About me

I am a phonetician who specializes in articulatory phonetics, especially tongue ultrasound imaging. My research focuses on the phonetic structure of vowel inventories, particularly apparent "reuse" of articulatory primitives that is otherwise not needed for maintaining sufficient contrast among vowels.

I have also investigated the articulatory and acoustic properties of the so-called fricative vowels (摩擦化元音) and apical vowels (舌尖元音) in languages of Cameroon, including the Ring languages Kom and Kejom, as well as in Wu (吴) and Southern Mandarin (江淮官话) varieties of Chinese. I have carried out phonetic fieldwork in both Cameroon and China.

I recently received my PhD in Linguistics from UC Berkeley. My dissertation concerns within-speaker uniformity of articulatory strategies for fricative consonants and a subset of the fricative vowels in Suzhou (苏州) Chinese. Starting in Fall 2018, I will be a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at UCLA.

Selected publications

Journal papers

Faytak, M. and Akumbu, P. (submitted). Kejom [overview of phonetic structures].

In edited volumes

Faytak, M. (2017). Sonority in some languages of the Cameroon Grassfields. In Challenging Sonority, Martin J. Ball and Nicole Müller eds., Equinox.

Refereed conference papers

Kochetov, A., Faytak, M. and Nara, K. (2018). The retroflex-dental contrast in Punjabi stops and nasals: A principal component analysis of ultrasound images. Proceedings of Interspeech 2018.

Faytak, M. and Lin, S. (2015). Articulatory variability and fricative noise in Standard Mandarin apical vowels. Proceedings of ICPhS 18, Glasgow. [pdf]

Faytak, M. and Yu, A.C.L. (2011). A typological study of the interaction between level tones and duration. Proceedings of ICPhS 17, Hong Kong.

Conference presentations and posters

Faytak, M. (2018). Vowel place contrasts in Suzhou Chinese. LabPhon 16, Lisbon. [poster]

Faytak, M. (2017). Articulatory reuse in good-enough speech production strategies. ASA/EAA joint meeting, Boston. [poster]

Faytak, M. and Johnson, K. (2016). Evaluating a new measure of fricative source intensity. LabPhon 15, Cornell. [poster]

Faytak, M. (2015). High vowel fricativization as an areal feature of the northern Cameroon Grassfields. WOCAL 8, Kyoto. [slides]

Faytak, M. (2014). Variation and change in Kom fricativized vowels. ACAL 46, Eugene. [slides]