research and other things i do

The spectrogram shown here is of the /aka/ sequence in una capella “the chapel” uttered by a speaker of Florentine Italian.

Hear it in context:

The full sentence in Italian is “La piccola chiesa in cui si erano sposati aveva una capella molto bella nella quale si trovavano degli affreschi vecchissimi.” Gloss:  “The little church where they were married had a very pretty chapel in which there were some very old frescos.”


This is a still image of my tongue (sagittal view, tongue tip to the right).  Here’s a Quicktime movie of me saying “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”

papers & presentations


R-A. Knight, C. Villafaña Dalcher, and M.J. Jones. “An acoustic analysis of rhotic acquisition in Southern British English”.


Knight, R-A., C. V. Dalcher, M. J. Jones. (2008). “Cue switching in the perception of approximants: evidence from two English dialects” in Proceedings of the Joint Conference of the 155th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, 5th Forum ACUSTICUM, and 9th Congrès Français d’Acoustique, Paris, France. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Volume 123, Issue 5, pp. 3319-3319 Note this is a more acoustically-oriented version of the NWAV paper below.

Villafaña Dalcher, C. 2008. “Phonetic, phonological, and social forces as filters:  another look at the Gorgia Toscana.”  In Proceedings of the 31st Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium, Philadelphia, PA, February 2007.
powerpoint presentation from talk at PLC 31 2007

Villafaña Dalcher, C., M.J. Jones, R-A. Knight. 2008.  “Cue switching in the perception of approximants:  Evidence from two English dialects.” In Penn Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 14.2: Selected Papers from NWAV 36.

Villafaña Dalcher, C. 2008. “Consonant weakening in Florentine Italian: a cross-disciplinary approach to gradient and variable sound change.”  Language Variation and Change 20.2.


Villafaña Dalcher, C. 2007. “Statistical methods for quantitative analysis of multiple lenition components.” In Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Saarbrücken, Germany, August 2007: 857-860.

Knight, R-A., C. Villafaña Dalcher, M.J. Jones. 2007. “A real-time case study of rhotic acquisition in Southern British English.” In Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Saarbrücken, Germany, August 2007: 1581-1584.


Villafaña Dalcher, C. “Consonant weakening in Florentine Italian: An acoustic study of gradient and variable sound change.” Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University.


Villafaña, C. “New Vowels in an Existing Space: evidence from Italian production of English /æ/” (long abstract).  In Acquisizione e mutamento di categorie linguistiche.Atti del Convegno della Società Italiana di Glottologia (Perugia, 23-25 ottobre 2003).  Testi raccolti a cura di Lidia Costamagna e Stefania Giannini.  Biblioteca della S.I.G. 28.  Rome: Il Calamo.


Villafaña, C. “Emergence of the unmarked in interlanguage coda production.”  In George Mason University Working Papers in Linguistics, ed. C. Villafaña, 33-48.

Villafaña, C. “Subject Prominence in English Middles.”  In George Mason University Working Papers in Linguistics, ed. C. Villafaña, 55-62.

Presentation handouts

Revisiting geminate alterability (talk given at LSA 2006 Annual Meeting – handout only)

Subject Prominence in English Middles (talk given at the LSA 2001 Annual Meeeting) 

a few non-linguistic things i do well

Cycling:  generally on an old Fondriest racer that has now made it across the seas several times – from Italy to Washington DC to London to Abu Dhabi to Sri Lanka.  Cycling around London was wonderful – plenty of green and an abundance of cycle-friendly paths and lanes.  Check out the London Cycling Campaign for more details.  The hills of Tuscany remain my favourite.

Gardening, needlework, cooking:  Back when I had a garden, the summer months involved trimming roses and staking tomatoes.  Nice break from bookish stuff.  In between semesters (but for some reason never during), I do a little cross-stitch, needlepoint, or knitting.  Usually this results in family members being overwhelmed with scarves and hats at Christmastime.  Cooking is an everyday experience.  Each meal is its own little project with a definite beginning and end.  A lot less data collection than required by a phonology paper, and you can eat the results.

The Times Crossword:  Actually, I did the Telegraph Crossword because that’s the paper my husband bought, and it’s easier (!) than the Times version.  When I lived in the middle east, my cryptic of preference was the one in the Gulf News. A pretty scary thing to stare at for hours and still wind up with a blank grid — that is, until you start thinking like those pesky setters (and even then, it’s pretty devilish).  For those of you who are wondering what I’m talking about – have a look at the London Times Cryptic Crossword page.  There’s a free demo for the brave.  If  you need help, this online cryptic crossword guide is a good place to start.  If you want to know the specifics of how to solve the Times demo, I put together a Cryptic Crossword Guide.

linguistics links

Feel free to contact me with link suggestions or if you find any to be broken.


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