Research Interests

I. Theoretical interests in speech and language processing 

I am interested in the basic processes underlying the production and perception of foreign-accented speech. By studying the phenomenon of foreign-accented speech, one can gain novel and unique insights into long-standing problems and questions about the nature of speech perception, language processing, word recognition, cognitive processes underlying linguistic processing, and so on.

II. Psychosocial factors affecting perception of foreign-accented speech 

In our globally-interconnected present era, we are constantly encountering people who speak with accents different from ours. In order to successfully communicate with people with different types of accents, it becomes important to understand the factors that play a role in the perception, processing, and decoding of accented speech. Both, speaker-related and listener-related variables, as well as the nature of the accented speech itself,  influence the perception and ultimately, the understanding of accented speech. Hence, my research also strives to systematically address the types of speaker-, listener-, and accent-related variables that come into play, and the nature of their interactive roles in processing and understanding foreign-accented speech.

III. Clinical interests in evidence-based practice in assessment and therapy of foreign-accented speech 

A parallel line of investigation in my research deals with clinical issues related to evidence-based practice in dialect- and accent-modification useful for both, Speech-language pathologists as well as ESL teachers. Specifically, I have strived to apply research findings from cross-language speech research to design an objective assessment tool (CAAI: Shah, 2007), and an efficacy-based treatment protocol for use of clinicians and ESL teachers in management of dialects and accents.