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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Chloe Patman,

  United Kingdom

  Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Darwin College

  PhD thesis title: The phonetics of female speech: redressing the sex imbalance in forensic speech science research

  Research interests:
  1. Forensic Speech Science
                                2. Sociophonetics
                                3. Speaker comparison
                                4. Female voices
                                5. Face coverings

The majority of research conducted in forensic speech science currently addresses the male voice, with reference measurements, analysis techniques and calibration datasets all constructed based on male voices. However, females speak and use language differently to men. My thesis aims to investigate the use of traditional acoustic methods as well as machine-based methods on different types of female data. The results of these experiments will provide a better insight into how to approach the analysis of female voices in forensic casework.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?
From a young age, I have always been fascinated by the fact there are so many things we can learn and discover. During my BA I had the opportunity to apply my knowledge of linguistics to the field of Forensic Speech Science where I found it intriguing to learn about how voice analysis can be used as evidence in the court, helping to seek justice. This encouraged me to peruse an MA in Forensic Phonetics where I have gained first-hand experience of acoustically and automatically analysing criminal recordings. My PhD aims to investigate the relationship between face coverings and phonetics and will have important implications in Education, security services and Forensic Speech Science.