I am currently a postdoc in the Linguistics department at Northwestern University, working with Dr. Jennifer Cole. I recently received my PhD in Cognitive Science from Johns Hopkins University. My dissertation is titled "Structured variation in obstruent production and perception" and can be found here.

My primary research interest is in understanding the extent and limits of phonetic variation. Specifically, I am exploring the thesis that different aspects of phonetic realization are highly structured across languages and talkers. Structured variation, defined as phonetic covariation within and among speech sounds, has important implications for the phonetics-phonology interface, as well as generalized perceptual adaptation to novel talkers. To see examples of phonetic covariation, check out my interactive Shiny app below!

Play with my data! Take a look at the correlations of phonetic cues across 180 American English speakers within and between the stop consonants /p t k b d g/. The phonetic cues included here are: voice onset time (VOT, ms), a primary cue to the voice contrast (/p t k/ vs /b d g/) and center of gravity (COG, Hz), a primary cue to the place of articulation contrast (/p b/ vs /t d/ vs /k g/). This dataset, along with onset f0 data, will be released in the upcoming Linguistics Vanguard publication: Predictability of stop consonant phonetics across talkers: Between-category and within-category dependencies among cues for place and voice.

A brief overview of some of my research and dissemination projects can be found here. This was presented at the JHU Science of Learning Institute Fellowship Showcase in March 2017.


Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D., 2017, Cognitive Science

New York University
B.A., 2012, German and Linguistics
summa cum laude

How to pronounce my name: ['ɛlənɔɹ 'ʃadɹɔf]