Alexander L. Francis

Research Interests / Training Areas:

  • Speech perception
  • Cognitive aging
  • Listening effort
  • Psychophysiology


I earned my B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991, completing one semester of study in Allgemeine und Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. I did my graduate work at the University of Chicago, earning an M.A. in Linguistics in 1993 and a dual Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics in 1999. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, and have been at Purdue since 2002.

I study speech perception, acoustic phonetics and cognitive hearing science, with a particular interest in the role of cognitive mechanisms in understanding speech under challenging conditions. My recent work has focused on cross-language, second language and accented speech perception, and speech perception by older listeners with and without hearing impairment. I have also studied the production, perception and learning of Cantonese lexical tones, and factors contributing to the intelligibility of synthetic speech.

Recent Publications:

Francis, A.L., MacPherson, M.K., Chandrasekaran, B., & Alvar, A.M. (2016). Autonomic nervous system responses during perception of masked speech may reflect constructs other than subjective listening effort. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognitive Hearing Mechanisms of Language Understanding: Short- and Long-term Perspectives, 7(263), 1-15.

Llanos, F. & Francis, A.L. (2016).  The effects of language experience and speech context on the phonetic accommodation of English-accented Spanish voicing. Language & Speech. First published online March 21, 2016.

Dmitrieva, O., Llanos, F., Shultz, A.A., & Francis, A.L. (2015).  Phonological status, not voice onset time, determines the acoustic realization of onset f0 as a secondary voicing cue in Spanish and English. Journal of Phonetics, 49, 77-95.

Lin, M. & Francis, A.L. (2014).  Effects of language experience and expectations on attention to consonants and tones in English and Mandarin Chinese.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 136(5), 2827-2838 

Alexander Francis

Associate Professor

Faculty Associate:  
Center on Aging and the Life Course

Lyles-Porter Hall, Room 3062
Phone: 765-494-3815

Speech Perception and Cognitive Effort (SPACE) Lab:

Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Lyles-Porter Hall, 715 Clinic Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2122, PH: (765) 494-3789

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