Axe 1: Experimental Phonetics and Phonology (Leader : Rachid Ridouane LPP – Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle; co-leader : Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie – Université de Nantes)

Strand 1 Description (2020-2024)

Strand 1 promotes a highly interdisciplinary approach with phoneticians, phonologists, psycholinguists, medical doctors, speech therapists and engineers. It specializes in research in experimental phonetics and phonology. The innovative aspect of our project lies in its integrative approach, and in our commitment to work in parallel on various populations and data types (normal and disordered speech; native and non-native speakers; longitudinal, inter- and intra-speaker data, cross-language data, etc.). The strand will continue to work on speech sound patterns in and across languages, on how these speech sounds are produced and processed by normal and pathological speakers and listeners. Researchers will also continue working on theoretical aspects, on enhancing the practical applications in clinical phonetics and language learning, as well as on the elaboration of new instruments for studying speech organs. As an example, we will continue investigating the relation between multilayered structure in the acoustic-articulatory signal and in linguistic representations, by focusing on three specific aspects: syllabic complexity, timing, intelligibility. Some of the questions which will be addressed include the following: To what extent does the timing of long-distance effects assist speech planning and processing? To what extent do differences between phonological systems interact with the capacity of recovering linguistic information in unintelligible conditions? As a general methodology, the questions outlined above will be approached through cross-linguistic observations on several languages (Romance languages, Germanic languages, Berber, Korean, Chinese, Greek, among others whose structural diversity is relevant for the topics studied). Evidence will be provided from acoustic and articulatory (EMA, ultrasound) data, perception data (e.g., discrimination, identification tasks), online methods (e.g., eye-tracking, phoneme-detection task), and modelling. Researches planned in the domain of Clinical Phonetics aim to better understand Voice and Speech through the joint study of their normal and pathological functioning. The aim is to deepen our understanding of the production system in all the diversity of its functions and behaviors, and to question the limits of its variability, from normal to pathological patterns


We will continue promoting an integrative approach to phonology and phonetics through enhancing the collaboration both within the Labex-EFL (with the other strands) and across Labex (with the Labex Aslan). One specific collaborative project with Aslan concerns the phonetics and phonology of whistled speech, a natural practice that consists of a phonetic transformation and emulation of the sounds produced in spoken voice, primarily used for long distance communication. The comparison of the whistled forms of speech with what we know about spoken forms is bound to provide important insights into the organization and malleability of the phonology/ phonetics system. The recent integration of new researchers within Strand 1 will promote innovative and promising work on the coordinative and interactional dimensions of language communication. We will study how speakers manage to coordinate with no apparent effort several processes at a wide range of levels (physical, physiological, cognitive, social, to name but a few) and time scales. The aim is to understand the relations between inter-speaker temporal coordination and the many adaptation phenomena leading speakers to assume behaviours that are similar to that of theirs interlocutors on both linguistically relevant and irrelevant dimensions. We also plan to study how interactional settings contribute to the acquisition of the first and second language and how they can help treating speech pathologies that, as stuttering, affect speech timing.


In addition to important outcomes in fundamental research on the links between cognitive and physical aspects of speech, research within Strand 1 is guided by our interest in developing applications. Direct application is evident for language learning and teaching and assessment and remediation in clinical context. We also develop tools and resources in collaboration with other Labex EFL strands for the analysis of both normal and disordered speech.


Strand 1 Operations (2020-2024)

  1. LABFIELD : Bringing the lab into the field
    • WP1 : Subsaharan Africa
    • WP2 : North Africa
    • WP3 : Saharan Africa
    • WP4 : Asia

      Operation leaders :  

  • D. Demolin (LPP)
  • G. Jacques (CRLAO)
  • A. Michaud (LACITO)
  • M. Van de Velde (LLACAN)
  1. PHUCS : Phonological units: content and structure
    • PHUCS 1: Phonological contrasts and phonetic implementation
    • PHUCS 2: Cross-linguistic speech perception: large-scale modelling of phonetic vs phonological effects
    • PHUCS 3: Sound change and sound patterns
    • PHUCS 4: Sociophonétique et grammaires polylectales

Operation leaders :

  • R. Ridouane (LPP)
  • E. Dunbar (LLF)
  • K. Chirkova (CRLAO)


  1. PROVS : Prosodic variation and structuring
    • PROVS 1: Syllable complexity and phonotactic diversity
    • PROVS 2: Timing effects
    • PROVS 3: Speech intelligibility

Operation leaders :

  • I. Chitoran (CLILLAC-ARP)
  • M. Adda-Decker (LPP)


  1. SPEL : Speech Production in Learner Varieties
    • SPEL 1: The phonetic implementation of phonological categories in L1
    • SPEL 2: Phonetic and phonological categories and reorganization in L2 learner production

Operation leaders :

  • N. Yamaguchi (LPP)
  • G. Turco (LLF)


  1. CIVI : Coordination in verbal interactions
    • CIVI 1: The coordination of verbal and nonverbal behaviour in conversational settings.
    • CIVI 2: Coordinative aspects of behavioural adaptation and speech convergence in verbal interactions.
    • CIVI 3: Contribution of an interactional setting to L2 learning and to the treatment of speech pathologies.
    • CIVI 4: Gesture and prosody from a multimodal perspective.

Operation leaders:

  • L. Lancia (LPP)
  • S. Falk (LPP)


  1. PATH : From normal to pathological: variations of voice and speech
    • PATH 1: Linguistic, paralinguistic and artistic uses of voice and speech: variability and flexibility of the production system
    • PATH 2: Disorders of voice and speech: variability and alterability of the production system
    • PATH 3: Aging in voice and speech: maturation and decline of the production system
    • PATH 4: Perceptual impact of voice and speech variation on communication and speaker representation

Operation leaders :

  • C. Pillot-Loiseau (LPP),
  • N. Audibert (LPP)