About Me

Hi! I’m Cong (more about my name). I am a postdoctoral research associate in the ERC project SPRINT, with Prof. Amalia Arvaniti as the PI (more about our project). I am also leading a summer research project on investigating the relationship between singing and speech (here are some preliminary results), funded by the PDRA Summer Research Prize at the University of Kent.

My research mainly focuses on aspects about speech prosody (such as intonation and lexical tone), using a variety of approaches including:

  • Phonetics and Phonology (Laboratory Phonology)
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Language Acquisition

I finished my DPhil studies (viva-ed on 1st May 2018) at the Language and Brain Lab, University of Oxford. My DPhil thesis, supervised by Professor Aditi Lahiri, was about the intonational tunes in a tonal language — Tianjin Mandarin (More about my DPhil project).

I received my Master’s degree in Linguistics and Language Acquisition from Newcastle University (UK). There, I worked on a number of projects including child language acquisition, second language acquisition, Mandarin lexical tone perception, etc.

For my undergraduate degree, I studied Translation and Interpreting at Beijing Foreign Studies University (China). I am therefore also interested in studies about translation and interpreting.

Following my DPhil, I worked as a TTS linguist (Linguistics Engineer) in A-Lab at Rokid Inc. One of my major projects was Singing Synthesis (text-to-singing) (More about my industry experience).

So far, I have studied the subject of language from quite a few different perspectives. These experiences are indeed very fascinating and inspiring for my future research.


  • 2018 – 2019
    Text-to-Speech Linguist (Linguistics Engineer)
    A-Lab, Rokid Inc. (Beijing, China)


  • 2018
    D. Phil.
    University of Oxford
    General Linguistics and Comparative Philology
  • 2012
    M.A. (with Distinction)
    Newcastle University
    Linguistics & Language acquisition
  • 2011
    B.A. (first-class equivalence, with Excellent Graduate Award)
    Beijing Foreign Studies University, China
    English Language and Literature (Translation and Interpreting)


My Blogs

I write some blog posts on various topics. Here’s a list of recent ones:

Model(ling) in Linguistics / Phonetics

For a very long time, I did not understand what the word ‘model’ or ‘modelling’ mean exactly in the field of linguistics. It is not because I knew little about it; quite the opposite, I probably knew too much about it, but in an unorganised way. The word ‘model’ can refer to so many different […]

Installing and Using the Penn Forced Aligner (P2FA) Chinese – 2nd Edition

This is an edited version of this tutorial. Here’s the pdf version. My friend (who had no knowledge and experience in linguistics or programming) kindly tried the tutorial out — Thanks Lixi! So, in this edition, I added a few more pictures and clarified many instructions. I hope this is clear enough now. Drop me a […]

Scripting in Praat 001

This is a maverick of its fellow Praat scripting tutorials. I assume you have already read some of the tutorials online, but still don’t know where to start. The gift box My favourite part of Praat scripting is that it gives you a box. Not the pink one that you always have to get rid […]

Notes on ‘A manifesto for reproducible science’

  Munafò, Marcus R., Nosek, Brian A., Bishop, Dorothy V. M., Button, Katherine S., Chambers, Christopher D., Percie du Sert, Nathalie, Simonsohn, Uri, Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan, Ware, Jennifer J., Ioannidis, John P. A. (2017). A manifesto for reproducible science. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(1), 0021. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-016-0021 I have always been interested in the reproducibility issue. Experimental Psychology recently has a series of seminars/ […]