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A1 - Neurobiology of the vowel space

In phonetic research, speech sound representations have often been discussed in relation to categorical perception. If speech sound representations are categorical, the question is how this affects their neural codes, both in their cerebral localization and cerebral processing. Moreover, how are »para«- or »meta«-linguistic properties, such as pronunciation variants, dialectal or regional differences, and speaker-dependent features, encoded in speech sound representations in the brain?

Dissertation projects in A1 seek to attract students with an interdisciplinary interest in Phonetics, Phonology, Neurophonetics, Neurolinguistics and Neurodialectology. Individual projects in A1 enable the combination of phonetic and variational-linguistic research with neuro-scientific methods (e.g., electroencephalography [EEG] or functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI]).

Possible topics are:

  • The vowel system of Standard German: Symmetrical and asymmetrical contrasts
  • How, when and where is acoustic-phonetic variance processed in the vowel system? Neurobiological evidence
  • Dynamics of representations: Neuronal bases of sound change