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
Associate Professor
Linguistics   SCSD
Bing'er Jiang
PhD student
Alvaro Iturralde Zurita
PhD student
Marcelo Vieira
PhD student
Claire Honda
MSc student

Recent Graduates

Sarah Colby
Donghyun Kim
Jiaer Tao

View Collaborators and Alumni



  • Dong, H., Clayards, M., Brown, H., Wonnacott, E. (2019) The effects of high versus low talker variability and individual aptitude on phonetic training of Mandarin lexical tones. PeerJ, 7, e7191. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.7191 OSF files
  • Colby, S., Shiller, D., Clayards, M., Baum, S. (2019). Different Responses to Altered Auditory Feedback in Younger and Older Adults Reflect Differences in Lexical Bias. Special issue of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62 (4S), 1144-1151. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-ASCC7-18-0124 [pre print]
  • Kim, D., Clayards, M. (2019) Individual differences in the link between perception and production and the mechanisms of phonetic imitation. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34:6, 769-786. doi:10.1080/23273798.2019.1582787 [pre print]
  • Knowles, T., Clayards, M., Sonderegger, M. (2018). Examining Factors Influencing the Viability of Automatic Acoustic Analysis of Child Speech. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 61(10), 2487-2501. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0275 [pre print]
  • Colby, S., Clayards, M., Baum, S. (2018). The role of lexical status and individual differences for perceptual learning in younger and older adults. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. 61(8), 1855–1874 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0392 [pre print]
  • Clayards, M. (2018) Differences in cue weights for speech perception are correlated for individuals within and across contrasts. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 144(3) doi:10.1121/1.5052025


  • Tao, J., Torreira, F., Clayards, M. (2018) Durational cues to word boundaries in spontaneous speech. Proceedings of the 9th Speech Prosody Conference in Posnan, Poland [download]
  • 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]
  • 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]


  • Suh, C., Clayards, M., Otto, R., (2019) Inhibition Mediates Individual Differences in Top-Down Lexical Processing. Poster presented at the Young Female Researchers in Speech Workshop, Graz Austria [Poster]
  • Jiang, B., Clayards, M., Ravanelli, M. & O’Donnell, T.J. (2019) A neural network approach to investigate tone space in Mandarin Chinese”. Poster presentation at the 177th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Louisville, Kentucky, May, 2019.[Poster]
  • Kim, D. & Clayards, M. (2019). Individual differences in plasticity in speech perception under cognitive load. Presented at the 5th International Conference on Cognitive Hearing Science for Communication. June 11. Linköping, Sweden. [Poster]
  • Kim, D., Clayards, M., & Kong, E. J. (2019). Individual differences in perceptual adaptation to unfamiliar speech sound categories. Presented at the 5th International Conference on Cognitive Hearing Science for Communication. June 10. Linköping, Sweden. [Poster]
  • Tao, J., Torreira, F., Clayards, M. (2018, November) Perception of word boundaries in spontaneous speech in English. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, Victoria, Canada. [Poster]
  • Jiang, B., Clayards, M., Sonderegger, M. (2018, June) Perception and Individual variability of a Tonal Register Contrast in Chinese Wu dialects. Poster presentation at LabPhon16, Lisbon, Portugal. [Poster]
  • Colby, S., Poulton, V., Clayards, M. (2017, December) Inhibitory and lexical frequency effects in younger and older adults’ spoken word recognition. Poster presentation at the Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA. [Poster]
  • 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]

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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