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Melissa Baese-Berk


Assistant Professor of Linguistics, PhD, Northwestern University

My research interests focus primarily on the intersection of various cognitive factors on the acquisition of second language phonetic and phonology. I am interested in how learners acquire new sounds in both perception and production, and most of my research lies at the intersection of speech perception and production. I am interested in the cognitive implications of bilingualism, and how factors like attention can influence our ability to learn in a novel language. I am also generally interested in learnability – what features of language are easier or harder to learn, particularly with regard to phonetics and phonology. Before and during my PhD program, I taught English as a Second Language in a variety of settings.

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • Baese-Berk, M. M., Heffner, C. C., Dilley, L. C., Pitt, M. A., Morrill, T. H., and McAuley, J.D. (2014). Long-term temporal tracking of speech rate affects spoken word recognition. Psychological Science.
  • Baese-Berk, Melissa, Morrill, T., and Dilley, L. (2014). Do Non-Native Speakers Use Context Speech Rate in Word Segmentation? 55th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society. Long Beach, CA, November 20-23.
  • Baese-Berk, M and Morrill, T. (2014). A comparison of speaking rate consistency in native and non-native speakers of English. 168th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Indianapolis, IN, October 26-31.
  • Baese-Berk, M, Bradlow, A. R., and Wright, B. A. (2013). Accent independent learning after training on multiple foreign accents. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133 (3), EL174-EL180.
  • Molnar, M and Baese-Berk, M. (2013). The role of language context and language dominance in the development of bilingual infant babbling. Poster presented at the Workshop on Infant Language Development, Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language. Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain, June 20-22.
  • Baker, R. E., Baese-Berk, M. M., Bonnasse-Gahot, L., Kim, M., Van Engen, K., and Bradlow, A. (2011). Word durations in non-native English. Journal of Phonetics, 39 (1), 1-17.
  • Van Engen, K., Baese-Berk, M. M., Baker, R. E., Choi, A., Kim, M. and Bradlow, A. (2010). The Wildcat Corpus of Native- and Foreign-Accented English: Communicative efficiency across conversational dyads with varying language alignment profiles. Language and Speech, 53 (4), 510-540.

LT Courses and Electives Taught:

  • Ling 440/540 Linguistic Principles and Second-Language Learning
  • Ling 407/507 Second-Language Speech Perception and Production