Research Profile

Nicola Bessell

Biography

Dr. Nicola Bessell started linguistic life with Old and Middle English texts in the BA Hons degree at the University of Oxford, followed by a post-graduate degree in Linguistics and Comparative Philology. After working as a research assistant at Oxford University Phonetics Laboratory she went to Canada to do a PhD. at the University of British Columbia she started fieldwork on First Nations languages. Her PhD research is on the velar, uvular, pharyngeal and glottal consonants of the Interior Salish languages, their articulatory and acoustic qualities, how they coarticulate with vowels and how they function phonologically. These languages have fascinating harmonies that developed from extensive consonant-to-vowel coarticulation, so they are a great place to look at how phonetics and phonology interact. For two years Dr. Bessell held a post-doctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania, Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, learning about language processing, general cognition, sociolinguistics, psychology, computer modelling and large corpora databases. She held a faculty position in the Linguistics Department at the University of Texas at Austin, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in phonetics and phonology, supervising dissertations and continuing work on indigenous langauges (Haida, Tlinget, Nuuchanulth). She also collaborated with Harvey Sussman, seeing how locus equations can quantify syllable-dependent coarticulation effects. Now based in University College Cork, Nicola is collecting and analysing the current and very rapid changes in Irish English pronunciation in Munster. Her goal is to record a broad database of Irish English speakers of all ages and walks of life, for both research and general public use. She also continues her work in phonetics and phonology by working on clinical data and developing teaching databases.

Research Interests

My current research focusses on Irish English dialectology and acoustic studies of clinical and developmental language data.

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
American Philosophical SocietyOther: Not Listed01-JAN-8901-JAN-91
Faculty Research Grant, UT AustinOther: Not Listed01-JAN-94
American Philosophical SocietyOther: Not Listed01-JAN-92
Whatcom MuseumOther: Not Listed01-JAN-92
Jacobs FundOther: Not Listed01-JAN-92
Faculty Research Grant, UT AustinOther: Not Listed01-JAN-95
National Science FoundationOther: Not Listed01-JAN-95
Phillips FundOther: Not Listed01-JAN-8901-JAN-91

Publications

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(1997)'Phonetic aspects of retraction in Interior Salish'
Bessell, N. (1997) 'Phonetic aspects of retraction in Interior Salish' In: Czaykowska-Higgins, E.; Kinkade, MD (eds). Salish Linguistics. The Hague: Mouton. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2014)'What's in an accent? Perceptions of young adult listeners in Cork and Kilkenny'
Bessell, N.; Mulhall, E. (2014) 'What's in an accent? Perceptions of young adult listeners in Cork and Kilkenny'. Journal of Clinical Speech and Language Studies, 21 :63-85 [Details]
(2013)'The perceived importance of anatomy and neuro-anatomy in the practice of speech-language pathology'
Martin, K., Bessell, N., Scholten, I. (2013) 'The perceived importance of anatomy and neuro-anatomy in the practice of speech-language pathology'. Anatomical Sciences Education, [DOI] [Details]
(2013)'Are new graduates ready to work with swallowing disorders?'
Smith, T., Bessell, N., Scholten, I. (2013) 'Are new graduates ready to work with swallowing disorders?'. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY, 15 (2):80-86 [Details]
(2001)'Aspects of the phonetics of Tlingit, Anthropological Linguistics'
Maddieson, I.; Smith, C.; Bessell, N. (2001) 'Aspects of the phonetics of Tlingit, Anthropological Linguistics'. Anthropological Linguistics, [Details]
(1998)'Local and non-local consonant-vowel interaction in Interior Salish'
Bessell, N. (1998) 'Local and non-local consonant-vowel interaction in Interior Salish'. PHONOLOGY, :1-40 [Details]
(1998)'Motor speech versus digit control in Parkinson's disease. A cognitive neuropsychological investigation'
Gurd, J.; Bessell, N.; Watson, I.; Coleman, J. (1998) 'Motor speech versus digit control in Parkinson's disease. A cognitive neuropsychological investigation'. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 12 (5):357-378 [Details]
(1997)'An investigation of stop place of articulation as a function of syllable position: a locus equation perspective'
Sussman, H.; Bessell, N; Dalston, E.; Majors, T. (1997) 'An investigation of stop place of articulation as a function of syllable position: a locus equation perspective'. Journal of The Acoustical Society of America, 101 :2826-2838 [Details]
(1988)'A case of Foreign Accent Syndrome with follow-up clinical, neuropsychological and phonetic descriptions'
Bessell, N.; Gurd, J.; Bladon, RAW.; Bamford, JM. (1988) 'A case of Foreign Accent Syndrome with follow-up clinical, neuropsychological and phonetic descriptions'. Neuropsychologia, 26 (2):237-251 [Details]

