Professor Elinor Payne

Professor of Phonetics and Phonology

I am Professor of Phonetics and Phonology in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics at the University of Oxford, where I am a member of the Phonetics Lab.


My overarching research interest is cross-linguistic speech variation — how it arises, what shapes it and how speakers use it — and its relationship both to phonology and to wider communicative goals. Within this frame, I have worked on speech timing and other aspects of prosody, including intonation, for a range of languages, including how infants acquire these. My current research investigates:

  • prosodic and phonetic variation and convergence arising from societal multilingualism and languages in contact, in particular:
    • Indian English (as spoken in India and the diaspora);
    • Cypriot varieties of Greek, Turkish and Arabic;
    • Venetan dialect vs the regional Italian of the Veneto.
  • the interplay of prosody and co-speech gesture in multimodal communication


I teach phonetics and phonology at undergraduate level, for Modern Languages and Linguistics (MLL); and Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL), and at postgraduate levels for the MSt and MPhil in Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, and supervise doctoral students.

I am on Special Research Leave throughout 2021-2022, and on Sabbatical Leave throughout 2022-2023.

For more information about my research, teaching and publications, please visit my Phonetics Lab website  

I am also a Governing Body Fellow at St Hilda’s College and a Lecturer at Oriel College

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