My research focuses on speech sounds and how they are patterned in natural language. In particular, I’m interested in aspects of prosody, i.e. (1) tone---the phenomenon of pitch differences distinguishing between word meanings, e.g. in Mandarin, ma with a high level pitch means ‘mother’, but ma with a dipping pitch shape means ‘horse’; and (2) intonation---the phenomenon of pitch differences distinguishing between sentential meanings, e.g. He ate already with a rising pitch shape is a question, but He ate already with a falling pitch shape is a declarative----and (3) how language structure is chunked in the grammar based on these and related phenomena. My research involves the application of machine learning classification algorithms for understanding how tonal and intonational elements are encoded and decoded in the acoustic speech signal as well as building computational models for recovering prosodic grammatical structure from the incoming speech stream.