Conference Publications

 YearPublication
(1997)Papers for the 32nd International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages
Bessell, N. (1997) St'at'imcets vowels and consonants: a phonetic study Papers for the 32nd International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages [Details]
(1994)Papers for the 29th International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages. Salish Kutenai College, Pablo, Montana
Bessell, N. (1994) Interior Salish Progressive and Regressive Vowel Harmonies Papers for the 29th International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages. Salish Kutenai College, Pablo, Montana [Details]
(1993)Papers for the 28th International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages
Bessell, N. (1993) Preliminary notes on some Pacific Northwest Coast Pharyngeals Papers for the 28th International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages [Details]
(1993)Proceedings of the Western Conference on Linguistics
Bessell, N. (1993) The case for a pharyngeal glide: evidence from Interior Salish Proceedings of the Western Conference on Linguistics [Details]
(1992)Proceedings of the 28th Meetings of the Chicago Linguistic Society
Bessell, N. (1992) The typology of /?, h/ Proceedings of the 28th Meetings of the Chicago Linguistic Society [Details]
(1991)Proceedings of the North East Linguistics Society
Bessell, N.; Czaykowska-Higgins, E. (1991) Interior Salish evidence for placeless laryngeals Proceedings of the North East Linguistics Society [Details]

Government Document

 YearPublication
(2010)Measuring social value. How five social enterprises did it.
Social Enterprise Unit,, Department of Health, UK: Cabinet Office (2010) Measuring social value. How five social enterprises did it. Government Document   [Details]

Working Paper

 YearPublication
(1996)A preliminary phonetic report on the sounds of Tlingit.
Maddieson, I.; Bessell, N.; Smith, C. (1996) A preliminary phonetic report on the sounds of Tlingit. Working Paper [Details]
(1991)The phonetics and phonology of post-velar sounds in Moses-Columbia Salish (Nxa'amxcin). Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics.
Bessell, N.; Czaykowska-Higgins, E. (1991) The phonetics and phonology of post-velar sounds in Moses-Columbia Salish (Nxa'amxcin). Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics. Working Paper [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
1989Doctoral Fellowship Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
1988Graduate Fellowship University of British Columbia
1986Killam Memorial Pre-Doctoral Fellowship University of British Columbia
1981Rhodes Scholarship Newfoundland and Exeter College, Oxford
1981University Gold Medal for Excellence in English Memorial University of Newfoundland
1981Whitley Prize in English Memorial University of Newfoundland

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2011)Oxford University Phonetics Laboratory,
Bessell, N. (2011) 'What has DIVA got to say about FAS?'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Oxford University Phonetics Laboratory, Oxford University . [Details]
(1997)Workshop in American Indigenous Languages,
Bessell, N. (1997) The phonetics and phonology of C-V interaction in Arabic and Interior Salish. [Keynote Speaker], Workshop in American Indigenous Languages, UCSB, California, USA . [Details]
(1997)Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara,
Bessell, N. (1997) Local and non-local consonant-vowel interaction in Interior Salish. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB . [Details]
(1996)1996 Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America,
Bessell, N. (1996) Ejective or glottalised fricatives in Tlingit?. [Oral Presentation], 1996 Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, San Diego . [Details]
(1995)1995 Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America,
Bessell, N. (1995) The anatomy of a non-local consonant-vowel interaction. [Oral Presentation], 1995 Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, New Orleans . [Details]
(1993)Department of Linguistics, Northwestern University,
Bessell, N. (1993) Phonological wildcards. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, Northwestern University, Northwestern University . [Details]
(1993)Department of Linguistics, University of Victoria,
Bessell, N. (1993) Phonological wildcards. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, University of Victoria, University of Victoria . [Details]
(1993)Department of Linguistics, State University of New York at Stony Brook,
Bessell, N. (1993) Phonological wildcards. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, State University of New York at Stony Brook . [Details]
(1993)Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin,
Bessell, N. (1993) Phonological wildcards. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Austin . [Details]
(1993)Department of Linguistics, University of California at San Diego,
Bessell, N. (1993) Phonological wildcards. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, University of California at San Diego, University of California at San Diego . [Details]
(1993)Department of Linguistics, University of Manitoba,
Bessell, N. (1993) Glottal typology. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, University of Manitoba, University of Manitoba . [Details]
(1992)Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania,
Bessell, N. (1992) Phonology of glottals. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania . [Details]
(1992)121st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America,
Bessell, N. (1992) Vowel effects of uvular and pharyngeal consonants in Interior Salish. [Oral Presentation], 121st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Baltimore, MD . [Details]
(1990)Northwest Linguistics Conference,
Bessell, N. (1990) Tongue-root harmony in Coeur d'Alene. [Oral Presentation], Northwest Linguistics Conference, Vancouver, BC . [Details]
(1990)Annual Meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association,
Bessell, N. (1990) Tongue-root harmony in Coeur d'Alene. [Oral Presentation], Annual Meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, Victoria BC . [Details]
(1988)Annual Meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association,
Bessell, N. (1988) The formal representation of nasality in Ibgo. [Oral Presentation], Annual Meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, Windsor, Ontario . [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Teaching Review Committee, UTexas, Austin Committee Member/
MA in Applied Linguistics Committee Committee Member/
ICPLA, Cork 2012 Organising Committee Committee Member2012 / 2012
Phonetics Job Search Committee, UTexas, Austin Chair/
Graduate Admissions Committee, UTexas, Austin Committee Member/
Library Committee, UTexas, Austin Committee Member/
Departmental Advisory Committee, UTexas, Austin Committee Member/

