About Me

Hi! I’m Cong Zhang ([tsʰʊŋ tʃɑŋ], each with a high-level tone (tone number 55), more about my name). I am a Lecturer in Phonetics and Phonology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, UK.

My research mainly focuses on aspects of speech prosody (e.g. intonation, lexical tone, rhythm), using a variety of approaches including:

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

I received a DPhil degree from 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 did my Master’s in Linguistics and Language Acquisition from the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, 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). After this, I came back to academia and worked on the ERC project SPRINT (i.e. Speech Prosody in Interaction: The form and function of intonation in human communication, ERC-ADG-835263 ) and further looked into the aspects of English and Greek intonation in speech production.

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


  • 2022-
    Lecturer in Phonetics and Phonology
    School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences,
    Newcastle University, UK

  • 2019-2022
    Postdoctoral Research Associate
    Speech Prosody in Interaction: The form and function of intonation in human communication (ERC-ADG-835263 )
    University of Kent, UK (2019-2020) & Radboud University, Netherlands (2020-2022)
  • 2018 – 2019
    Text-to-Speech Linguist / Linguistics Engineer
    Algorithm-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 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…

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/…