FAH – DENG Distinguished Lecture Series – “Language research with ultrasound” by Prof. Diana Archangeli


23 Oct 2015





Ultrasound technology has been used in language research since the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s/early 2000s that linguists began paying significant attention to this technology. For the past 15 years, the number of phonetics labs that include ultrasound technology has been steadily increasing. Ultrasound technology has improved so that machines are more effective in imaging quality at a lower up-front cost. Similarly, ultrasound data collection techniques have improved so that newcomers to the labs can pick among tested methodologies rather than devising and testing their own protocols. As more researchers examine increasingly diverse research questions, familiar analysis methods are improved on and new ones have been proposed. Research topics themselves are increasingly diverse.

In this talk, I give background on ultrasound technology, methodology for language research, and a brief discussion of types of research that can be carried out. The presentation assumes no knowledge of ultrasound language research on the part of the audience!



Professor Archangeli completed her PhD in MIT in 1984, Underspecification in Yawelmani phonology and morphology under the direction of Morris Halle. On graduation, she worked as a visiting assistant professor for one year at the University of Illinois, then moved to the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona where she advanced to full professor, spent too many years as an associate dean, and raised two children. In 2013, at the time her children headed to university, she accepted a 3-year LWOP from Arizona in order to accept a 3-year contract at the University of Hong Kong (and satisfy her long-repressed wanderlust). In addition to her work on underspecification theory, Diana is known for Grounded Phonology (the interaction between formal language principles and the substantive properties of the vocal tract, with Douglas Pulleyblank). Her most recent work examines Emergent Phonology and Morphology, a model which assumes a minimal role for an innate language faculty in acquiring phonology and morphophonology (also with Pulleyblank). Additionally, she is known for her research into articulation using ultrasound.


All are welcome




Department of English
Tel: (+853) 8822 8201
Email: fah.english@um.edu.mo