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Professor Elinor Payne

MA, MPhil, PhD, PgDip

I am an Associate Professor in Phonetics and Phonology, in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, and a Governing Body Fellow of St Hilda’s College.

After undergraduate studies in Italian and Spanish and an MPhil in linguistics, I specialised in experimental phonetics for her doctoral research, with a thesis on Italian consonant gemination. Following a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (also in Cambridge), I was a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Phonetics at UCL.

Prior to coming to Oxford, I also spent a period working in Government (primarily on International Trade Policy), including a secondment to the European Commission, and undertook postgraduate studies in Politics at SOAS.

I tutor and lecture in phonetics and phonology to undergraduates and postgraduates, and supervise doctoral students in topics related to speech prosody, phonetic variation and influences on phonological structure.

Research Interests

My overarching research interest is speech variation – how it arises, what shapes it and how speakers use it – and its relationship to phonology. Within this frame, I have worked on speech timing and prosody, in adult and child speech, for a range of languages. Current research interests include the effects of speech context on prosody (especially who the speaker is talking to) and variation rising from societal multilingualism and contact linguistics, looking in particular at variation and convergence in Indian English, as spoken in India and the diaspora.

Selected Publications

  • Payne, E. (forthcoming 2021) “Comparing and deconstructing speech rhythm across Romance languages” in Gabriel, C., Gess, R. and Meisenburg, T. (eds.) Manual of Romance phonetics and phonology. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.
  • Maxwell, O. and E. Payne (forthcoming 2021) “Investigating (rhythm) variation in Indian English: an integrated approach”, in Fuchs, R. (Ed.) Speech Rhythm in L2 and Learner Varieties of English, Springer.
  • Gram Garman, N. H. Simonsen, P. Hansen, B. Post, & E. Payne, (2020) “Vowel epenthesis in Norwegian and English clusters: a comparative study in adult and child speech” (Journal of Child Language).
  • Payne, E. and O. Maxwell (2019) “Tense-Lax Contrasts in Indian English Vowels: transfer effects from L1 Telugu at the Phonetics-Phonology Interface” Proceedings of ICPhS, Melbourne.
  • Sabev, M. and E. Payne (2019) “Transfer of vowel reduction in Turkish-Bulgarian speakers” Proceedings of ICPhS, Melbourne.
  • Post, B. & E. Payne (2018) “Speech rhythm in development: What is the child acquiring” in P. Prieto and N. Esteve-Gibert (eds) Prosodic Development in First Language Acquisition, Benjamins, 125-144.
  • Maxwell, O., E. Payne and R. Billington (2018) “Homogeneity vs heterogeneity in Indian English: Investigating influences of L1 on f0 range”, Proceedings of Interspeech 2018, Hyderabad, India.
  • Payne, E. and O. Maxwell (2018) “Durational variability as a marker of prosodic structure in Indian English(es): temporal parameters”, Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2018, Poznań, Poland.
  • Maxwell, O. and E. Payne (2018) “Pitch accent types and peak alignment of rising accents in Indian English(es)”, Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2018, Poznań, Poland.
  • Wang, Y and E. Payne (2018) “Investigating prosody in music and speech”, Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2018, Poznań, Poland.
  • Payne, E., B. Post, N. Gram Garmann, H. Gram Simonsen (2017) “The acquisition of long consonants in Norwegian” in H. Kubozono (Ed.) Geminate Consonants, OUP, Oxford.
  • Payne, E. (2016) “Prosodic-phonetic biases and the construction of phonological markedness” in M. Lind (Ed) Festschrift for Hanne Gram Simonsen, Novus.