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 was Director of Linguistics and Phonetics between 2015 and 2022, 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 and within-speaker variation in speech production. The research on speech tempo perception has been supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grant (Syllables, segments and how to measure speech tempo: Evidence from listening experiments, 2016-17) and a Leverhulme Trust Research Grant (Speech tempo perception and missing sounds, 2017-2022) Both projects have been in collaboration with Rachel Smith (University of Glasgow). The research on within-speaker variation is supported by another British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grant (How variable is speech, how reliable are single recordings?, 2022-2024). 

Previously I was Principal Investigator on the ESRC-funded project Prosodic marking revisited: The phonetics of self-initiated self-repair in Dutch 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.

<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>

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Academic Phoneticians
  • International Phonetic Association

Student education

At Leeds most of my teaching is in the areas of phonetics and phonology and interactional linguistics. I also do 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>