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. My first degree was an MA in English Literature and Linguistics at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands). I have been an Associate Professor since 2012, and Director of Linguistics and Phonetics since 2015, minus a year's research leave in 2018-19. 


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 listeners' impressions of speech tempo.

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 several papers on the phonetics of self-correction. I have also worked on vowel epenthesis and intrusion in Libyan Arabic consonant sequences, the acoustics and perception of rhoticity, the phonetics of /t/ in English, prosodic aspects of Dutch conversation and linguistic aspects of doctor-patient interaction.

I am co-supervising Khalid Alsubaie's research on the impact of emphasis on timing in Najdi Arabic consonant sequences.

<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 have also done my share of convening team-taught modules and teaching academic skills and research methods.

Research groups and institutes

  • Formal Linguistics
  • Language variation
  • Speech production and perception

Current postgraduate researchers

<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://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>