Lunchtime Colloquium on Wednesday, 15 March 2023

We are pleased to announce Dr. Barbara May Bernhardt, Dr. Joseph Stemberger, and Dr. Valter Ciocca as our next presenters for the School’s colloquium series. They will be presenting on the 20th anniversary of their crosslinguistic project!

WHEN: Wednesday 15 March 2023, 12:00-12:50

WHERE: Friedman Room 355 or virtual (see below for link)

TITLE: Twenty years in: Implications of a crosslinguistic project in children’s phonological development for clinical practice


2023 is the twentieth anniversary year of an international crosslinguistic project on children’s phonological development, conducted by Barbara May Bernhardt and Joe Stemberger and many international and local colleagues. The data continue to intrigue us, especially as they suggest innovations for screening, assessment and treatment of children with protracted phonological development. A wrap-up hybrid presentation will highlight key findings concerning development of word structures, segments and their interactions, and what these findings imply for clinical practice in the multilingual context, including a Whole Word Match measure. Dress code for the fun-ological finale: Tartan/plaid and/or wings!


Barbara May Bernhardt is Professor Emerita at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and was on faculty from 1990-2017. She was in the second cohort of SASS MSc speech-language pathology students (one of three 1972 alumnae) and the School’s 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, she continues the crosslinguistic project in between recreational pursuits in music, dance and the great outdoors.

Joseph Stemberger is 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 a 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.

Valter Ciocca has been a Professor in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences since 2007, when he joined the School as Director. Before coming to UBC, he was a faculty member in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Hong Kong University. His research has focused on the perceptual and acoustic characteristics of Cantonese lexical tones, the role of auditory scene analysis in speech perception, pitch perception, and the perception of auditory continuity. He has also been investigating the perceptual and acoustic characteristics of speech produced by people with hearing and speech disorders. He joined the crosslinguistic team in 2018 to contribute his expertise in digital signal processing, perception and Bayesian data analysis to the whole word match project. When not working or otherwise occupied, he likes to keep fit, to sing in a choir, to design and build loudspeakers, and to listen to music.

We look forward to seeing you on March 15!

If you plan to join us virtually, please click here to RSVP for the Zoom session.