Emeritus Professor Andy Butcher

Emeritus Professor

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

place Health Sciences
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

1993-2013    Foundation Professor of Communication Disorders, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

1993-2000 Head, Department of Speech Pathology, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

1988-1991 Research fellow on ANU research project "Phonetics of Australian Languages", Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

1979-1993 Lecturer in Phonetics, Department of Linguistic Science, University of Reading, Reading, UK.

1977-1978 Lecturer in General Linguistics and Phonetics, School of Speech Therapy, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, UK.

1972-1977 Research assistant on German Research Council project "Phonetic Manifestation of Speech Styles" Institut für Phonetik, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany.


1998 Grad Cert Tert Ed, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

1981 Dr phil (magna cum laude) in Phonetics, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany. Thesis title: Aspects of the speech pause: phonetic correlates and communicative functions.

1976 MPhil in Phonetics and Linguistics, University of London. Thesis title: The influence of the native language on the perception of vowel quality.

1970 MA (Hons) in French and General Linguistics with Phonetics, University of Edinburgh.

Honours, awards and grants

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

ARC Discovery Project Grant
2005-2007 "An instrumental investigation of consonant sequences in a northern Australian language" (with J Fletcher, Uni of Melbourne)
This project investigated the consonant sounds of a northern Australian language, Bininj Gun-wok, by measuring both the acoustic speech signal and various physiological parameters, using electropalatography and aerometry.

ARC Discovery Project Grant
2007-2009 "The relationship between speech production and perception in Australian language speakers: implications for speech development and learning in Aboriginal children" (with J Fletcher, U Melbourne and M Tabain, La Trobe U)
This project studied the potential effects of hearing loss and instruction in a foreign language (English) on the development of speech and literacy in children who speak an Australian Aboriginal language.

ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Grant
2010 "The Big Australian Speech Corpus: An audio visual speech corpus of Australian English" (with DK Burnham, UWS; FM Cox, Macquarie U; JM Fletcher, U Melbourne and many others too numerous to mention)
Contemporary speech science and technology are driven by the availability of large speech corpora. While audio databases existed for languages spoken in America, Europe and Japan, there was no large auditory visual database of spoken language, and certainly not one for Australian English. This project established the Big Australian Speech Corpus, which will support speech science research and development using Australian English and facilitate the development of Australian speech technology applications from automatic speech recognition and text to speech synthesis used in many telephone ordering services, to hearing prostheses and talking head aids for learning impaired children, and a range of security and forensic applications.

Teaching interests
Phonetics and Linguistics, with specific application to: (1) Child Language acquisition (2) Language delay and disorder (3) Australian Aboriginal languages, including Aboriginal English.
Supervisory interests
Speech development, hearing and educational outcomes in Indigenous children
Speech production, respiration, voice and articulation
Expert for media contact
English Language
Australian Aboriginal Languages
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Media expertise
  • English Language
  • Language/Linguistics
  • Speech
  • Australian Aboriginal Languages