Dr Elinor Payne

MA, MPhil, PhD (Cantab), PgDip (Lond)

Teaching and Research

Supernumerary Fellow, St Hilda's College
Associate Professor in Phonetics and Phonology, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics

Dr Payne is Associate Professor in Phonetics and Phonology (she is a member of the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics), a Supernumerary Fellow at St Hilda's College, and Organising Tutor for Linguistics at Oriel College. She previously held a temporary lectureship at UCL, a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, and prior to her academic career she worked in Government for several years.

Research interests:

Within Linguistics, Dr Payne specialises in theoretical and experimental phonetics and phonology. Her particular research interests include the acquisition of speech (especially prosody), speech production (especially timing, gemination, coarticulation, connected speech processes), the influence of speech behaviour on phonological structure and the nature and form of phonological knowledge.

Current and recent projects, collaborations and grants:

1. The Acquisition of Consonant Timing (ACT)

Dr Payne is the Principal Investigator on this project looking at how children acquire the prosodic-phonetic biases of their ambient language (comparing English and Norwegian as a case study). The project is funded by the British Academy and the Centre for Multilingualism in Society Across the Lifespan (University of Oslo), and is in collaboration with Brechtje Post (Cambridge), and Hanne Gram Simonsen and Nina Garmann (Oslo).

2. Acquisition of Prosody in L1 (APriL).
Dr Payne was co-investigator on this recent project that investigated the acquisition of rhythm and intonation in Catalan, Spanish and English. The project was funded by the British Academy and the Batista i Roca Foundation, and was in collaboration with Lluisa Astruc (Open University), Brechtje Post (Cambridge), Pilar Prieto (Pompeu Fabra), Maria del Mar Vanrell (Berlin).

2. Dynamic Characteristics of Impaired Speech
Dr Payne has recently begun a collaboration with Dr Ladan Baghai-Ravary (Phonetics Lab, University of Oxford) and Sarah Macfarlane (Epsom General Hospital) investigating the efficacy of automatic identification of indicators for dysarthric and dyspraxic speech.


Astruc, L., E. Payne, B. Post, P. Prieto & M. Vanrell (2013) “Tonal targets in early child Catalan, Spanish and English” Language and Speech, 56: 229-253

Payne, E., B. Post, L. Astruc, P. Prieto & M. Vanrell (2012) “Measuring child rhythm” Language and Speech 55:2, 203-229

Prieto, P., M. Vanrell, L. Astruc, E. Payne & B. Post (2012) “Phonotactic and phrasal properties of speech rhythm. Evidence from Catalan, English, and Spanish” Speech Communication, 54, 681-702

Vanrell, M., L. Astruc, E. Payne, B. Post & P. Prieto (2012) Adquisició dels patrons d'alineació i d'altura tonals en català i espanyol. Anuari de Filologia

Huff, C.  & E. Payne (2012) “Disambiguation of Tonally Unspecified Mandarin Syllables” Speech Prosody 2012, Shanghai

Payne, E., E. Eftychiou, B. Post, L. Astruc, P. Prieto & M. Vanrell (2011) “The Status of Variable Phonetic Output in Early Child Speech” Proceedings of ICPhS, Hong Kong

Payne, E., B. Post, L. Astruc, P. Prieto & M. Vanrell (2010) “Rhythmic Modification in Child Directed Speech” in M. Russo (ed) Prosodic Universals. Comparative Studies in Rhythmic Modeling and Rhythm Typology, Aracne Editrice, Roma, 147-184

Payne, E., B. Post, L. Astruc, P. Prieto & M. Vanrell (2010) “A cross-linguistic study of prosodic lengthening in child-directed speech” Speech Prosody 2010, Chicago

White, L, E. Payne & S. Mattys (2009) “Rhythmic and prosodic contrast in Venetan and Sicilian Italian” in M. Vigario, S. Frota & M Freitas (eds) Interactions in Phonetics and Phonology, Benjamins, 137-158

Payne, E. (2009) Review of J. Blevins (2004) “Evolutionary Phonology: The Emergence of Sound Patterns”, CUP, in Journal of the International Phonetic Association, vol. 39(1), 87-94

Payne, E. & E. Eftychiou (2006) “Prosodic Shaping of Consonant Gemination in Cypriot Greek” Phonetica, vol. 63: 175-198

Payne, E. (2006) “Non-durational indices of Italian geminates: an EPG study” Journal of the International Phonetic Association, vol. 36(1), 83-95

Payne, E. (2005) “Phonetic variation in Italian consonant gemination” Journal of the International Phonetic Association, vol. 35(2), 153-189