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Department of Linguistics

Dr Michael Proctor

Senior Lecturer
BE (Computer) UNSW; BA (Spanish) UNSW; MA (Linguistics) UQ; PhD (Linguistics) Yale

Michael is a lecturer in linguistics, investigating speech production and perception, and phonological organization in human language.

I'm interested in speech production and perception, and phonological organization in human language. My research focuses on the phonetic properties of 'patterns of sounds', with a special interest in phonological classes which have proven difficult to describe: liquid and fricative consonants.

We use ultrasound, Electromagnetic Articulography, eye-tracking, real-time Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and other technologies to investigate the dynamics of speech production - how the vocal tract is shaped over time - to inform our knowledge of phonological structure and its cognitive representation. By studying how the same speech sounds are perceived, we hope to understand the links between production and perception, and gain further insights into the basic units of contrast in phonology.

Our work examines aspects of the phonetics and phonology of Spanish, Russian, Tamil, Mandarin Chinese, Kaytetye, Italian, Arabic, French, Greek, German, SiSwati, Ndebele, Khoekhoe, and different varieties of American and Australian English, amongst other languages.


Lammert, A., Proctor, M., & Narayanan, S. (2013). Interspeaker variability in hard palate morphology and vowel production. Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, 56(6), S1924-S1933

Proctor, M., Bresch, E., Byrd, D., Nayak, K. & Narayanan S. (2013) Paralinguistic mechanisms of production in human "beatboxing": A real-time magnetic resonance imaging study. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133(2): 1043-1054

Lammert, A., Proctor, M., & Narayanan S. (2013) Morphological Variation in the Adult Hard Palate and Posterior Pharyngeal Wall. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56(2): 521-530

Zhu, Y., Kim, Y.C., Proctor, M.I., Narayanan S. & Nayak, K. (2013) Dynamic 3D Visualization of Vocal Tract Shaping during Speech. IEEE Trans. on Medical Imaging, 32(5): 838-848

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Awards and Grants

  • Promotion to Senior Lecturer (Level C) (2015), Proctor, M.
  • Alvin M. Liberman Memorial Award (2009), Proctor, M.I. Haskins Laboratories.
  • Raymond H. Stetson Scholarship in Phonetics and Speech Production (2009), Proctor, M.I. Acoustical Society of America.
  • Macquarie University Strategic Infrastructure Scheme Grant (2016) "Future proofing Macquarie's Speech Perception Laboratory." Benders, T., Demuth, K., Cox, F., Sharma, M., Tsukuda, K., Proctor, M., Szakay, A., Yuen, I., Xu, N., Schmidt, E., Koring, L., Ma, W., & Kung, C. ($136,000)
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant [DP150100845] (2015 - 2017) "The phonological structure of Kaytetye: Unique or universal?" Harvey, M.D., Turpin, M.M., & Proctor, M.I. ($202,135)
  • ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) [DE150100318] (2015 - 2017) "Solving the puzzle of complex speech sounds." Proctor, M. ($360,000)
  • Macquarie University Strategic Infrastructure Scheme Grant (2015) "Phonetics laboratory research facilities." Proctor, M., Cox, F., Demuth, K., Cupples, L., Harrison, E., Sharma, M., Mannell, R., Yuen, I., Xu, N., Schmidt, E., Kung, C., Nickels, L., Johnson, B., Palethorpe, S., Biedermann, B., Sowman, P., Kinoshita, S., & Tsukada, K. ($88,650)
  • Macquarie University Faculty of Human Sciences Equipment Grant (2014) "Speech studio equipment." Cox, F., Proctor, M., Demuth, K., Crain, S., Xu, N., Slatyer, H., Kruger, J.-L., Mannell, R., Yuen, I., Palethorpe, S., McMahon, C., Barnes, S., Thornton, R., Cupples, L., & Sharma M. ($9,980)
  • Macquarie University Strategic Infrastructure Scheme Grant (2014) "Articulograph for speech research." Proctor, M., Biedermann, B., Cox, F., Cupples, L., Demuth, K., Harrison, E., Johnson, B., Kinoshita, S., Lin, S., Mannell, R., Nickels, L., Palethorpe, S., Sharma, M., Sowman, P., Thompson, B., Tsukada, K., Yuen, I., & Xu, N. ($75,915)
  • Macquarie University Research Infrastructure Block Grants [9201301063]. (2013) "Tobii eye-tracker and sound level meter for testing infants and young children." Demuth, K., Xu Rattanasone, N., Cox, F., Proctor, M., McMahon, C., & Sharma, M. ($77,661)
  • Macquarie University New Staff Grant (2013) "Investigating coarticulation in connected speech using realtime MRI." Proctor, M. ($17,555)




Michael Proctor

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Office: AHH 3.435
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