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Wendell A. Kimper
wendell (dot) kimper (at) manchester (dot) ac (dot) uk

I'm currently a Lecturer (US equivalent: Assistant Professor) in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Manchester. My research tends to focus on the phonology/phonetics interface, and I'm particularly interested in markedness, (non-)locality, phonetic grounding of phonological processes, and speech perception. I am the director of the Phonetics and Psycholinguistics Labs.

I did my undergraduate studies at Hampshire College, where I developed an abiding enthusiasm for inquiry-based education. I completed my PhD in 2011 at UMass Amherst, where I was frequently involved in John McCarthy and Joe Pater's NSF grant investigating Harmonic Serialism and Harmonic Grammar. My dissertation research brought both experimental and theoretical methods to bear on the issue of transparency and opacity in vowel harmony.

My Erdős number is 6.


  • I'll be presenting joint work with Kristine Yu, Chris Green, and Will Bennet at ACAL47 in Berkeley, March 2016.
  • Recent News:

  • I did an outreach visit at The King's School in Macclesfield, including a taster lecture for 6th Form students and demonstrations of ultrasound imaging and static palatography for Year 7 and Year 9 & 10 students (11 February).
  • I gave a talk (title: Toward a Classification of Somali Vowel Harmony Sets: Some preliminary findings) at the University of California, Berkeley on 7 December 2015.
  • I gave a talk (title: Universal grammar across the galaxy: Phonotactic frequency and markedness in fictional alien names) at NYU on 6 November 2015.
  • I'll be gave a talk (title: Generalisation and Biased Learning) at Yale University on 13th November and the University of Utah on 3 December 2015.
  • I gave a talk (title: Asymmetrical generalisation of harmony triggers) at the 2015 Annual Meeting on Phonology in Vancouver.
  • I gave several outreach presentations at 6th form schools in 2015, including Westwood College in Staffordshire (3 March) and Audenshaw School in Greater Manchester (30 April).
  • I presented a talk at the W(h)ither OT? Fringe Meeting at the 23rd Manchester Phonology Meeting (mfm) in May (title: What changes and what stays the same: Is Harmonic Serialism with positive constraints still Optimality Theory?).
  • A student project from my Quantitative Research Methodology class made the news! Louise Middleton looked at rhyming patterns in hip-hop lyrics, finding significant correlations between rhyme types and rappers' vocabulary use. Louise was interviewed on North Manchester radio (the interview starts at around 18:50).
  • Last Updated: 15 February 2016