Nicolai Pharao

Nicolai Pharao

Associate Professor

In my dissertation research I studied processes of lenition of consonants in Copenhagen Danish with a particular focus on the role of word frequency in the spread of reduction processes across the lexicon and over time. The research was based on analysis of large corpora of spontaneously spoken Copenhagen Danish.

In my post-doctoral research I focused on how speakers influence each other with respect to consonant reduction, and also began a series of perception experiments examining the social categories associated with particular phonetic features of Danish, both segmental and prosodic. The experimental strand was partly developed in collaboration with colleagues at the LANCHART Center.

I have continued to focus on the experimental study of the link between phonetic variation and social categories as an associate professor while also beginning to study the link between linguistic processing and social processing of phonetic variation. This research is conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the LANCHART Center and the Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics.

Primary fields of research


Current research

Phonetic variation and the relation to gender and sexual orientation

Experimental studies of attitudes to segmental variation in Copenhagen Danish

Experimental studies of the processing of spontaneous speech forms and regionally based phonetic variation


I primarily teach the courses Acoustic phonetics and Linguistic theory in the BA programme in Linguistics.

Previous courses I have (co-)taught are: Danish language 1 in the BA programme in Danish and MA courses on sociolinguistics, experimental phonetics, the mental lexicon, and language, gender and sexuality. I have also taught ph.d. courses in phonetics and phonology, acoustic phonetics and experimental phonetics in both Denmark and the UK.

I give supervision on all types of investigations of phonetic variation (corpus investigations, acoustic studies, perception studies, language attitude studies)

Fields of interest

I am also interested in:


Social meaning

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