Dr Donald Derrick

Donald DerrickAdjunct Researcher

Research Program: Speech and Language


I study speech production and perception in order to identify the phonetic constraints on low-level speech production, and the low-level percepts that can enhance or interfere with speech perception. One of my goals is to develop a theory of phonetic constraints on speech production that allows us to understand when and how low-level speech variability can systematize into sounds with different meanings in a language or dialect. Currently, I believe that when listeners can perceive low-level speech variability, it has a chance to become meaningful in that listener's idiolect.

My research has implications for speech planning, constraints on speech production, and multi-modal speech perception, including the possibility of enhancing speech perception among the hard-of-hearing.

Research Interests

  • Saving energy vs. making yourself understood during speech production
  • Speech Perception Enhancement Research

Qualifications and Honours

  • PhD 2011 University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, CA, Department of Linguistics
  • MA 1997 Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, CA, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology
  • BA 1995 Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS, CA, Department of Anthropology
  • 2011 (Honourable Mention): Raymond H. Stetson Scholarship in Phonetics and Speech Production, Acoustical Society of America
  • 2008: A. G. Bell Student Prize in Speech Communication and Hearing, Canadian Acoustical Association


For a full listing of my publications, please see my personal publications page.(opens in a new window)