Matt Kelley

Matt Kelley

Matt Kelley

Director of the Phonetics and Phonology Lab

Assistant Professor

phonetics, spoken word recognition, computational methods, speech perception, speech acoustics, automatic speech recognition, speech technology

Matthew (Matt) C. Kelley is a specialist in how speech is produced and understood. He completed his PhD in linguistics at the University of Alberta in late 2021 and received the degree in 2022. After completing his PhD, he took on a postdoc in linguistics at the University of Washington, where he served as acting director of the University of Washington Linguistic Phonetics Lab, taught phonetics and computational methods, and conducted research on speech intelligibility and consonant clusters. He started at George Mason University in August 2023.

Kelley is keenly interested in how a listener goes from hearing sounds to understanding and recognizing words. He employs methods that explicitly account for the characteristics of the sounds that listeners hear, which historical and current models have ignored or left for future research.

He is also working on developing tools that automate tedious tasks in phonetics. One example is annotating the boundaries of where individual speech sounds occur in a recording. Tools that automate this process sit at the intersection of acoustic phonetics, linguistics, and machine learning.

Selected Publications

Perry, S. J., Kelley, M. C., & Tucker, B. V. (2024). Documenting and modeling the acoustic variability of intervocalic alveolar taps in conversational Peninsular Spanish. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 155(1), 294-305.

Kelley, M. C. (2023). Acoustic absement in detail: Quantifying acoustic differences across time-series representations of speech data. Proceedings of The 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 679-683). Postprint link.

Kelley, M. C., & Tucker, B. V. (2022). The recognition of spoken pseudowords. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 37(9), 1169-1190. Postprint link.

Kelley, M. C., & Tucker, B. V. (2022). Using acoustic distance and acoustic absement to quantify lexical competition. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151(2), 1367-1379. Open access link.

Kelley, M. C., & Tucker, B. V. (2020). A comparison of four vowel overlap measures. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 147(1), 137-145. Open access link.

Courses Taught

  • Ling 315/515/715: Statistical Methods for Linguistics
  • Ling 330/530/730: Phonetics
  • Ling 331/531/731: Phonology A
  • Ling 332/532/732: Phonology B


  • PhD, Linguistics, University of Alberta, 2022
  • MSc, Linguistics, University of Alberta, 2017
  • BA, English (Linguistics emphasis) and Spanish majors, Computer Science minor, Boise State University 2015