Khia A. Johnson


PhD candidate @ UBC linguistics

I'm a PhD candidate in linguistics at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Molly Babel. I study phonetic variation in bilingual speech production and comprehension, with an eye towards big picture questions about processing, representation, and language contact. My dissertation research focuses on how similar segments are represented in Cantonese-English bilingual speech, and uses a new (forthcoming) corpus. I think it's important to connect research outcomes to practical applications in areas like technology and education.

current projects

cantonese-english bilingual speech corpus (SpiCE)

I'm developing a conversational corpus of Cantonese-English bilingual speech with high-quality audio for phonetics research, as part of my dissertation research. I have a paper about SpiCE in the forthcoming LREC 2020 proceedings, and will make the data publicly available in the future. I talked about the project on April 26, 2019 as part of the PhDs Go Public series at the Vancouver Public Library. Details on the SpiCE corpus page.

cross-language segment similarity w/SpiCE

I study how segmental variation is structured both within and across a bilingual's languages. Most recently, I presented on cross-language influence in sibilant production at the ASA meeting in San Diego, CA on December 3, 2019. I have an upcoming poster at ISBPAC3 on articulatory uniformity and crosslinguistic influence.

perceptual learning

I work on a few different perceptual learning projects in the Speech-in-Context lab—testing the paradigm online, and exploring cross-language transfer in different permutations. I presented a web replication study at the ASA meeting in San Diego, CA on December 3, 2019. Our paper Lexically-guided perceptual learning in Cantonese-English bilinguals is out now in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.