Gan Qiao PhD Student (2019- )

Gan Qiao

  • Title: PhD Student (2019- )
  • Institution: Australian National University

“A comparative study of ethnic variation and change in Australian English ”

Gan is undertaking a PhD on the Sydney Speaks project, examining ethnolectal variation in a set of features in Australian English, with a particular focus on Chinese-Australians. He uses quantitative methods to examine change in apparent and real time, comparing patterns observed in contemporary speech across age groups and with speakers recorded at an earlier time, both in Australia and in Hong Kong, using the ICE-HK corpus. He completed his MA in Linguistics at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, in 2019, where he mainly focused on structural priming and interactive alignment in L2 English.


Elena Sheard PhD Student (2019- )

Elena Sheard

  • Title: PhD Student (2019- )
  • Institution: Australian National University

“Language and social change over the lifespan: Speakers of Australian English forty years on”

Elena is completing her PhD with the Sydney Speaks project, conducting a lifespan study, examining the speech of a group of 10 Greek- and Italian-Australians who were recorded as teenagers (in the 1970s) and again as adults (in the 2010s). The project uses quantitative methods to investigate the role of the individual in community language change, focusing on the predictability of change over the lifespan for phonetic and phonological variables. She completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Linguistics in 2017 at the University of Sydney, with a thesis examining linguistic variation and language ideologies in young adults from Western and Northern Sydney.


Heba Bou Orm PhD Student (2022- )

Heba Bou Orm

  • Title: PhD Student (2022- )
  • Institution: Australian National University

“Lebanese Youth Voices: A study on the perception and production of ethnolectal variation in Australian English”

Heba is undertaking a PhD on the Sydney Speaks project, exploring the dynamics of Lebanese identity and intersections between ethnicity, gender, and class, as seen in both production and perception. She completed a Masters in General and Applied Linguistics from the ANU in 2021, for which she produced a thesis examining the use of formulaic stance markers such as I think, I guess, I know, I feel, and I reckon by Anglo-, Italian-, Chinese-, and Lebanese-Australians in the Sydney Speaks corpora.


Marcel Reverter Rambaldi Honours student (2022)

Marcel Reverter Rambaldi

  • Title: Honours student (2022)
  • Institution: Australian National University

“Topic Modelling in Spontaneous Speech Data”

Marcel is doing Honours on the Sydney Speaks project. In his thesis, he seeks to apply linguistic theory from discourse-pragmatics and conversational semantics to improve the efficacy of automated, topic-modelling methods from spoken-language transcripts, using the Sydney Speaks corpora as the primary data source. He completed a Bachelor of Science (Computational Science & Mathematics)/Arts (Linguistics) at the University of Queensland in 2021, and he worked with Sydney Speaks through a Summer Research Scholars project at the ANU in 2021 – 2022.


Amy Sanson Honours Student (2020)

Amy Sanson

  • Title: Honours Student (2020)
  • Institution: Australian National University

"Automated Topic Segmentation of Transcribed Spontaneous Interviews for Enhanced Linguistic Analysis”

Amy completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science, and did Honours with the Sydney Speaks project in 2020. Her thesis focused on using computational methods to segment the sociolinguistic interviews into coherent topic-based segments, trialling existing algorithms and developing new ones, and evaluating their effectiveness. She found that none of the algorithms were able to produce segmentation that paralleled what humans had done, highlighting the difficulty of applying computational methods to spontaneous speech data.

Esther Lee Honours Student (2019-2020)

Esther Lee

  • Title: Honours Student (2019-2020)
  • Institution: Australian National University

“Quotatives over time: A study in ethnic variation”

Esther completed her undergraduate degree with a major in Linguistics and minors in French and Maths at the ANU, and did Honours with the Sydney Speaks project in 2020. In her Honours thesis, she employed the variationist method to conduct apparent and real time comparisons of the quotative system of Anglo-, Greek- and Italian-Australian Adults and Teenagers recorded the 1970s, and Anglo-, Italian- and Chinese-Australian Adults and Young Adults recorded in the 2010s.

Renate Plehwe Summer Scholar (2018-2020)

Renate Plehwe

  • Title: Summer Scholar (2018-2020)
  • Institution: Monash University

Renate completer her undergraduate degree in Linguistics and French Studies, with electives in IT and computer science, at Monash University in 2021. She was a Summer Scholar on the Sydney Speaks project in 2018-2019 and again in 2019-2020 (funded by the ASD-ANU Co-Lab). Her 2018-2019 project looked at the modal verbs of obligation in Australian English, which she completed with another Summer Scholar, Caroline Cheng from UNSW. Her 2019-2020 project used a combination of variationist and computational methods to investigate changes in intensifiers modifying adjectives over time, with a particular focus on understanding the role of the intensifier-adjective collocations in this process.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University