Michael McAuliffe

Michael McAuliffe

Computational phonetician, psycholinguist, phonologist



PhD, Linguistics; University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

Thesis title: Attention and Salience in Lexically-Guided Perceptual Learning

Advisor: Molly Babel


BA, Linguistics; University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

Honors Thesis Advisor: Ellen Kaisse

Research Appointments


Postdoctoral Fellow; McGill University, Department of Linguistics

Supervisors: Morgan Sonderegger and Michael Wagner


Research Assistant; University of British Columbia, Department of Linguistics

Supervisor: Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson


Mitacs Accelerate Fellow; Malaspina Labs Inc.

Supervisor: Alex Escott


Research Assistant; University of British Columbia, Department of Linguistics

Supervisors: Gunnar Hansson and Douglas Pulleyblank



Vietnamese forced aligner; University of Ottawa, Department of Linguistics

Principle investigator: Marc Brunelle


3D face database analysis and animation; University of British Columbia, Departments of Linguistics and Psychology

Pricinple investigators: Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson and Janet Werker


Database development and management; Zabaan Language Institute

Honors and Awards


Four Year Doctoral Fellowship; University of British Columbia


International Speech Communication Association Grant; 13th Conference of the International Speech Communication Association


Linguistic Institute Fellowship; Linguistic Society of America.




McAuliffe, M., Babel, M. Stimulus-directed attention attenuates lexically-guided perceptual learning. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 140 (3), 1727-1738.

Hall, K. C., Allen, C., Fairburn, T., Fry, M., McAuliffe, M., McMullin, K. Measuring Perceived Morphological Relatedness. Canadian Journal of Linguistics / La Revue canadienne de linguistique, 61 (1), 31-67.


Babel, M., McAuliffe, M., Haber, G. Can mergers-in-progress be unmerged in speech accommodation? Frontiers in Psychology, 4.

Submitted and in preparation

in prep
Babel, M., McAuliffe, M. Perceptual Adaptation is Supported by Linguistic Knowledge.

Conference proceedings papers


McAuliffe, M., Stengel-Eskin, E., Socolof, M., and Sonderegger, M. Polyglot and Speech Corpus Tools: a system for representing, integrating, and querying speech corpora.

McAuliffe, M., Socolof, M., Mihuc, S., Wagner, M., Sonderegger, M. Montreal Forced Aligner: trainable text-speech alignment using Kaldi.

Wagner, M., McAuliffe, M. Three Dimensions of Sentence Prosody and their (Non-)Interactions.


McAuliffe, M., Babel, M., Vaughn, C. Do listeners learn better from natural speech? In Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the International Speech Communication Association.


McAuliffe, M., Babel, M. Attention, word position, and perceptual learning. In Proceedings of the 18th International Congress on the Phonetic Sciences. London: International Phonetic Association.


Babel, M., McAuliffe, M., Narayan, C. Linguistic effects on talker discrimination: The effect of semantic cohesion. In Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Laboratory Phonology.

McAuliffe, M., Babel, M. Predictability Affects Vowel Dispersion and Dynamics in the Buckeye Corpus. In Proceedings of the 13th Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, 1398-1401.



Sonderegger M., McAuliffe, M., Bang, H-Y. Segmental influences on F0: cross-linguistic and interspeaker variability of phonetic precursors. Presented at the 4th Workshop on Sound Change, Edinburgh, UK.

Sonderegger, M., McAuliffe, M., Bozic, J., Bruno, C., Cowley, S., Jiang, B., Lamontagne, J., Schwarz, M., Su, J. Laryngeal timing across seven languages: phonetic data and their relationship to phonological features. Presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Austin, USA.


Babel, M., McAuliffe, M., Lawler, Z., Norton, C. Category typicality in perceptual learning. Presented at the 15th Conference on Laboratory Phonology, Ithaca, USA.

Cruz-Pavía, I., Gervain, J., McAuliffe, M., Vatikiotis-Bateson, E. Chunking the phrase: Acoustic and facial movement cues to word order in Infant- and Adult- Directed Speech. Presented at the 2016 International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, USA.

McAuliffe, M., Sonderegger, M., Wagner, M. A system for unified corpus analysis, applied to polysyllabic shortening across 12 languages. Presented at Montreal- Ottawa-Laval-Toronto Phonology Workshop 2016, Ottawa, Canada.


Cruz-Pavía, I., McAuliffe, M., Werker, J. F., Gervain, J., Vatikiotis-Bateson, E. Visual Cues to Phrase Segmentation and the Acquisition of Word Order. Poster presented at FAAVSP - The 1st Joint Conference on Facial Analysis, Animation and Auditory-Visual Speech Processing, Vienna, Austria.

Hall, K. C., Allen, B., Fry, M., Mackie, S., McAuliffe, M. Calculating functional load with pronunciation variants. Presented at the Modeling variability in speech workshop, Stuttgart, Germany.

McAuliffe, M., Babel, M. High variability contexts inhibit lexically-guided perceptual learning – or do they? Poster presented at the Modeling variability in speech workshop, Stuttgart, Germany.


Babel, M., McAuliffe, M., McGuire, G. Spectral similarity and listener judgments of phonetic accommodation. Presented at the Workshop on Interpersonal coordination and phonetic convergence, Cologne, Germany.

Mackie, S., Hall, K. C., Allen, B., Fry, M., McAuliffe, M. Phonological CorpusTools: A free, opensource tool for phonological analysis. Presented at the 14th Conference on Laboratory Phonology, Tokyo, Japan.

McAuliffe, M., Babel, M. Toward a holistic measure of reduction in spontaneous speech. Presented at the 14th Conference on Laboratory Phonology, Tokyo, Japan.


McAuliffe, M. Sources of lexical statistics affect model performance. Presented at the 29th Northwest Linguistics Conference, Vancouver, Canada.

Invited talks and workshops


McAuliffe, M. Workshop on speech synethesis using STRAIGHT. Workshop at University of Connecticut, February 23-24, 2017. Materials available at https://memcauliffe.com/straight_workshop/.


McAuliffe, M. Dual nature of perceptual learning: Robustness and specificity. Colloquium at the McGill University Department of Linguistics, September 23, 2016.

McAuliffe, M., Sonderegger, M. Speech Corpus Tools: an application for easier analysis of large speech corpora. Presented at the Tools for Big Data in Laboratory Phonology, July 13, 2016. Materials available at http://speech-corpus-tools.readthedocs.io/en/latest/tutorial/tutorial.html.

McAuliffe, M., Sonderegger, M. Easier speech corpus analysis: A practical introduction to Montreal Corpus Tools (including Speech Corpus Tools). Scottish Graduate School of Social Science; University of Glasgow, April 28, 2016.

McAuliffe, M. Hacking mixed models without hacking p-values. Presented at the University of Ottawa Department of Linguistics, March 29, 2016. Materials available at https://memcauliffe.com/workshops/statistics/032816/.


McAuliffe, M. Statistical phonological analysis in corpora using Phonological Corpus Tools. Presented at Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music; McGill University, October 2, 2015.


Technical skills mentor


Department of Linguistics at McGill Univeristy


Department of Linguistics at the University of British Columbia

Open source software

Maintainer for:

Regular contributer to:

Minor contribution of bugfixes and improvements to Menpo, Menpo3d, Py2neo and textgrid.





Japanese, German


French, Italian

Technical skills

Python, R, Praat, Matlab, SQL, Neo4j, Django, JavaScript, LaTeX

Department of Linguistics, McGill University

1085 Dr. Penfield, Room 111 Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A7

Last updated April 20, 2017