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
Alvaro Iturralde Zurita
PhD student
Marcelo Vieira
PhD student
Claire Honda
PhD student
Wei Zhang
PhD student
Xuanda Chen
PhD student
Alex Zhai
PhD student

Recent Graduates

Dr. Bing'er Jiang
PhD 2021
Dr. Sarah Colby
PhD 2018
Dr. Donghyun Kim
PhD 2018
Jiaer Tao
MA 2018

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  • Brekelmans, G., Lavan, N., Saito, H., Clayards, M., Wonnacott, E. (2022) Does high variability training improve the learning of non-native phoneme contrasts over low variability training? A replication. Journal of Memory and Language 126, 104352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2022.104352
  • Lindsay, S., Clayards, M., Gennari, S., & Gaskell, M. G. (2022). Plasticity of categories in speech perception and production. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 1-25.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2021.2018471
  • Clayards, M., Gaskell, G., & Hawkins, S. (2021). Phonetic detail is used to predict a word’s morphological composition. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2021.101055 [OSF files] [pre print]
  • Jiang, B., Clayards, M., & Sonderegger, M. (2020). Individual and dialect differences in perceiving multiple cues: A tonal register contrast in two Chinese Wu dialects. Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, 11(1), 11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/labphon.266
  • Kim, D., Clayards, M., & Kong, E. J. (2020). Individual differences in perceptual adaptation to unfamiliar phonetic categories. Journal of Phonetics, 81, 16p DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2020.100984.[pre print]
  • Kilbourn-Ceron, O., Clayards, M., Wagner, M. (2020) Predictability modulates pronunciation variants through speech planning effects: A case study on coronal stop realizations. Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology 11(1): 5, pp. 1–28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/labphon.168


  • 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]
  • 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]


  • Honda, C.T., Clayards, M., Baum, S.R. (2022, June) Neural and behavioural predictors of successful second language perception. Poster presented at the 4th FFR Workshop in Barcelona, Spain.[Poster]
  • Clayards, M., Amir, N., Otto, R. (2021, November) Individual variation in top-down effects is domain specific. Talk presented virtually at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, New Orleans, Louisiana.[talk]
  • Zhang, W., Wagner, M., Clayards, M. (2021, December) The interaction between focus and phrasing in Mandarin high-flat and falling tones. Poster presented virtually at the 1st International Conference on Tone and Intonation (TAI) in Sonderborg, Denmark.[Poster]
  • Vieira, M., Clayards, M., Auclaire Oulette, N. (2020) Acoustic correlates of laryngeal control: Parkinson's and healthy older adults. Poster presented virtually at Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.
  • 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]

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Meghan Clayards

Email: meghan.clayards [at] mcgill.ca

Department of Linguistics

1085 Ave Dr. Penfield, Montréal, Quebec

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

2001 McGill College, 8th floor, Montréal, Quebec

Funded by



Michael McAuliffe's STRAIGHT tutorial for stimulus synthesis