-line speech processing, and how they are learned.     Assignments will be problem sets and lab assignments.Grading PolicyThe grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and a test at the end of each of the two sections.TextsThere is no textbook for this course. There will be 2 or 3 reading assignments using journal articles available in electronic form through the University Library.

LIN 381K • Phonology II

41185 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 210
show description

    This course is a continuation of Phonology I (LIN 380K). The sequence of the two courses forms a one-year introduction to phonology.
    This course will focus on prosody: the organization of speech sounds into larger units, such as syllables, feet and phonological words. We will consider prosodic patterns from the perspectives of Optimality Theory and Laboratory Phonology. The course will be divided into three parts: the first on syllables, the second on stress, and the third on tone and intonation.
    The grade for the course will be based on quasi-weekly homework assignments, and three small research projects (one for each section of the course). Readings will be drawn from the literature, and will be made available on-line.

Prerequisite: Phonology I (LIN 380K)

LIN 393P • F0, Tone, And Intonation

41260 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am SZB 380
show description

In this course, we will explore how pitch is used in languages, both in lexical tone languages (where pitch can distinguish two words) and in intonation (where pitch distinguishes between two sentence types). We will consider both the representation and distribution of pitch targets (phonology), as well as their realization in fundamental frequency and the perception of that realization (phonetics).
    We will begin with an introduction to the basics of this domain: the autosegmental representation of tone, the typology of tone systems, the metrical-autosegmental representation of intonation, and the many factors that affect fundamental frequency in speech.
    Having established the foundations, we will then go on to consider current issues in this area. We will read and critique current articles, focusing on detailed case studies of particular languages, such as Swedish, Japanese, Chichewa, Thai, Chatino, and Serbian-Croatian. We will assess the implications of these systems for issues such as the representation of tone and tone patterns, the production and perception of fundamental frequency contours, and the organization of speech into intonational phrases.
    During the initial, introductory section of the course, there will be regular practice assignments (problem sets or lab assignments), and the course grade will be based on these homework assignments. During the second part of the course the only regular assignments will be reading assignments, and students will work on a small-scale research project in the phonetics and/or phonology of tone and intonation. A short paper reporting the results of this research project will be the basis for the grade for the second part of the course.

Prerequisites: The course will assume basic knowledge of phonetics and phonology, as taught, for example in Phonology I (LIN 380K) and Phonology II (LIN 381K).    

LIN 344K • Phonet: Prod/Percpt Spe Sounds

40695 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 1
show description

Course Description

This is an introduction to the study of speech sounds - how they are produced, what they sound like, what their physical properties are, and how listeners identify them. The course will have two parts. In the first we will examine closely the pronunciation of English in various dialects. Among the questions we will address will be the following: • What‘s the difference between British accents and American ones? • How does pronunciation in Texas differ from elsewhere in the U.S.? • How do the sounds of English differ from each other physically? • What‘s the difference between one person‘s voice and another‘s? • How do sounds vary as a function of context? Students will analyze the acoustic properties of their own speech using PRAAT, an acoustic analysis program. In the second part of the course, we will survey the sounds of the world‘s languages. Among the questions we will address will be the following: • What sounds exist in the world‘s languages? • Why are some sounds easy for children to learn, while others are difficult? • Why is it so hard to learn to pronounce a foreign language correctly? • How do computers understand speech, and why don‘t they do it better? Students will learn to identify sounds from many different languages.
Grading Policy

The grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly on a week), and two quizzes (one at the end of each section of the course).
Texts

Ladefoged. A Course in Phonetics (5th edition)

LIN 372K • Sound Patterns: Sound To Word

40745 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 301
show description

Course Description

Phonology is the study of the distribution of speech sound categories, i.e. the restrictions on what sounds can go where in an utterance. It is an important aspect of what you know when you know how to speak a language. In the first section of the course we will survey phonological patterns in a broad range of languages. We will work through the principles of phonological analysis: the process of inferring the distribution and its implication from a dataset. We will also consider explanations for why some patterns occur again and again in the world's languages. In the second section, we will look at prosody: the organization of speech sounds into units such as syllables, feet, prosodic words and prosodic phrases. We will compare patterns of syllabification, stress and tone placement across languages. We will also consider psycholinguistic findings about the role of prosody in speech processing and language acquisition.
Grading Policy

The grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and a test at the end of each of the two sections.
Texts

There is no textbook for this course.

LIN 372K • Sound Patterns: Sound To Word

41180 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 301
show description

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

LIN 392 • Experiments In Linguistics

41260 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 UTC 4.120
show description

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

LIN 380K • Phonology I

41555 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm PAR 1
show description

Course website: On Blackboard (https://courses.utexas.edu/webapps/login/).

Course outline

Section 1. The sounds of the world’s languages (Weeks 1-7, approximately)

 • Basics of speech sound production: Vocal tract, aerodynamics, acoustics

• Survey of the sounds of the world’s languages

• IPA transcription

• Acoustic correlates of speech sound categories

• Distinctive features

• Step-by-step description of speech sound production

• Contextual variation in speech sound realization

Section 2. Basic phonological analysis (Weeks 8-15, approximately)

• Distribution of speech sound categories

• Basic analysis of category distribution: Determining the patterns of distribution in

            a dataset and modeling them

• Interaction of distributional restrictions

• Recurring patterns of distribution and their phonetic bases 

Textbook

There is no textbook for this course.

 Grades

 The grade for the course will be based on homework assignments (about one a week),

and two tests:

60%: Average of homework assignments

20%: 1st test (at the end of Section 1, about 10/8)

20%: 2nd test (take-home - at the end of the course)

Policies

 (1) Handing in assignments

• Assignments can be handed in any time during the day they are due.

