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Chilin Shih

Profile picture for Chilin Shih

Contact Information

East Asian Languages and Cultures
2090A Foreign Language Building
707 South Mathews
Urbana, Illinois 61801

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)


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

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Professor, Linguistics
Professor, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies

Honors & Awards

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

Highlighted Publications

Journal Articles

Li-Hsin Ning, Torrey M. Loucks and Chilin Shih.  ``Suppression of vocal responses to auditory perturbation with real-time visual feedback''.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 143, Issue 6, pp 3698-3705, 2018.

Chilin Shih and Hsin-Yi Dora Lu. ``Effects of talker-to-listener distance on tone.''  Journal of Phonetics, vol 51, pp 6-35, 2015.

Kochanski, Greg, and Chilin Shih. "Prosody modeling with soft templates." Speech Communication, vol. 39, no. 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, vol. 22, no. 3, 1996, p. 377-404.

Shih, Chilin, and Richard Sproat. "Issues in text-to-speech conversion for Mandarin." Computational Linguistics and Chinese Language Processing, vol. 1, no. 1, 1996, p. 35-82.

Prieto, Pilar, Chilin Shih, and Holly Nibert. "Pitch downtrend in Spanish." Journal of Phonetics, vol. 24, no. 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, vol. 4, no. 4, 1990, p. 336–351.

"What determines duration-based rhythm measures: text or speaker?" Laboratory Phonology, vol. 4, no. 2, 2013.

"Rhythm measures and dimensions of durational variation in speech." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 129, no. 5, 2011.

"Compensatory articulation in American English nasalized vowels." Journal of Phonetics, vol. 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, 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. 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. 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. GLSA, 1988, p. 465-489.

Recent Publications

Yan, X., Lei, Y., & Shih, C. (2023). Are Textbooks Authentic From a Developmental Perspective? A Corpus Analysis of Word Use in Chinese Textbooks in US Universities. Applied Linguistics, Article amad073. Advance online publication.

Gent, H., Adams, C., Shih, C., & Tang, Y. (2022). Deep Learning for Acoustic Irony Classification in Spontaneous Speech. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH, 2022-September, 3993-3997.

Le, G., Shih, C., & Tang, Y. (2022). A Laryngographic Study on the Voice Quality of Northern Vietnamese Tones under the Lombard Effect. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH, 2022-September, 5278-5282.

Sun, Y., & Shih, C. (2021). Boundary-conditioned anticipatory tonal coarticulation in Standard Mandarin. Journal of Phonetics, 84, Article 101018.

Yan, X., Lei, Y., & Shih, C. (2020). A corpus-driven, curriculum-based Chinese elicited imitation test in US universities. Foreign Language Annals, 53(4), 704-732.

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