Dr Benjamin Munson

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Speech Language Hearing Sciences
115 Shevlin
164 Pillsbury

Spoken language conveys multiple messages simultaneously. In addition to conveying a 'regular' linguistic message, utterances convey information about the people who produce them. This includes information about their identity (are they older, gay, and liberal [like me]?), and their state of mind (are they angry? what is their attitude toward the topic being discussed?). Part of learning language means learning how to convey these different pieces of social information. I study how adults and children with and without communication disorders (including hearing impairment, speech sound disorder, and developmental language disorder) perceive and produce different types of sociolinguistic variation. I focus particularly on sociolinguistic variation related to gender, sexuality, and race. Over the course of my career, I have studied many other things, too. I have studied relationships between word learning and speech sound learning in different groups of children. I have studied how people perceive and convey sexual orientation through speech. I have studied speech perception in adults and children with cochlear implants. I have studied phonetic and phonological variation. This profile contains a representative sample of my publications and research activities. For a full list of publications, please see my CV (on this profile), or visit my Google Scholar profile, or my profile at Experts@UMN. Both of those are linked to this profile.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Speech and Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2000.
  • B.A.: Linguistics, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, 1992.
  • M.A.: Speech-Language Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1997.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Speech-sound development in children
  • Childhood speech-sound disorders
  • Speech production
  • Speech perception
Courses Taught
  • SLHS 3305W - Speech Science
  • SLHS 3304 - Phonetics
  • SLHS 5602: Speech Sound Disorders
Research & Professional Activities


  • Race, Ethnicity, and Speech Intelligibility in Normal Hearing and Hearing Impairment: NIH-funded research project, 7/1/2019 - 6/30/2022
  • The effect of phonological neighborhood density on vowel production: Munson, Benjamin, Solomon, N., Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 2004.
  • Variability in /s/ production in children and adults: evidence from dynamic measures of spectral mean: Munson, Benjamin, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 2004.
  • Phonological pattern frequency and speech production in children and adults: Munson, Benjamin, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 44 778-792, 2001.
  • Acoustic and perceptual correlates of stress in nonwords produced by children with suspected developmental apraxia of speech and children with phonological impairments: Munson, Benjamin, Bjorum, E. & Windsor, J., Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46 189-202, 2003.
  • The interaction between vocabulary size and phonotactic probability effects on children’s production accuracy and fluency in nonword repetition: Munson, Benjamin, Edwards, J. & Beckman, M., Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 2004.
  • The influence of sexual orientation on vowel production: Munson, Benjamin, Pierrehumbert, J. & Bent, T. & Bradlow, A. & Bailey, J., Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2004.
  • The acoustic correlates of perceived sexual orientation, perceived masculinity, and perceived femininity: Munson, Benjamin, Language and Speech, 2007 . Download
  • Munson, B., *Baylis, A.L., *Krause, M.O., & *Yim, D. (2010). Representation and Access in Phonological Impairment. In C. Fougeron, B. Kühnert, M. D'Imperio, & N. Vallée (Eds.), Laboratory Phonology 10. (p. 381-404). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Lexical access, lexical representation, and vowel articulation: Munson, Benjamin, Papers in Laboratory Phonology 10, 2007.
  • Acoustic and perceptual bases of judgments of women and men's sexual orientation from read speech.: Munson, Benjamin, Elizabeth McDonald, Nancy DeBoe, Aubrey White, Journal of Phonetics, 34 202-240, 2006.
  • The influence of perceived sexual orientation on fricative identification: Munson, Benjamin, Sarah Jefferson, Elizabeth McDonald, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119 2427-2437, 2006.
  • The Influence of Vocabulary Size, Phonotactic Probability, and Wordlikeness on Nonword Repetitions of Children with and without Language Impairments: Munson, Benjamin, Jennifer Windsor, Beth Kurtz, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 2005.
  • Munson, B., Edwards, J., *Schellinger, S.K., Beckman, M.E., & *Meyer, M.K. (2010). Deconstructing Phonetic Transcription: Covert Contrast, Perceptual Bias, and an Extraterrestrial View of Vox Humana. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 24, 245-260.
  • *Li, F., Munson, B., Edwards, J., Yoneyama, K., & *Hall, K.C. (2011). Language specificity in the perception of voiceless sibilant fricatives in Japanese and English: Implications for cross-language differences in speech-sound development. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129, 999-1011.
  • Munson, B. (2011). Lavender lessons learned, or, what sexuality can teach us about phonetic variation. American Speech, 86, 14-31.
  • *Mack, S., & Munson, B. (2012). The association between /s/ quality and perceived sexual orientation of men's voices: implicit and explicit measures. Journal of Phonetics, 40, 198–212.
  • Munson, B., *Johnson, J., & Edwards, J. (2012). The Role of Experience in the Perception of Phonetic Detail in Children's Speech: A Comparison of Speech-Language Pathologists with Clinically Untrained Listeners. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 124-139.
  • *Julien, H and Munson, B. (2012). Modifying Speech to Children based on their Perceived Phonetic Accuracy. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55, 1836-1849.
  • Munson, B., *Crocker, L., Pierrehumbert, J., Owen-Anderson, A., & Zucker, K. (2015). Gender Typicality in Children's Speech: A comparison of the Speech of Boys with and without Gender Identity Disorder. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
  • Li, F., & Munson, B. (2016). The development of voiceless sibilant fricatives in Putonghua-speaking children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 59, 699-712.
  • Munson, B., & Krause, M.O. (2017). Phonological Encoding in Speech Sound Disorder: Evidence from a Cross-Modal Priming Experiment. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 52, 285-300.
  • *Schellinger, S.K., Munson, B., & Edwards, J. (2017). Gradient Perception of Children’s Productions of /s/ and /θ/: A Comparative Study of Rating Methods. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 31, 80-103.
  • Yoneyama, K., & Munson, B. (2017). The Influence of Lexical Characteristics and Talker Accent on the Recognition of English Words by Speakers of Japanese. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 141, 1308-1320.
  • Evans, K.E., Munson, B., & Edwards, J. (2018). Does Speaker Race Affect the Assessment of Children’s Speech Accuracy? A Comparison of Speech-Language Pathologists and Clinically Untrained Listeners. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 906-921.
  • *Erskine, M., Reidy, P., Munson, B., & Edwards, J. (2020). Relationships between Explicit and Implicit Phonological Awareness: Evidence from a Longitudinal Study of Preschool Children. Accepted for publication in Applied Psycholinguistics. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716419000547
  • Munson, B., Yoneyama, K., & Li, F. (in press, 2021). Indexical Effects in Cross-Language Speech Perception: The Case of Japanese Listeners and English Fricatives. In R. Wayland (Ed.), Second Language Speech Learning: Theoretical and Empirical Progress. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • CLA Student Board Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year, 2002 - 2003
  • Editor's Award, Outstanding Research Article in Hearing (awarded to Elizabeth Collison, Benjamin Munson, and Arlene Carney), 2004
  • Award for Early Career Achievements in Research, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Arthur "Red" Motley Teaching Award, 2006
  • McKnight Presidential Fellowship, September, 2006 - August, 2009