Aditi Lahiri CBE

Professorial Fellow; Professor of Linguistics

Professor Lahiri’s interests are in phonology, phonetics, historical and comparative linguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. She is also the Director of the University’s pioneering Language and Brain Lab.

Her work combines theoretical and experimental approaches to answer questions such as why sound alternations exist between different forms of one and the same word and how such words are represented in the mental lexicon, how words change over time, and how they are processed in the brain.

Recent advances from her team include the development of a cutting-edge flexible speech recognition system, Flex-SR. The technology was used to create a mobile phone app to help second language learners improve their pronunciation by analysing words and sentences spoken into the app and giving specific personal feedback. Her leadership on the project was recognised by the University with a Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Award in 2018.

The first Indian woman to hold a professorial chair at Oxford, she helped to found Oxford University’s Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics. She served as its inaugural Chair in 2008, and returned to the role for a second term in 2019. In the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, she was made a CBE in recognition of her services to the study of Linguistics.

In 2010, she was eleted a fellow of the British Academy, and currently serves as Vice President (Humanities) for the body. She has also been elected a member of the Academia Europaea and an Honorary Life Member of the Linguistic Society of America. She is Principal Investigator on European Research Council grants, as well as two Arts and Humanities Research Council grants, including one for a project involving Somerville Senior Research Fellow Professor Frans Plank.


Werkmann Hovart, Anna, Mariana Bolognesi & Aditi Lahiri (2021). Processing of literal and metaphorical meanings in polysemous verbs: An experiment and its methodological implications. Journal of Pragmatics 171, 131–146. DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2020.10.007.

Wynne, Hilary S. Z., Sandra Kotzor, Beinan Zhou & Aditi Lahiri (2020). The effect of phonological and morphological overlap on the processing of Bengali words. Journal of South Asian Linguistics 11, 25–51. [pdf]

Kotzor, Sandra, Beinan Zhou & Aditi Lahiri (2020). (A)symmetry in vowel features in verbs and pseudoverbs: ERP evidence. Neuropsychologia 143, 107474. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2020.107474.

Wynne, Hilary S. Z., Linda Wheeldon & Aditi Lahiri (2020). Planning complex structures in a second language: compounds and phrases in non-native speech production. In M. Schlechtweg (ed.) The Learnability of Complex Constructions: A Cross-linguistic Perspective. Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs (TiLSM) 345, 91–126. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. DOI: 10.1515/9783110695113.

Kennard, Holly & Aditi Lahiri (2020). Nonesuch phonemes in loanwords. Linguistics 58, 83–108. DOI: 10.1515/ling-2019-0033.

Lahiri, Aditi & Holly Kennard (2019). Pertinacity in loanwords: Same underlying systems, different outputs. In M. Cennamo (ed.) Historical Linguistics 2015: Selected Papers from the 22nd International Congress of Historical Linguistics, Naples 27–31 July, 58–74. DOI: 10.1075/cilt.348.03lah.

Schuster, Swetlana, & Aditi Lahiri (2018). Lexical gaps and morphological decomposition: Evidence from German. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 46, 166–182. DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000560.

Lahiri, Aditi (2018). Predicting universal phonological features. In L. Hyman & F. Plank (eds.) Phonological Typology, 229–272. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110451931-007.

Where Next?