Professor Bill Wells, MA (Oxon), DPhil (York), Dip RSA, Hon FRCSLT.

Bill Wells

Department of Human Communication Sciences
University of Sheffield
362 Mushroom Lane
S10 2TS
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 2429
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 2439

email :

Research Interests

Typical and atypical speech development in children:

  • intonation
  • linguistic, psycholinguistic and interactional approaches
  • connected speech features
  • regional accents
  • assessment of speech difficulties across languages

Phonetics of talk-in-interaction:

  • in children’s development and across different languages
  • turn-organisation; overlapping talk; alignment; focus

Current and recent projects

  • Meeting the challenge of simultaneous talk for cochlear implant users. Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council. 2014-15.With Professor Guy Brown, (Department of Computer Science) and Dr Harriet Crook ( Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) Research associates: Amy Beeston, Erica Bradley, Dr Emina Kurtić.
  • Phonetic design of overlapping speech in talk-in-interaction: A cross-linguistic study. Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council . With Professor Guy Brown, (Department of Computer Science). RA: Emina Kurtić
  • PIPIN: Promoting independence through personalised interactive technologies UoS Digital World PhD network. PhD student: Inigo Casanueva; Lead supervisor: Prof Phil Green (Department of Computer Science). 2011-14
  • Sound to Sense: Marie Curie Research Training Network in Fine Phonetic Detail (Senior Scientist). Research fellow: Jan Gorisch. Lead supervisor: Prof Guy Brown (Department of Computer Science). 2007-11

Current PhD Students

Baharak Baranian        Speech assessment of Farsi-speaking children with cleft palate
Joy Newbold                Measurement of children’s speech development
Eleftheria Geronikou    Phonological and morphological development in Greek children
Inigo Casanueva         Interaction with PALS (Personal Adaptive Listening Systems)
Nisreen Al-Awaji          Speech assessment of Saudi Arabic speaking children with cleft palate
Pam Williams               Diadochokinetic profiles of children with speech difficulties

Recent publications

Anstey, J & B. Wells (2013) The uses of overlap: carer-child interaction involving a nine year old boy with auditory neuropathy. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics. 27(10–11): 746–769

Newbold, E.J., Stackhouse, J & Wells, B.(2013) Tracking change in children with speech
difficulties. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 27(6-7), 521-539

Kurtić, E, Brown, G & Wells, B. (2013) Resources for turn-competition in overlapping talk. Speech Communication 55 (5), 721-743

Gorisch, J, Wells, B & Brown G. (2012) Pitch contour matching and interactional alignment: An acoustic investigation. Language and Speech 55, 57-76

Tempest, A & Wells, B (2012). Alliances and arguments: A case study of a child with persisting speech difficulties in peer play. Child Language Teaching and Therapy. 28 , 57-72