What makes a word a word? Do we really know what the difference between a 'word' and a 'phrase' (a collection of words) is?
This question bedevils modern linguistics but still evades a good answer. My research for the past 25 years with Australian Indigenous languages has had this question lurking in the background of just about everything I do. The languages I have worked on use some words which are very long and very complex, consisting of many parts, often with difficult sound alternations involved. Most recently, I've started to investigate this question using methods from psycholinguistics and language processing (see my recent paper in Cognition, with co-researcher Rikke Bundgaard-Nielsen). My training was mostly at the University of Sydney, with an important year-long stint as a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since the early 90's I've carried out fieldwork on Indigenous languages around the southern Arnhem Land region of northern Australia, in particular Ngalakgan and Wubuy (Nunggubuyu). Wubuy is still spoken as a first language by dozens of speakers in the settlement of Numbulwar, Northern Territory.
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Displaying the 4 most recent projects by Brett Baker.
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Displaying the 42 most recent scholarly works by Brett Baker.
Anti-scope prefix order and zero-marked obliques: Unusual outcomes of a grammaticalization pathway
Brett Baker, Mark Harvey
Journal article | 2020 | Diachronica: international journal for historical linguistics
A number of indigenous languages of northern Australia have complex systems of noun class prefixation incorporating the formal rea..
Japanese co-occurrence restrictions influence second language perception
Alexander J Kilpatrick, Rikke L Bundgaard-Nielsen, Brett J Baker
Journal article | 2019 | Applied Psycholinguistics
Most current models of nonnative speech perception (e.g., extended perceptual assimilation model, PAM-L2, Best & Tyler, 2007; spee..
Acoustic correlates of lexical stress in Wubuy
Brett Baker, Rikke Bundgaard-Nielsen, Sarah Babinski, Janet Fletcher
Conference Proceedings | 2019 | Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences Melbourne, Australia 2019
We examined the acoustic correlates of lexical stress in the non-Pama-Nyungan language Wubuy (Northern Territory, Australia). We t..
Predictability, Word Frequency and Japanese Perceptual Epenthesis
Alex Kilpatrick, Shigeto Kawahara, Rikkie Bundgaard-Nielsen, Brett Baker, Janet Fletcher
Conference Proceedings | 2019 | Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019
Speakers typically invest less effort in the articulation of sounds and words that are highly predictable from their contexts. Rec..
Native prosodic systems and learning experience shape production of non-native tones
M Wu, J Fletcher, R Bundgaard-Nielsen, B Baker
Conference Proceedings | 2016 | Proceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
This study investigates how native prosodic systems and second language (L2) learning experience shape non-native tone production...
Articulatory basis of the apical/laminal distinction: Tongue tip/body coordination in the wubuy 4-way coronal stop contrast
CT Best, CH Kroos, RL Bundgaard-Nielsen, B Baker, M Harvey, M Tiede, L Goldstein
Conference Proceedings | 2014 | Proceedings of the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production, ISSP 2014
Vowel acoustics reliably differentiate three coronal stops of Wubuy across prosodic contexts
Rikke L Bundgaard-Nielsen, Brett J Baker, Christian Kroos, Mark Harvey, Catherine T Best
Journal article | 2012 | Laboratory Phonology
AbstractThe present study investigates the acoustic differentiation of three coronal stops in the indigenous Australian language W..
A kinematic analysis of temporal differentiation of the four-way coronal stop contrast in Wubuy (Australia)
R Bundgaard-Nielson, C Kroos, M Harvey, C Best, B Baker, L Goldstein
Conference Proceedings | 2010 | Proceedings of the 13th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology
Associate Professor In Linguistics
Languages And Linguistics
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Arts with Honours
University of Sydney