Chilin Shih

 Chilin Shih

Contact Information

East Asian Languages and Cultures
2090A Foreign Language Building
707 South Mathews
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Interim Head, Associate Professor
View CV - Visit Website

Additional Campus Affiliations

Research Interests

  • Phonetics, Phonology, Tone, Intonation, Tone sandhi, Prosody modeling, Second Language Fluency, Pronunciation training, Chinese proficiency testing

Research Description

Dr. Chilin Shih is a Chinese linguist in phonology, phonetics and speech. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature: It is situated in the intersection of linguistics, speech technologies and language teaching. She has worked for ten years on multilingual text-to-speech systems at Bell Laboratories before joining UIUC, and has continued the linguistic work analyzing multilingual prosodic systems and building models to predict prosody from text, including intonation models and duration models.  She has applied speech technologies in language teaching and has built a tone training and testing system Prosody Tutor under an NSF grant. The Prosody Tutor uses an adaptive approach to prosody tutoring and adjusts teaching materials automatically according to students' previous responses. Dr. Shih had another NSF grant working on second language fluency evaluation. The project is based on data collected from the creative output paradigm that she implemented in the third year and fourth year Chinese language classes at UIUC, where the curriculum centers around public speaking training exercises such as debates, interviews, and speeches.


  • Ph.D. in Linguistics. University of California--San Diego (1986)

Distinctions / Awards

  • Helen Corely Petit Scholar.
  • Focal Point.
  • Campus Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction Using Educational Technologies.
  • Arnold O. Beckman Research Award.


  • An Interdisciplinary Study of the Dynamics of Second Language Fluency, NSF, 2007-2010
  • Translating Prosody in an English/Chinese Language Tutoring System, NSF, 2006-2009.
  • Multi-media Interlanguage speech corpus for intelligent Chinese pronunciation training, Innovation Center for Language Resources, China. 2017-2020.
  • The Improvement of Elicited Imitation for Chinese Proficiency Testing, 2017.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Kochanski, Greg, and Chilin Shih Prosody modeling with soft templates Speech Communication 39 3-4 2003, p. 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, p. 377-404.
Shih, Chilin, and Richard Sproat Issues in text-to-speech conversion for Mandarin Computational Linguistics and Chinese Language Processing 1 1 1996, p. 35-82.
Prieto, Pilar, Chilin Shih, and Holly Nibert Pitch downtrend in Spanish Journal of Phonetics 24 4 1996, p. 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, p. 336–351.
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.

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 Comparison of declarative and interrogative intonation in Chinese 2002, p. 711–714.
Shih, Chilin Mandarin third tone sandhi and prosodic structure Studies in Chinese Phonology edited by Jialing Wang, edited by Norval Smith. Mandarin third tone sandhi and prosodic structure Edited by Jialing Wang, Edited by Norval Smith, Walter de Gruyter 1997, p. 81-123.
Sproat, Richard, and Chilin Shih The cross-linguistic distribution of adjective ordering restrictions Interdisciplinary Approaches to Language edited by Carol Georgopoulos, edited by Roberta Ishihara. The cross-linguistic distribution of adjective ordering restrictions Edited by Carol Georgopoulos, Edited by Roberta Ishihara, Kluwer 1991, p. 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 edited by James Blevins, edited by Juli Carter. Prenominal Adjectival Ordering in English and Mandarin Edited by James Blevins, Edited by Juli Carter, GLSA 1988, p. 465-489.