Pam Beddor, John C. Catford Collegiate Professor of Linguistics, studies the cognitive representation and processing of speech in relation to the physical instantiation of speech. She primarily investigates this relation from the perspective of coarticulation, that is, the overlap of articulatory movements for neighboring speech sounds. In one current line of work undertaken in collaboration with colleagues in Linguistics, she is studying listeners' moment-by-moment use of coarticulatory cues as they unfold in real time. Another ongoing (also collaborative) study is an ultrasound investigation of the factors contributing to gestural reduction in different coarticulatory contexts; the reduction patterns are in turn related to patterns of sound change.
Pam Beddor teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in phonetics (articulation, acoustics, and speech perception) as well as the concentration gateway course Introduction to Linguistic Analysis. In 2011 she (co-)chaired the doctoral committees of Susan Lin ("Production and perception of prosodically varying inter-gestural timing in American English laterals"; now at Macquarie University) and Kevin McGowan ("Listener expectations and the processing of foreign-accented speech"; now at Rice University). In recent years she has also supervised undergraduate honors theses in speech perception.
She is a member of the College of LSA's task force to develop an undergraduate concentration in cognitive science. She was formerly department chair, an NSF and NIH review panelist, and editor of the Journal of Phonetics.