Jon Barnes

Associate Professor of Linguistics
Associate Director of the Linguistics Program
Director of Graduate Studies
Jon Barnes
Office phone: 617-353-6222
Fax: 617-358-4641
Office number: Linguistics 119
Office address: Linguistics Program, 621 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Office hours: Spring 2016: T 3:30-5; F 3-4:30 (or other times, by appointment)

BA, Russian Language and Literature, Columbia University
MA, Slavic Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley
MA, PhD, Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley

Research interests include phonetics, phonology, prosody and intonation, speech perception, language change, Slavic, Turkic, and Uralic languages.

Prof. Jonathan Barnes is continuing his collaborative research (supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF)) on tone and intonation patterns across languages. Current or upcoming projects include a comparison of pitch perception sensitivity in speakers of languages with tone systems differing in complexity (e.g., Mandarin and Cantonese), an investigation of whether and how pitch is processed differently in speech and music perception (featuring the famous speech-to-song illusion:, and an analysis of the remarkably complex tone system of Shilluk, a Western Nilotic language spoken mostly in South Sudan. See his blog for information about recent publications:


Spring 2016

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 510


web A1 Barnes MWF 11-12 CAS 116
Introduction to phonetic and phonological theory at an elementary level. Transcription and production of sounds, International Phonetic Alphabet, the anatomy and physiology of speech, speech acoustics, phonological rules, analysis of data from a variety of languages. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 525


web A1 Barnes MWF 2-3 CAS 214
Exploration of the melodic and rhythmic aspects of the languages of the world. Emphasis on theoretical and experimental approaches to cross-linguistic typology. Specific topics include: syllables and syllable-weight, rhythm and speech timing; stress and metrics; tone and intonation. [Prereq: CAS LX 510 Phonetics or consent of instructor.]