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Department of Linguistics

Dr Titia Benders

Titia is a developmental phonetician with a PhD from the University of Amsterdam and post-doctoral training at the Radboud University Nijmegen, who took a little detour via the School of Psychology at Newcastle University (Australia) to end up at Macquarie in 2015. She investigates developing phonological representations at the interface between perception, production, and input, in children up to three (and sometimes six) years old. A second line of research concerns the linguistic and emotional properties of infant-directed speech. Her work has a strong methodological angle, employing techniques from phonetics and developmental psychology, as well as recent statistical insights.

Research Interests

  • The relation between speech perception; production; and input in infant and child language development; 
  • Modelling speech perception using mathematical decision models; 
  • Bayesian analysis techniques in infancy research; 
  • Infant-Directed Speech (the role of speaker affect; paternal IDS)


Book Chapters

Benders, T. and Altvater-Mackensen, N. (under review). Before the word: Acquiring a phonemic inventory. Invited contribution to: Mani, N. and Westermann, T (eds.) Early Word Learning in Current Issues in Developmental Psychology series, Psychology Press.

McMurray, B. and Benders, T. (2014). Speech perception and categorization (development of). In: Brooks, P.J. and Kempe, V.K. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Language Development. SAGE Publications Inc.

Escudero, P. & Benders, T. (2010). Phonetic and phonological approaches to early word recognition: Empirical endings, methodological issues and theoretical implications. In: Everaert, M., Lentz, T., de Mulder, H., Nilsen, O., & Zondervan A. (eds.) The Linguistic Enterprise: Psychological Reality and Theoretical Validity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Refereed Journal Articles

Benders, T. (under revision). Six-month-old infants prefer speech based on speech timbre alone. Infancy

Benders, T. (under revision). Learning vowels from multiple auditory cues: Dutch infants' language input and perception.

Benders, T. & Escudero, P. (submitted). Limited use of duration in Spanish vowel perception: Effect of spectral range and number of response options.

Wanrooij, K., Boersma, P. & Benders, T. (2015). Observed effects of "distributional learning" may not relate to the number of peaks: A test of "dispersion" as a confounding factor. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1341. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01341 

Lammertink, I., Casillas, M., Benders, T., Post, B., & Fikkert, P. (2015). Dutch and English toddlers' use of linguistic cues in predicting upcoming turn transitions. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 495. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00495

Benders, T. (2013). Mommy is only happy! Dutch mothers enhance affect in infant-directed speech, not didactic intent. Infant Behavior and Development, 36, 847-962. DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2013.09.001

Lipski, S., Escudero, P., & Benders, T. (2012). Language experience modulates weighting of acoustic cues for vowel perception: an event-related potential study. Psychophysiology, 49, 638{650. DOI: 10.1111/j.14698986.2011.01347.x

Benders, T., Escudero, P., & Sjerps, M. J. (2012). The interrelation between acoustic context effects and available response categories in speech sound categorization. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131:4, 30793087. DOI: 10.1121/1.3688512

Escudero, P., Benders, T., & Wanrooij, K. (2011) Enhanced vowel distributions facilitate adult L2 learning. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130:4, EL206EL212. DOI: 10.1121/1.3629144

Escudero, P., Benders, T., & Lipski, S. (2009). Native, non{native and L2 perceptual cue weighting for Dutch vowels: The case of Dutch, German, and Spanish listeners. Journal of Phonetics, 37:4, 452465. DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2009.07.006

Refereed Conference Papers

Chladkova, K., Benders, T. and Boersma, P. (2015). The perceptual basis of the feature vowel height. Proceedings of ICPhS 2015, Glasgow, Scotland, August 2015.

Benders, T. & Escudero, P. (2010). The interrelation between the stimulus range and the number of response categories in vowel categorization. Proceedings of Interspeech 2009, Makuhari, Japan, September 2010.

Benders, T. & Boersma, P. (2009). Comparing methods to find a best exemplar in a multidimensional space. Proceedings of Interspeech 2009, Brighton, UK, September 2009.

Titia Benders Profile

Call: +61 2 9850 4154
Office: AHH 3.435
Email Titia Benders