Colloquium with Drs. Barbara May Bernhardt and Joseph Stemberger, Wednesday 4 November

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Barbara May Bernhardt and Dr. Joseph Stemberger will be giving our next talk on Wednesday, November 4th as part of the colloquium series for the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences.

WHEN: Wednesday 4 November 2020, 12:30 – 13:20pm (meeting room opens at 12:20)

WHERE:  Zoom invitation:; Passcode 600470 (please note: this session will be recorded)


Crosslinguistic study in phonological development: Phenomena and Fun-omena

 Since 2006 a crosslinguistic study in phonological development has been running with lead investigators Barbara May Bernhardt and Joseph Stemberger (University of British Columbia) and colleagues in over 20 countries. In the colloquium we will present a brief overview of the study, and give some unexpected and expected results concerning within-language data for Spanish singleton onsets and Akan labio-palatalized consonants, plus between-language comparisons for word-initial tap/trill clusters in seven languages, and English-German-Icelandic fricatives. These data speak to variability in acquisition, the importance of word structure information when examining segmental development, and the challenging complexity of cross-linguistic comparison. A fun-ological finale will feature one of the new languages in the project, Akan, with a guest appearance of recent Linguistics MA graduate, Wendy Amoako, now a doctoral student at the University of Alberta.


Barbara May Bernhardt, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and was on faculty from 1990-2017. She was in the first cohort of SASS MSc speech-language pathology students (1972 alumna) and was the first PhD student (1990). Her primary area of study is language development and intervention, focusing on phonology. Outcomes of a continuing crosslinguistic project on phonological development include the free website Other areas of study include ultrasound in speech therapy, and approaches to service delivery for Indigenous people in Canada, for which she co-developed the SASS course, AUDI 540. As Emerita, Dr. Bernhardt continues the crosslinguistic study in between other pursuits in the arts and outdoors.


Joseph Stemberger, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus in the Department of Linguistics at the University of British Columbia. His primary interests involve language processing, focusing especially on phonology and morphology, and interactions between them and with phonetics. He has done extensive work on morphological and phonological processing in adult language production. Current projects focus on first-language acquisition, with one goal being to identify what things are similar across language and what things are different, and to attempt to explain why. The current cross-linguistic project focuses on typical versus protracted phonological development in a gradually increasing number of languages. Another project on the Mexican language, Valley Zapotec, focuses on phonological and morphological development of children from 1;3 to 6;0. He also does traditional dancing (English and Slovenian), was in two choirs pre-COVID, and likes to go hiking and cycling.