Cynthia G. Clopper

Associate Professor
Department of Linguistics
Ohio State University

Oxley Hall 24C
Phone: (614) 292-8235
Fax: (614) 292-8833
clopper.1 AT


Oxley Hall 222
1712 Neil Avenue
Columbus OH 43210


Office Hours (Spring 2015):
Mondays 1:30-3:30pm and by appointment

Recent Publications

COSI Pod IRB Information

Research Projects
Effects of Linguistic and Indexical Sources of Variation on Speech Processing
My primary research interest is the role of variation in spoken language processing. One branch of my work in this area, supported by the National Science Foundation (BCS 1056409), explores the interaction between phonetic reduction, dialect variation, and linguistic sources of variation, including lexical competition and semantic context, in speech production and perception. The other branch examines the effects of experience with linguistic variation on cross-dialect speech perception and processing. Many of my experiments involve speech samples from The Nationwide Speech Project Corpus.

Perception of Socio-Indexical Information by Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism
In collaboration with Dr. Laura Wagner in the Department of Psychology at Ohio State, I have extended my earlier work on perceptual dialect classification to young adults with high-functioning autism (HFA). Our research uses explicit classification, language attitudes, and imitation tasks to explore how young adults with HFA perceive and interpret information in the acoustic speech signal to make judgments about social categories, such as region of origin and age. (Partially supported by a Seed Grant from the Ohio State Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences).

Prosodic Variation in American English
In collaboration with Dr. Rajka Smiljanic in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas, I am working on an examination of regional prosodic variation in American English, including intonation and temporal organization. (Partially supported by a Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Faculty Grant).

The Prosody of Focus in Un(der)-described Languages
In collaboration with Dr. Judith Tonhauser in the Department of Linguistics at Ohio State, I am exploring the prosody of focus in Paraguayan Guarani, Moroccan Arabic, and K'iche' Mayan. Paraguayan Guarani, Morocccan Arabic, and K'iche' Mayan are typologically diverse with respect to their prosodic structure and therefore provide the opportunity to extend the description and theoretical treatment of focus and the prosody-meaning interface to non-Germanic languages (Partially supported by the Ohio State Office of International Affairs and the Ohio State College of Arts and Sciences Targeted Investment in Excellence).

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
Undergraduate research assistants are always welcome in Cynthia Clopper's Speech Perception Lab. Students can earn credit in 4998(H) (Undergraduate Research) for work in the lab. Paid positions are also sometimes available. Students do not need to be a linguistics major to work in the lab, but some coursework in linguistics or a related field (speech and hearing science, psychology, cognitive science) is preferred. If you are interested in working on any of the projects described above, please contact Cynthia Clopper to discuss research opportunities.

Linguistics 2051(H), Analyzing the Sounds of Language
Linguistics 4100, Introduction to Phonetics
Linguistics 5051, Quantitative Methods in Linguistics
Linguistics 5102, Laboratory Phonology
Linguistics 7890.03, Phonetics and Phonology Discussion Group (Phonies)
Linguistics 8100, Seminar in Phonetics (Recent Topics: Talker Variability, Second Language Phonetics and Phonology, Prosody and Meaning)

Recent Publications
Clopper, C. G. (2014). Sound change in the individual: Effects of exposure on cross-dialect speech processing. Laboratory Phonology, 5, 69-90.

Clopper, C. G., & Tamati, T. N. (2014). Effects of local lexical competition and regional dialect on vowel production. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 136, 1-4.

Wagner, L., Clopper, C. G., & Pate, J. (2014). Children's perception of regional dialect variation. Journal of Child Language, 41, 1062-1084.

Clopper, C. G., Rohrbeck, K. L., & Wagner, L. (2013). Perception of talker age by young adults with high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 134-146.

Clopper, C. G., & Tonhauser, J. (2013). The prosody of focus in Paraguayan Guarani. International Journal of American Linguistics, 79, 219-251.

Clopper, C. G. (2012). Effects of dialect variation on the semantic predictability benefit. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27, 1002-1020.

Clopper, C. G., Rohrbeck, K. L., & Wagner, L. (2012). Perception of dialect variation by young adults with high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 740-754.

Clopper, C. G., & Smiljanic, R. (2011). Effects of gender and regional dialect on prosodic patterns in American English. Journal of Phonetics, 39, 237-245.

Clopper, C. G., Pierrehumbert, J. B., & Tamati, T. N. (2010). Lexical neighborhoods and phonological confusability in cross-dialect word recognition in noise. Laboratory Phonology, 1, 65-92.

Clopper, C. G., & Bradlow, A. R. (2009). Free classification of American English dialects by native and non-native listeners. Journal of Phonetics, 37, 436-451.

Clopper, C. G. (2008). Auditory free classification: Methods and analysis. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 575-581.

Clopper, C. G., & Bradlow, A. R. (2008). Perception of dialect variation in noise: Intelligibility and classification. Language and Speech, 51, 175-198.

Clopper, C. G., & Pierrehumbert, J. B. (2008). Effects of semantic predictability and regional dialect on vowel space reduction. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124, 1682-1688.

Clopper, C. G., & Pisoni, D. B. (2007). Free classification of regional dialects of American English. Journal of Phonetics, 35, 421-438.

Clopper, C. G., & Pisoni, D. B. (2006). Effects of region of origin and geographic mobility on perceptual dialect categorization. Language Variation and Change, 18, 193-221.

Clopper, C. G., & Pisoni, D. B. (2006). The Nationwide Speech Project: A new corpus of American English dialects. Speech Communication, 48, 633-644.

Clopper, C. G., Pisoni, D. B., & de Jong, K. (2005). Acoustic characteristics of the vowel systems of six regional varieties of American English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 118, 1661-1676.

Clopper, C. G., & Pisoni, D. B. (2004). Some acoustic cues for the perceptual categorization of American English regional dialects. Journal of Phonetics, 32, 111-140.

Non-Academic Interests
When I'm not doing research, I enjoy traveling. My most recent travel adventures have taken me to Germany, Spain, and Mexico.

I'm also a college basketball junkie. I follow Duke basketball with a passion, but I'll watch pretty much any game at the college level.