Speech Learning Lab

Department of Linguistics & School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

McGill University


In the Speech Learning lab we investigate phonetic variability - how pronunciations change from instance to instance - and how this shapes speech perception. We’re also interested in how listeners and learners adapt to the phonetic patterns of their linguistic environment and what happens when those patterns change. We have a special interest in how individuals differ in both patterns of production and perception abilities.

Learn more about our research

Lab Members

Dr. Meghan Clayards
Assistant Professor
Linguistics   SCSD
Hye-Young Bang
Ph.D. Student
Sarah Colby
Ph.D. Student
Donghyun Kim
Ph.D. Student

View Collaborators and Alumni



  • Clayards, M. (in press) Individual talker and token variability in multiple cues to stop voicing. Phonetica. 75:1-23 doi:10.1159/000448809 [pre print]
  • Bang, H.-Y., Clayards., M., Goad, H. (2017) Compensatory Strategies in the Developmental Patterns of English /s/: Gender and Vowel Context Effects. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.Vol. 60, 571-591. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0381 [pre print]
  • Giannakopoulou, A., Brown, H., Clayards, M., Wonnacott, E. (2017) High or Low? Comparing high- and low-variability phonetic training in adult and child second language learners. PeerJ 5:e3209 doi:doi:10.7717/peerj.3209
  • Kim, D., Clayards, M., Goad, H. (2016) Individual differences in second language speech perception across tasks and contrasts. Linguistics Vanguard. 2(1), 11p. doi:10.1515/lingvan-2016-0025. [here]
  • Clayards, M., Tanenhaus, M.K., Aslin, R.N., Jacobs, R.A., (2008) Perception of speech reflects optimal use of probabilistic speech cues. Cognition, 108(3), 804-809. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2008.04.004


  • Killbourne-Cerone, O., Wagner, M., Clayards, M. (accepted 2016) The effect of production planning locality on external sandhi:a study in /t/. Proceedings of the Chicago Linguistics Association.[pdf]
  • Knowles, T., Clayards, M., Sonderegger, M., Wagner, M., Nadig, A., Onishi, K. (2015) Automatic forced alignment on child speech: Directions for improvement. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 25:1, 6 pages.doi:10.1121/1.4801082
  • Clayards, M., Knowles, T. (2015) Prominence enhances voiceless-ness and not place distinction in English voiceless sibilants. Proceedings of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK. [Online]
  • Bang, H.-Y., Sonderegger, M. Kang. Y., Clayards, M., Yoon, T.-J. (2015) The effect of word frequency on the timecourse of tonogensis in Seoul Korean. Proceedings of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK. [Online]


  • Bang, HY, Sonderegger, M., Clayards, M. (2017, April) Speaker variability in cue weighting for laryngeal contrasts: the relationship to sound change. Poster presented at the 4th Workshop on Sound Change, Edinborough, UK.[Poster]
  • Colby, S., Poulton, V., Clayards, M. (2017, April) Inhibition predicts lexical competition in older adults’ spoken word recognition. Poster presentation at Speech Perception and Production Across the Lifespan, London, UK.[Poster]
  • Kim, D & Clayards, M. (2016, December). Individual differences in the relation between perception and production and mechanisms of phonetic imitation. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, Honolulu, Hawaii. [Poster]
  • Jiang, B. & Clayards, M. (2016, December). Cue weighting of voice quality, pitch, and tonal contour in the tonal register contrast in Chinese Wu dialects. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, Honolulu, Hawaii.[Poster]
  • Colby, S., Clayards, M., & Baum, S. (2016, November). Lexically-guided and distributional learning for speech in younger and older adults. Poster presented at Congrès international en orthophonie et en audiologie (International Conference on Speech Language Pathology and Audiology), Universiteì de Montreìal, Montreal, Canada. [Poster]

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Meghan Clayards

Email: meghan.clayards [at] mcgill.ca
Phone: 514-398-4235

Department of Linguistics

1085 Ave Dr. Penfield, Montréal, Quebec
Office: Room 201

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

2001 McGill College, 8th floor, Montréal, Quebec
Office: Room 819
Lab: Room 803

Funded by



Michael McAuliffe's STRAIGHT tutorial for stimulus synthesis