Sandra Schwab

SNF Researcher

Andreasstrasse 15

CH-8050 Zurich

Office: AND 2.74

Tel.: +41(0)44 634 59 48

Sandra.Schwab AT

Lecturer in Phonetics

Université de Genève

École de langue et de civilisation françaises

2, Rue de Candolle

CH-1211 Genève 4

Sandra.Schwab AT

I am currently working on the SNF project "Phonetic features of (multi-)ethnic urban vernaculars in German-speaking Switzerland" directed by S. Schmid. My previous project at UZH dealt with the acquisition of prosody in L2, more specifically on the perception of lexical stress in L2. At the same time, I am a lecturer of French Phonetics at the Ecole de langue et de civilisation françaises at the University of Geneva.

Research interests

Experimental psycholinguistics

  • Lexical stress perception in L2
  • Perception and production of temporal variables
  • Word segmentation

Prosody in L1 and L2

  • Prosody acquisition in L2
  • Regional variation
  • Limonese creole (Costa Rica)

Computational linguistics

  • Automatic alignment
  • Syntactic parser and automatic translation (Spanish)
  • Speech synthesis
  • Software for speech perception experiments


I spent the last three years in the Phonetics Lab of the University of Zurich as a SNF Ambizione researcher. Besides my lecturer position at the University of Geneva, I had the opportunity to spend a semester at the Universidad de Costa Rica as an invited professor in the Department of Linguistics (2013), as well as a year as a post-doc at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in the Department of Spanish philology (2010). I also worked in several projects related to phonetic aspects in the acquisition of L2 (with Prof. Isabelle Racine) or in pathological speech (with Prof. Marina Laganaro and with Prof. François Grosjean), and in projects dealing with syntactic parsing and automatic translation (with Prof. Eric Wehrli). In 2006-2007, I was Project Manager at SVOX (a speech technology company acquired by Nuance Communications in 2011).


In 2017, I received a Habilitation in Linguistics and Phonetics from the University of Zurich. I have a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Geneva (with Prof. Eric Wehrli and Prof. Uli Frauenfelder), in which I examined several aspects related to temporal variables in speech production and perception, in L1 and L2, and in natural and in synthetic speech. The thesis is available here. Within the framework of my PhD, I spent a year at the Speech Perception Laboratory (Northeastern University, Boston) thank to a SNF grant for Jeune Chercheur, working with Prof. Joanne Miller on the impact of speech rate on word segmentation. After having a Licence ès Lettres (Linguistics, Spanish, German) from the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), I received a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies in Computational Linguistics from University of Geneva.