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Meghan Sumner

Associate Professor of Linguistics

B.A., University at Albany, Anthropology (1996)
Ph.D, Stony Brook University, Linguistics (2003)
Concentration Advising in:
Academic Appointments
Associate Professor, Linguistics
Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, Acoustical Society of America
Fellow, Psychonomic Society
Member, American Academy of Science
Member, International Speech Association
Member, Linguistic Society of America
Organizer, Testing models of phonetics and phonology at the LSA Linguistic Institute (2011 - 2011)
Reviewer, Acta Psychologica
Reviewer, Applied Psycholinguistics
Reviewer, Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Reviewer, Cognition
Honors & Awards
Hellman Faculty Scholar, Stanford University (2008-2009)
Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, Stony Brook University (2001)
I am an Associate Professor of Phonetics at Stanford. My work simplified: I take sound patterns that exist in languages and associated variation and usage patterns (who says what, how and when), and investigate the social meaning humans associate with these patterns (and how they come to make these associations). I care about how, cognitively, this social information affects attention, perception, recognition, memory, and comprehension. Then, I take all of that, and investigate the areas in which language and society interact and highlight how this advances theory, but also how stereotype and bias are reinforced through spoken language. Much of what we currently know about speech variation, language and cognition stems from experiments that probe one component of this process at time, leave out social factors and experience, use stimuli from normative white talkers, and are quite distant from the interdisciplinary and diverse research needed to advance theories and address issues relevant to society. My general focus is on understanding the mechanisms and representations that underlie spoken language understanding and how they interact across various listener and speaker populations in a social and dynamic world.


Research Interests