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University College Cork Lecturer01-JAN-14 /
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University College Cork Adjunct Lecturer and Tutor01-JAN-08 /
University College Cork Sessional Lecturer, MA in Applied Linguistics01-JAN-08 /
Commissioned work for UK Dept. of Health; SROI Network (UK); Cork VEC; Pathways to Education (UCC/CIT) Freelance Writer and Editor01-JAN-09 / 31-DEC-13
Montessori Children's Place, Thousand Oaks, California Admissions and Publicity Officer, Board Member01-JAN-03 / 01-JAN-04
Department of Linguistics, UC Santa Barbara Visiting Faculty01-JAN-98 / 31-DEC-98
Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin Assistant Professor01-JAN-93 / 01-JAN-96
Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, UPenn Postdoctoral Fellow01-JAN-92 / 01-JAN-93
Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania Visiting Faculty01-JAN-91 / 01-JAN-92
Oxford University Phonetics Laboratory Research Assistant01-JAN-87 / 01-JAN-89
Oxford University Press Lexicographer01-JAN-86 / 01-JAN-87

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
1992University of British Columbia, Canada PhDLinguistics
1984University of Oxford MASTERSComparative Philology
1983University of Oxford BA (Hons)English Language and Literature
1981Memorial University of Newfoundland BA (Hons)English Language and Literature

Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
International Journal Of Speech-Language Pathology Guest Editor-
Journal Of Clinical Speech And Language Studies Guest Editor-
Journal Of Asian Studies Guest Editor-
Journal Of The International Phonetic Association Guest Editor-

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate Teaching
 UTexas, Austin                 LIN 372  Phonology for Non-majors
                                          LIN 481 Phonology for Majors
                                           LIN 344 Phonetics
UPennsylvania                  LING 330 The Sound Structure of Language
UCC                                  GE2102 Intro to Linguistics/Semantics
                                          SL1002 Speech, Hearing and Swallowing
                                          SL2007 Language Sciences II (7 lectures)
                                          SL4003 Research-based dissertation II
PBL Tutoring                     SL1003/4 Intro to Communication Disorders
                                          SL2005/5 Communication disorders in children I, II
                                          SL3004/5 Communication disorders in adults I, II
Graduate Teaching
UTexas, Austin                 LIN 381 Phonetics (with Lab)
                                         LIN 480 Phonology
                                         
LIN 390 Phonology for Non-linguists
                                         LIN 393 Seminars in Laboratory Phonology, Feature Specification, Processing and Perceptual Constraints
UC Santa Barbara           LIN 235 Advanced Phonology
UCC                                AL 6100 Phonetics and Phonology; Morphology and Syntax
                                       
AL 6013 Linguistics in the lab and on the street
                                                      Human and primate language acquisition
                                                      Discourse and conversation analysis
                                                      First language acquisition and literacy
                                                      From Strongbow to the Celtic Tiger: Changes in English as spoken in Ireland.
                                       AL6010 
Research dissertation

Research Information

External Collaborators

 NameOrganisation / InstituteCountry
Dr. Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins University of VictoriaCANADA
Dr. Jennifer Gurd University of OxfordENGLAND

Contact details

  • Nicola Bessell
    Adjunct Lecturer
  • n.bessell@ucc.ie
  • Speech and Hearing Sciences
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
    University College Cork
    Cork
  • 021-490-1649


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School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K

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