Connor Mayer

Department of Language Science
3151 Social Science Plaza A
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA

Pronouns: he/him/his

Recent updates:

I'm an assistant professor in the Department of Language Science at The University of California, Irvine. I got my PhD from the Department of Linguistics at UCLA.

I am a phonologist and phonetician. I study phonological and phonetic learning, as well as the structure of the phonological knowledge speakers acquire. One of my overarching goals as a researcher is to broaden the empirical and methodological scope of phonological research, and in doing so provide new insights into perennial questions. My research relies on a combination of computational and experimental approaches, with phonological theory serving as the nexus between them.

I view computational modeling as a valuable complement to other methodologies in phonological research. Models based on empirical and theoretical results can be used to test claims and generate novel predictions. These predictions can in turn be evaluated against empirical results, allowing our models to be further refined and making progress towards the ultimate goal of closing the loop between modeling and empirical work. My research applies a range of computational tools to research questions in phonology and phonetics, including corpus analysis, formal language theory, neural networks, Bayesian learning, maximum entropy grammars, and biomechanical modeling. On the experimental side, I rely on instrumental phonetic techniques such as acoustic analysis and ultrasound, behavioral experiments, and more traditional elicitation-based techniques.

My current research activities fall into three broad categories: phonotactic learning, the phonetics and phonology of Uyghur (Turkic: China), and speech motor control and biomechanics. You can find more information about my specific research output in these areas on the Research page.