Labs & Groups

The department has many active research labs and groups working on a variety of projects.


Child Phonology Lab

The UBC Child Phonology Lab (directed by Anne-Michelle Tessier) researches formal phonology, child speech, and especially their intersection — including phonological development, constraint-based grammars and their learnability, second language phonologies across the lifespan, and many other things. The lab currently virtually meets on a semi-regular monthly basis, also inviting affiliated researchers from all parts, and attempts to support students at all levels.


Deep Learning and NLP Reading Group

Faculty Member: Muhammad Abdul-Mageed
Time: Wednesdays 4:15pm – 5:30pm
Place: Currently on Zoom, view schedule for times and Zoom links


Experimental Linguistics and Fieldwork Lab (ELF-Lab)

The UBC Experimental Linguistics and Fieldwork Lab (ELF-Lab; Directed by Professor Christopher Hammerly) seeks to bring advanced experimental and computational techniques such as eye tracking to fieldwork settings around the world. The aim of the lab is to produce findings applicable to answering theoretical questions within linguistics and psychology, as well as to boosting language reclamation and documentation efforts of Indigenous languages of North America.

Gitksan Research Lab

The Gitksan Research Lab is actively engaged in analytical research, text collection, dictionary work, and the creation of pedagogical materials.

We conduct fieldwork with three speakers in Vancouver every week, and team members travel to Gitksan territory at least once a year. Our research projects span everything from phonetics to semantics.


Integrated Speech Research Lab

The Integrated Speech Research Laboratory (ISRL) at UBC was established in 2000 with collaborators in Neuroscience, Audiology & Speech Sciences, Linguistics, Psychology, and Electrical & Computer Engineering. The goal of this lab is to establish a centre for interdisciplinary research in the speech-related fields at UBC.

Ktunaxa Lab

The Ktunaxa Lab is a forum to discuss linguistics research on Ktunaxa and develop community engagement initiatives. Our research covers all areas of linguistics, and we conduct fieldwork with speakers living in Vancouver and in the communities of ʔaq̓am and ʔakisq̓nuk.


Language and Learning Lab

The Language and Learning Lab at UBC focuses on child development specifically regarding their growth in understanding of language, the world, and themselves. In the lab, our research is mainly focused on language acquisition in children and how they learn to accomplish this.


Latin American Languages Lab

The Latin American Languages Lab (LaLaLab) is a student-run research group interested in the indigenous and allochthonous languages of Latin America. While there are no fixed meeting times this semester, research and collaboration will be conducted asynchronously with synchronous meetings booked as needed. Current projects include the syntax of relative clauses and comparatives in Chipileño, the semantics of DPs and quantificational strategies in Kaingang, definiteness in Güilá Zapotec, the phonology of stop contrasts in Ecuadorian Siona, the production and perception of vowels in Spanish-English bilinguals, sound change in Pirahã, Catalan syntax, and more! All are welcome!



A group oriented toward the development of two pieces of software for phonological analysis. PCT is “Phonological Corpus Tools” and SLP-AA is “Sign Language Phonetic – Annotator & Analyzer.” Both are programmed in Python and people (preferably with prior programming experience) are welcome to get involved in the development of either one. Please contact Kathleen Currie Hall for more information.


Phonology Discussion Group

The Phonology Discussion Group (PDG) meets monthly, usually to discuss a paper on some aspect of phonology, but also to present work in progress and/or practice talks. Everyone is welcome, regardless of background or phonological expertise!


Salish Working Group

UBC faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students are conducting research on the following Salish languages:

  • Halkomelem (Central/Coast)
  • Squamish (Central/Coast)
  • St’át’imcets/Lillooet (Northern Interior)
  • Okanagan (Southern Interior)
  • Thompson (Northern Interior)
  • ʔayʔaǰuθəm, also known as Comox or Sliammon (Coast)


Semantics Group

The Semantics Group is a very informal biweekly reading and discussion group in semantics and pragmatics. We discuss a wide range of topics that strike our fancy, typically reading papers or presenting our own work.


Speech in Context

The Speech in Context Lab is a dynamic research group that studies how language is perceived, processed, and produced. These topics interface with the particularly tricky puzzle of how language is cognitively represented. Most of our work examines spoken communication, and we define context rather broadly. In the lab, context involves any linguistic or paralinguistic aspect of the language scene which may affect the processing of spoken language. This includes social context, syntactic and semantic context, language environment, and talker variability to name just a few.

Syntax Reading Group

The Syntax Reading Group is an informal biweekly meeting to discuss papers, present work in progress, or give a practice talk broadly related to syntax. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students are all welcomed, regardless of background and experience. In Spring 2022, we are meeting every other Monday at 3pm starting January 17th.


We are a group researching the form and meaning of questions. We are examining a wide variety of languages, in many cases relying on novel fieldwork on under-studied and endangered ones across British Columbia, the USA, Mexico, India, South America, and beyond. This lab is funded by an SSHRC insight grant called “Questions about questions in human languages” (PI: Lisa Matthewson). To be added to the mailing list, email


Nɬeʔkepmxcín Lab (Nɬab)

Nɬeʔkepmxcín is a Northern Interior Salish language, spoken in the Interior of BC. The Nɬeʔkepmxcín Lab (Nɬab) was created as a continuation of the 2022-23 Field Methods class, with members from both UBC and SFU (Simon Fraser University). Our lab researches various linguistic features in Nɬeʔkepmxcín, including but not limited to phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics. We currently work with speakers from Lytton (ƛ̓q̓emcín) and Coldwater (c̓əɬétkʷu), BC.

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