• An assignment that gets to me after that is late, and will not be accepted (except in

documentable cases of illness or family emergencies).

• Assignments can be given to me in class, or put through the mail slot of my office

(CAL 418), or put in my mailbox in CAL 501, or sent as an e-mail attachment in

PDF form.

(2) Working together

• You are welcome to work together on homework assignments.

• You may not work together on tests. You cannot discuss the take-home test with

anyone until the due date is past.

(3) Accommodations for students with disabilities

• The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic

accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information,

contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

LIN 344K • Phonet: Prod/Percpt Spe Sounds

40515 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 900-1000 PAR 301
show description

Linguistics 344 is an introduction to the sound structure of language. We will learn to describe speech sounds in the three domains of speech: the articulatory domain (how speech sounds are produced in the human vocal tract), the acoustic domain (their form in the acoustic medium), and the perceptual domain (how listeners process the incoming speech signal). We will explore how the sounds differ across various dialects of English and across the world's languages. We will learn how children acquire the sounds system of their language and how language experience shapes that acquisition. Finally, we will address topics, such as second language acquisition and current speech technology as it applies to computerized speech synthesis and speech recognition.

LIN 372K • Sound Patterns: Sound To Word

40570 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 PAR 301
show description

Phonology is the study of the distribution of speech sound categories, i.e. what sounds can go where in an utterance. It is an important aspect of what you know when you know how to speak a language.

In this course, students will learn to recognize phonological patterns in language data, state such patterns precisely, and represent them in a formal model. We will explore prosodic patterns, which are how sounds are organized into larger units such as syllables, stress feet, phonological words, and phonological phrases. We will also consider how phonological patterns arise out of variation in production and perception, how knowledge of phonological patterns influences speech production and perception.

Grading Policy
The grade will be based on homework assignments (roughly one a week), and two tests.

Texts
There is no textbook for this course.

Publications

2012: *Final devoicing: Production and perception studies. In T. Borowsky, S. Kawahara, T. Shinya, and M. Sugahara (eds.) Prosody Matters: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Selkirk. Equinox Publishing, London. 148-180.

2010: *Regressive voicing assimilation: Production and perception studies. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 40. 163-179.

2007: (with Benjamin Hansen)*The origin of vowel length neutralization in final position: Evidence from Finnish speakers. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25. 157-193.

2005: (with Benjamin Hansen) The origin of vowel length neutralization in vocoid sequences: Evidence from Finnish speakers. Phonology 22. 317-344.

2005: *Vowel duration and neutralization of vowel length contrasts in Kinyarwanda. Journal of Phonetics 33. 427-446.

2004: The effects of boundary tones on the f0 scaling of lexical tones. In B. Bel and I. Marlien (ed.), TAL 2004: International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Language. Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing. 147-150.

2004: Review of M. Yip’s Tone. Journal of Linguistics 20. 213-215.

2003: *F0 timing in Kinyarwanda. Phonetica 60. 71-97

2003: (ed.) Comparative Markedness. Special issue of Theoretical Linguistics 29. 1-2.

2003: OCP Effects in Optimality Theory. In J. McCarthy (ed.) Optimality Theory in Phonology: A Reader. Blackwell, Oxford. 246-267. [Excerpted from Myers (1997)]

2000: *Boundary disputes: The distinction between phonetic and phonological sound patterns. In N. Burton-Roberts, P. Carr, and G. Docherty (eds.), Phonological Knowledge: conceptual and empirical issues. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 245-272.

1999: *Tone association and f0 timing in Chichewa. Studies in African Linguistics 28. 215-239

1999: Downdrift and pitch range in Chichewa intonation. In J. Ohala, Y. Hasegawa, M. Ohala, D. Granville and A. Bailey (eds.), Proceedings of the XIVth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Linguistics Department, University of California, Berkeley. 1981-1984.

1998: *Surface underspecification of tone in Chichewa. Phonology 15. 367-391. 

 1998: *AUX in Bantu morphology and phonology, in L. Hyman and C. Kisseberth (eds.) Theoretical Aspects of Bantu Tone, CSLI, Stanford, 231-264.

 1997: *OCP effects in Optimality Theory.  Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 15. 847-892.

1997: *Expressing phonetic naturalness in phonology. In I. Roca (ed.) Constraints and Derivations in Phonology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 125-152.

1996: *Boundary tones and the phonetic implementation of tone in Chichewa. Studies in African Linguistics 25, 29-60.

1996: *(with Troi Carleton) Tonal transfer in Chichewa. Phonology 13. 39-72.

1995: The phonological word in Shona. In F. Katamba (ed.) Bantu Phonology and Morphology. LINCOM EUROPA, Munich, 69-92.

1995: *Epenthesis, mutation and structure preservation in the Shona causative. Studies in African Linguistics 23. 185-216.

1991: *Persistent rules. Linguistic Inquiry 22. 315-344.

1991: *Structure preservation and the Strong Domain Hypothesis. Linguistic Inquiry 22. 379-385.

1990: Tone and the Structure of Words in Shona (Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics). Garland Press, New York.

1989: Review of M. Guthrie and J. Carrington, Lingala: Grammar and Dictionary, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies.

1987: *Vowel shortening in English. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 5, 485-518.

1985: The long and the short of it: a metrical theory of English vowel quantity. CLS 21. Chicago Linguistics Society, Chicago. 275-288.

1984: Zero-Derivation and Inflection. In M. Speas and R. Sproat (eds.) MIT Working Papers in Linguistics. MIT, Cambridge. 53-69.

bottom border