Dr Leendert Plug

Dr Leendert Plug


I came to Leeds in 2007, after doing an MA and PhD at the University of York, and working at the University of Sheffield. I first became interested in linguistics and phonetics while doing my first degree, an MA in English Literature and Linguistics at the University of Leiden, in the Netherlands. I have been an Associate Professor since 2012. I served as Director of Linguistics and Phonetics between 2015 and 2018.


Research interests

My research interests are in phonetics, laboratory phonology and interactional linguistics, with a focus on phonetic reduction and disfluency in spontaneous speech, the perception of speech tempo and rhythm, and the temporal organisation of consonant sequences. I have worked on Dutch, English and Arabic.

My current research focuses on speech tempo perception. I began this research with the one-year project Syllables, segments and how to measure speech tempo: Evidence from listening experiments, funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grant, and am now leading the three-year project Speech tempo perception and missing sounds, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Grant. Both projects have been in collaboration with Rachel Smith (University of Glasgow), and the current project is associated with a full-time research fellowship filled by Robert Lennon. Together, the two projects investigate the impact of syllabic complexity and segmental reduction and deletion on normal listeners' impressions of speech tempo.

I am also working on vowel epenthesis and intrusion in Libyan Arabic consonant sequences, with Barry Heselwood and Raouf Shitaw, and am co-supervising Khalid Alsubaie's research on the impact of emphasis on timing in Najdi Arabic consonant sequences.

Before starting on my current projects I was Principal Investigator on the ESRC-funded project Prosodic marking revisited: The phonetics of self-initiated self-repair in Dutch, working with Paul Carter, and published a series of papers on the phonetics of self-correction. I have also worked on the acoustics and perception of rhoticity, the phonetics of /t/ in English, prosodic aspects of Dutch conversation and linguistic aspects of doctor-patient interaction.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

At Leeds most of my teaching has been in the areas of phonetics and phonology, interactional linguistics and language change. I am also an experienced convenor of team-taught modules, and have taught academic skills and research methods.

Research groups and institutes

  • Formal Linguistics
  • Language variation
  • Speech production and perception
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>