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Prof Sarah Hawkins

Prof Sarah Hawkins

Emeritus Professor in Speech and Music Science

Faculty of Music
11 West Road

Cambridge CB3 9DP


Sarah Hawkins is Director of Research in Speech and Music Science and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. She has broad interests in how humans communicate using sound-based systems. Her particular specialism is in the acoustics and perception of speech. Her early research studied timing and rhythm in children’s speech, subsequently turning to exploration of subtle differences in acoustic-phonetic patterns that systematically reflect distinctions in linguistic structure, and of how listeners use these subtle cues to understand natural and synthetic speech (‘Roles and representations of systematic fine phonetic detail in speech understanding’, Journal of Phonetics, 31, (2003) 373-405, and 32 (2004) 141). These interests have been extended to the study of musical interaction and performance, as well as speech. These developments were encouraged by research undertaken during a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2003-2006), The development of a phonetically-rich model of speech understanding, which extended the neuropsychological and computational directions of her work on multi-modal representation of speech and meaning in memory (‘Phonological features, auditory objects, and illusions’, Journal of Phonetics, 38, (2010), 60-89). She coordinated Sound to Sense (S2S), an EC Marie Curie Research Training Network 2007-11. She has a number of national and international collaborations and service positions, including Associate Editor of Phonetica.

Key Publications

Hawkins, S. (2014) Situational influences on rhythmicity in speech, music, and their interaction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 369:20130398.

Barden, K., and Hawkins, S. (2013) Perceptual learning of phonetic information that indicates morphological structure. Phonetica 70(4), 323-342. DOI: 10.1159/000357233

Hawkins, S., Cross, I. and Ogden, R. (2013) Communicative interaction in spontaneous music and speech. In M. Orwin, C. Howes, and R. Kempson, (eds.) Language, Music and Interaction. Communication, Mind and Language Vol. 3. London: College Publications. 285-329.

Knight, R-A. and Hawkins, S. (2013) Research methods in speech perception. In M.J. Jones  and R-A Knight (eds.) Bloomsbury Companion to Phonetics. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 21-38.

Smith, R., Baker, R. and Hawkins, S. (2012) Phonetic detail that distinguishes prefixed from pseudo-prefixed words. Journal of Phonetics 40(5), 689-705.

Smith, R. and Hawkins, S. (2012) Production and perception of speaker-specific phonetic detail at word boundaries. Journal of Phonetics 40(2), 213-233.

Hawkins, S. (2012) The lexicon: not just elusive, but illusory? In A.C. Cohn, C. Fougeron, and M. Huffman (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Chapter 8.3: 162-173.

Hawkins, S. (2011) Phonetic perspectives on modelling information in the speech signal. Sādhanā 36(5), 555-586.

Heinrich, A., Flory, Y., and Hawkins, S. (2010) Influence of English r-resonances on intelligibility of speech in noise for native English and German listeners. Speech Communication 52(11-12), 1038-1055.

Hawkins, S. (2010) Phonetic variation as communicative system: Perception of the particular and the abstract. In C. Fougeron, B. Kühnert, M. d’Imperio, N. Vallée (eds.)  Laboratory Phonology 10: Variability, Phonetic Detail and Phonological Representation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 479-510.

Hawkins, S. (2010) Phonological features, auditory objects, and illusions. Journal of Phonetics 38(1), 60-89.

Hawkins, S. & Midgley, J. (2005) Formant frequencies of RP monophthongs in four age groups of speakers. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35(2), 183-199.

Hawkins, S. & Nguyen, N. (2004) Influence of syllable-coda voicing on the acoustic properties of syllable-onset /l/ in English. Journal of Phonetics 32(2), 199-231.

Hawkins, S. (2003) Roles and representations of systematic fine phonetic detail in speech understanding. Journal of Phonetics 31(3-4), 373-405.
Errata in Journal of Phonetics 32(2), 289. Table 1, item 7, contains a misprint due to printer’s error. Corrected in the pdf on my website.

Hawkins, S., and Nguyen, N. (2003) Effects on word recognition of syllable-onset cues to syllable-coda voicing. In J.K. Local, R.A. Ogden, and R.A.M. Temple (eds.) Papers in Laboratory Phonology VI. Cambridge University Press. 38-57.

Hawkins, S., and Smith, R. (2001) Polysp: A polysystemic, phonetically-rich approach to speech understanding. Italian Journal of LinguisticsRivista di Linguistica 13, 99-188.

Ogden, R., Hawkins, S., House, J., Huckvale, M., Local, J., Carter, P., Dankovičová, J., and Heid, S. (2000) ProSynth: An integrated prosodic approach to device-independent, natural-sounding speech synthesis. Computer Speech and Language 14, 177-210.

*Hawkins, S. (1999) In J.M. Pickett The Acoustics of Speech Communication: Fundamentals, Speech Perception Theory, and Technology. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon. 183-288.

Harries, M.Ll., Hawkins, S., Hacking, J., and Hughes, I.A. (1998) Changes in the male voice at puberty: Vocal fold length and its relationship to the fundamental frequency of the voice. Journal of Laryngology and Otology. 112, 451-4.

Harries, M.Ll., Walker, J.M, Williams, D.M, Hawkins, S., and Hughes, I.A. (1997) Changes in the male voice at puberty. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 77, 445-447.

Hawkins, S., and Warren, P. (1994) Phonetic influences on the intelligibility of conversational speech. Journal of Phonetics 22, 493-511.

Hawkins, S. (1992) An introduction to task dynamics. In G.J. Docherty and D.R. Ladd  (eds.) Papers in Laboratory Phonology II: Gesture, Segment, Prosody. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 9-25.

Munhall, K., Fowler, C., Hawkins, S., and Saltzman, E. (1992) "Compensatory shortening" in monosyllables of spoken English. Journal of Phonetics 20, 225-239.

Beddor, P.S., and Hawkins, S. (1990) The influence of spectral prominence on perceived vowel quality. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 87, 2684-2704.

Stevens, K. N., Fant, G., and Hawkins, S. (1987) Some acoustical and perceptual correlates of nasal vowels. In L. Shockey and R. Channon (Eds.), In Honor of Ilse Lehiste: Ilse Lehiste Puhendusteos!! Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris Publications, 241-254.

Hawkins, S., and Keenan, E. L. (1987) The psychological validity of the accessibility hierarchy. In E. L. Keenan (Ed.), Universal Grammar: 15 Essays. London: Croom Helm, 60-85.

Hawkins, S., and Stevens, K. N. (1985) Acoustic and perceptual correlates of the nasal-nonnasal distinction for vowels. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 77, 1560-1575.

Hawkins, S. (1984) On the development of motor control in speech: Evidence from studies of temporal coordination. In N. J. Lass (Ed.), Speech and Language: Advances in Basic Research and Practice. New York: Academic Press Vol. 11, 317-374.

Allen, G. D., and Hawkins, S. (1980) Phonological rhythm: Definition and development. In G. Yeni-Komshian, J. F. Kavanagh, and C. A. Ferguson (Eds.), Child Phonology Vol. 1: Production. New York: Academic Press, 227-256.

Hawkins, S. (1979) Temporal coordination of consonants in the speech of children: Further data. Journal of Phonetics 7, 234-267.

Allen, G. D., and Hawkins, S. (1978) The development of phonological rhythm. In A. Bell and J. Hooper (Eds.), Syllables and Segments. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 173-175.

Hawkins, S. (1973) Temporal coordination of consonants in the speech of children: Preliminary data. Journal of Phonetics 1, 181-217.

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