Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Chilin Shih

Associate Professor of Linguistics
Assoc. Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education
Director, Graduate Study, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Beckman Institute
Affiliated Faculty of Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies

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Research Interests

Shih's work focus on prosody representation and modeling. The goal is to generate prosody using representations and parameters that match human perception and production of prosody, and to generate a full range of natural prosodic variations that are suitable for speech technologies such as text-to-speech systems and automatic speech recognition systems, and for language teaching.

Shih has completed an articulatory-based prosody modeling platform Soft Template Markup Language, which functions as both a prosody generation system and a data-driven machine learning system. The model has been applied successfully to capture stylistic variations in natural speech and in singing.


  • Ph.D. University of California - San Diego

Current Projects

  • Shih's current research projects include the prosody of disfluency, focus realization, cross-linguistic prosodic perception, representation and modeling, and the implication to fluency in second language acquisition.
  • Publications

    Journal Articles

    • "What determines duration-based rhythm measures: text or speaker?." Laboratory Phonology 4.2 (2013):
    • "Rhythm measures and dimensions of durational variation in speech." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 129.5 (2011):
    • "Compensatory articulation in American English nasalized vowels." Journal of Phonetics 39 (2011):
    • Kochanski, Greg, and Chilin Shih. "Prosody modeling with soft templates." Speech Communication 39.3-4 (2003): 311-352 .
    • Sproat, Richard, William Gale, Chilin Shih, and Nancy Chang. "A stochastic finite-state word-segmentation algorithm for Chinese." Computational Linguistics 22.3 (1996): 377-404.
    • Shih, Chilin, and Richard Sproat. "Issues in text-to-speech conversion for Mandarin." Computational Linguistics and Chinese Language Processing 1.1 (1996): 35-82.
    • Prieto, Pilar, Chilin Shih, and Holly Nibert. "Pitch downtrend in Spanish." Journal of Phonetics 24.4 (1996): 445-473.
    • Sproat, Richard, and Chilin Shih. "A statistical method for finding word boundaries in Chinese text." Computer Processing of Chinese and Oriental Languages 4.4 (1990): 336–351.

    Book Contributions

    • Yuan, Jiahong, Chilin Shih, and Greg P. Kochanski. "Comparison of declarative and interrogative intonation in Chinese." Proceedings of the First International Conference on Speech Prosody. 2002. 711–714.
    • Shih, Chilin. "Mandarin third tone sandhi and prosodic structure." Studies in Chinese Phonology. Ed. Jialing Wang and Norval Smith. Walter de Gruyter, 1997. 81-123.
    • Sproat, Richard, and Chilin Shih. "The cross-linguistic distribution of adjective ordering restrictions." Interdisciplinary Approaches to Language. Ed. Carol Georgopoulos and Roberta Ishihara. Kluwer, 1991. 565-593.
    • Sproat, Richard, and Chilin Shih. "Prenominal Adjectival Ordering in English and Mandarin." Proceedings of the 12th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society. Ed. James Blevins and Juli Carter. GLSA, 1988. 465-489.