The overarching question motivating most of Hertz's research is: What role do universal principles of human speech perception play in the organization of speech patterns? She is currently developing a theory of how listeners extract phonological structure and other information (e.g., speaker identity and emotional state) from the speech signal; in addition to explaining how listeners parse speech, this theory also imposes constraints on variation in speech production within a given language. More generally, Hertz is building a comprehensive model of the interface between phonology and phonetics that underpins the knowledge-based speech synthesis rules being developed at her company, Synfonica LLC.
- Phonetics-phonology interface
- Speech perception
- Text-to-speech synthesis