Dr Ranjan Sen
Room 2.23, Jessop West
Internal extension: 20233
email : email@example.com
My main research interest is sound change, and I focus particularly on theories of diachronic phonology and the interface of phonetics and phonology. In addition to phonological theory and historical linguistics, I have research and teaching experience in experimental phonetics, psycholinguistics, and language acquisition.
I completed my doctorate (D. Phil.) in Comparative Philology and General Linguistics at the University of Oxford in December 2009. My thesis, `Syllable and Segment in Latin´, focused upon Latin phonology and phonological theory, and will be published as a monograph by Oxford University Press in the series Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics.
Prior to the doctorate, I was awarded the M. Phil. in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology, and the B.A. Hons./M.A. in Literae Humaniores (Classics), both at the University of Oxford.
After the D.Phil., I was a Teaching Fellow at University College London in 2009-10, and a Research Associate and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Oxford in 2010, before joining the School of English in September 2010.
My primary research interest lies in developing techniques to reconstruct and account for phonological change over time, and investigating to what extent structure plays a role in diachronic phonology. I aim to improve methods used to access fine-grained phonetic evidence from dead languages, for use in phonological theories. The methodology broadly consists of: (1) analysing the results of, and carrying out, phonetic experiments which might illuminate the conditions in the language, (2) examining the typology of phenomena in the language, and the insights of phonological theories, (3) reconstructing the phonetics and phonology of the dead language, and (4) investigating the phonological implications of the reconstruction, both for the language and for phonological theory. We can then better address the much-debated question of whether phonetics and analogical pressures alone drive sound change, or if structural constraints play a role.
My current research focuses on three areas: (1) investigating the role played by prosodic structure in sound change, examining the roles of syllable and foot structure in English, Latin, Bengali, and several Romance languages; (2) working in collaboration with Professor Joan Beal (University of Sheffield) to construct a database of eighteenth-century English phonology from contemporary sources, such as pronouncing dictionaries, in order to address problems in English phonology, both historical and contemporary; (3) working in collaboration with the Oxford Phonetics Laboratory to investigate theories of speech production and phonological representation in the mind, from the evidence of reading aloud non-words, examining questions of both phonological and psycholinguistic significance.
I have formerly been involved with projects on the construction of rich, intelligent data mining capabilities for a substantial collection of spoken audio data in British English, and on developing and evaluating techniques for identifying and monitoring different types of disordered speech.
I teach the undergraduate level 3 courses EGH310 Psychology of Language, ELL330 Phonology, and ELL353 Comparative Philology. At Master’s level, I teach a course in Phonological Acquisition for the MAs in Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics, and in Linguistic Theory and Language Acquisition for the MAs in Language Acquisition and Cognitive Studies. I have previously taught courses on Phonological Theory, Phonetics (articulatory and acoustic), Syntax and Morphology, and Latin Historical Linguistics.
I would welcome expressions of interest in PhD topics in phonology, particularly in historical or theoretical phonology, or in comparative philology. If you are thinking of doing a PhD in any of these areas, feel free to email me to discuss possible supervision, projects or funding.
I have previously supervised MA theses in Phonology, in subjects ranging from feature theory to tonal phenomena in Papuan languages. I currently supervise MA dissertations in Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics in topics such as the production of English word-final consonants by speakers of Chinese, the acquisition of word order by Italian and English infants, politeness strategies in academic writing, and language in advertising.
As Director of the MA in Language Acquisition, I oversee the running of the programme, from providing pastoral care, through teaching several modules, to supervising the majority of the dissertations. Please contact me if you have queries on the content or aims of the course.
I am the joint Disability Liaison Officer for the School of English (with Andrew Smith), providing a conduit for effective communication between students, the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS) , lecturers and personal/seminar tutors, and any other relevant parties. My role is to ensure that students are provided with the best support to be able to complete and enjoy their degrees to the best of their abilities.
- Sen, Ranjan (forthcoming). Syllable and Segment in Latin. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (doctoral thesis published as a monograph in the series Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics)
Articles and Chapters
- Coleman, John, Greg Kochanski, Ladan Baghai-Ravary, Anastassia Loukina & Ranjan Sen (in preparation). ‘Non-word pronunciations give evidence for the storage of fine phonetic detail’.
- Beal, Joan & Ranjan Sen (under review). ‘Towards a corpus of eighteenth-century English phonology’, in Kristin Davidse & Lieven Vandelanotte (eds.), Proceedings of ICAME 33, Leuven.
- Sen, Ranjan (2012). ‘Reconstructing phonological change: duration and syllable structure in Latin vowel reduction’. Phonology 29(3): 465-504. http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0952675712000231
- Sen, Ranjan (2012). ‘Exon’s Law and the Latin syncopes’, in Philomen Probert & Andreas Willi (eds.), Laws and Rules in Indo-European, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 205-226.
- Sen, Ranjan (2011). ‘Diachronic phonotactic development in Latin: the work of syllable structure or linear sequence?’, in Charles Cairns & Eric Raimy (eds.), Handbook of the Syllable, Brill's Handbooks in Linguistics 1. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 417-441.
- Sen, Ranjan (2006). ‘Vowel-weakening before muta cum liquida sequences in Latin: a problem of syllabification?’, Oxford University Working Papers in Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics 11: 143-61.
- (with Daniel Kölligan), Oxford University Working Papers in Linguistics, Philology & Phonetics, Volume 11: Comparative Philology. (2006). Complete volume available at www.ling-phil.ox.ac.uk/download/OWP2006.pdf