Indiana University

The Department of Second Language Studies

Kenneth J. deJong

Photo of Kenneth J. deJong

Professor of Linguistics
Adjunct Professor of Second Language Studies
(812) 856-1307
Ballantine Hall 859

Research Interests

  • Prosodic systems in Natural Human Communication
  • Second Language Production & Perception
  • Speaking/Listening and Variation across Individuals
  • Phonetic Facts as Historical Pressures


  • M.A., Ph.D. 1991 Linguistics, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • B.A. 1984 English, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Personal Statement

The Nature of Prosodic Systems in Natural Human Communication

How do stress, intonation, and syllabic parsing effects get conventionalized in languages, and how do they function? Stress: how does it differ across languages, and how does it interact with segmental contrast in production and perception? Syllabification: how does syllabification affect segmental production and perception, and how does it interact with production pressures? This project has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.

Second Language Production and Perception

There is a lot to learn about how to predict what effects will arise with second language hearers and perceivers. What we do know, shows that learners are very different from one another, and such variation seems very useful for understanding the relationship between speaking, listening, and the linguistic system.

The Relationship between Speaking and Listening and Variation across Individuals

How segments get perceived isn't always the same as how they get produced. Also, different individuals exhibit differences in how they encode acoustic effects in their production systems. Finally, differences in these individuals is known and accounted for by listeners. This variation has got to be important in determining how a linguistic system works, but I'm not sure how, and am sure curious about it.

Phonetic Facts as Historical Pressures

We know that various aspects of speaking and listening get recoded in the structure of a linguistic system, but how? Many likely mechanisms require lots of time, implicating historical linguistics as an important discipline for would-be phoneticians and phonologists. But how does the historical process work, and how much is involved in individual speakers and listeners here and now?


  • de Jong, K. J. (In press). "Temporal Structure and the Nature of Syllable-level Timing Patterns." Papers in Laboratory Phonology 9.
  • Nagao, K. and K. J. de Jong (2007). "Perceptual Rate Normalization in Naturally Produced Rate-varied Speech". Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120: 2882-2898.
  • Clopper, C.G., D.B. Pisoni, and K.J. de Jong (2005). "Acoustic Characteristics of the Vowel Systems of Six Regional Varieties of American English." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 118: 1661-1676.
  • de Jong, K.J., B.J. Lim, and K. Nagao (2004). "The Perception of Syllable Affiliation of Singleton Stops in Repetitive Speech." Language and Speech, 47: 241-266.
  • de Jong, K.J. (2004). "Stress, lexical focus, and segmental focus in English: Patterns of variation in vowel duration." Journal of Phonetics, 32: 493-516.
  • de Jong, K.J. (2003). "Temporal Constraints and Characterizing Syllable Structuring." In J. Local, R Ogden, and R. Temple (eds.), Papers in Laboratory Phonology 6. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 253-268.
  • de Jong, K.J. & B.A. Zawaydeh (2002). "Comparing Stress, Lexical Focus, and Segmental Focus: Patterns of Variation in Arabic Vowel Duration." Journal of Phonetics, 30: 53-75.
  • de Jong, K.J. (2001). "Effects of Syllable Affiliation and Consonant Voicing on Temporal Adjustment in a Repetitive Speech Production Task." Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 44: 826-840.
  • de Jong, K.J. (2001). "Rate-induced Resyllabification Revisited." Language and Speech, 44: 197-216.
  • de Jong, K.J., and S.G. Obeng (2000). "Labio-Palatalization in Twi: Prosodic, Contrastive, and Quantal Effects on Linguistic Micro-evolution." Language, 76(3): 174-195.
  • de Jong, K.J. and B.A. Zawaydeh (1999). "Stress, Duration, and Intonation in Arabic Word-level Prosody." Journal of Phonetics, 27: 3-22.
  • de Jong, K.J. (1998). "Stress-related Variation in the Articulation of Coda Alveolar Stops: Flapping Revisited". Journal of Phonetics, 26: 283-310.

Courses Taught

  • Advanced Phonetics
  • Introduction to Historical Linguistics
  • Phonology
  • Phonetics

The learning of second and foreign languages is a rich and fascinating process involving linguistic, psychological, cultural, and social dimensions. The Indiana University Department of Second Language Studies is dedicated to teaching and research on the structure, acquisition, and use of nonnative language in both instructed and contact contexts.