My research in phonology has always crucially combined theory with empirical and experimental approaches, beginning with my research on the acquisition of phonology, and my dissertation research, a laboratory phonology-type analysis approach to Italian syllable structure (well before the development of laboratory phonology), and continuing to my current large-scale Prosodic Typologies project (currently about 20 languages), in which we are investigating the acoustic properties of word prosodic phenomena (e.g., stress, tone, and their absence) and phrasal prominence (focus).
Another crucial aspect of my research has always been the combination and interfaces of word-level and phrase-level phenomena, including my early work on the acquisition of nasal assimilation in Spanish both within the word and across words, and the (now standard) analysis of the Italian phenomenon of Raddoppiamento Sintattico, developed in my dissertation, where the phrasal patterns are seen to be an extension of the word-internal syllable patterns.
The theory of Prosodic Phonology (with Marina Nespor, 1986/2007), extends the investigation of phonological structures and interfaces from the Syllable to the Phonological Utterance, and it continues to evolve as the Composite Prosodic Model (forthcoming).
Additionally, in the Prosodic Typologies Lab, our on-going cross-linguistic investigation of the acoustic properties of prominence examines both word level (stress and tone) and phrase level (focus) phenomena, to better understand the prosodic patterns at the individual levels, and also the relationships that exist between the levels. Thus far, the languages we have investigated include Arabic, Armenian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese. Currently in progress, is work on Bengali, English, Italian, Polish, Quechua and Tagalog. Our lab continues to welcome students at all levels, as well as individuals from other universities, participating remotely.