Dr Bridget J. Smith

Picture of Dr Bridget J. Smith

Postdoctoral Research Scholar


I am currently a Postdoctoral Research scholar with Jeff Mielke, under NSF grant BCS-1451475: "Phonological implications of covert articulatory variation".

Prior to that, I was a Postdoctoral researcher with Mary Beckman (OSU) and Jonathan Harrington (Munich) under an Annaliese Meiers Forschungspreis to Mary Beckman.

I recieved my PhD from The Ohio State University in 2013. Thesis: The interaction of speech perception and production in laboratory sound change

Teaching and Research Interests

My research interests are centered around three VERY BIG questions regarding the specifics of sound change: How does it begin? What should we expect a sound change to look like during its various stages? And is there any way of predicting what sounds are likely to change, and whether and/or when they are likely to change? Drawing on a broad base of methodologies from historical and sociolinguistics, phonetics, phonology, and psycholinguistics, I pose smaller questions that can be experimentally tested, to eventually chip away at answering these VERY BIG questions. We realize that variability is the beginning stage of sound change, but also that all sound categories are variable at all times, in all languages, so what makes sound change interesting is that languages' sound systems are remarkably stable in spite of all this variability. In order to understand why sound systems change when they do, we also need to understand what makes them so stable. I am therefore focused on variability: acoustic, articulatory, and perceptual variability.


Phonological implications of covert articulatory variation (with Jeff Mielke, NCSU)

A crosslinguistic study of phonologization of vowel lengthening (with Becca Morley, Bjoern Koehnlein, and Nohyong Kim, OSU)

Subphonemic processing differences in gendered speech perception


  • Ph.D. in Linguistics from The Ohio State University, 2013