Maija Peltola profile picture
Professor, Data-analytiikka
PhD, Head of LAB-laboratory
Phonetics research group, Learning, Age & Bilingualism laboratory, Tanssi uhanalaisten kielten ja foneettisen maailman tulkkina -project


+358 29 450 2605
+358 40 064 5497
Koskenniemenkatu 4

Areas of expertise

Speech perception and production
non-native speech learning
effects of age and other background factors in language learning
speech acoustics
preattentive speech processing
pronunciation training


My background is in language studies, especially in English. My first research steps were, however, at the Department of Phonetics, where I studied the effects of cochlear implants in speech perception. My doctoral thesis and my post doc studies were centered around the preattentive perception of non-native languages at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku. After intensive research years, I enjoyed my post as a lecturer in phonetics, where I encountered hundreds of talented and enthusiastic students. My interests in non-native soeech learning resulted in the birth of my Learning, Age & Bilingualism laboratory as well as the nternational collaboration network sponsored by Sanako. The new project funded by Kone Foundation is an extension of these interests, and it combines my love for speech sounds with my growing interest towards Namibia with a twist of the beauty of dance offered by Tanssiteatteri ERI.

Outside phonetics, safeguarding of research's interests has been close to my heart. I have been an active participant in the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT) as well as the local branch Turku University Reseachers, Teachers and Lecturers. I have been the local chairperson for more than a decade now, and currently I am also the President of the Union.

In personal life I am a mother of two wonderful girls and the wife of another phonetician. I enjoy camping at our trailer, sitting by the fire at our backyard, playing UNO with the family, having rich flavours of cheese, taking a sauna every night, rowing my rubber boat, cheering for my younger daugther's soccer team, being enchanted by my older daugther's theater plays, travelling, reading silly fiction, talking with my friends.


I have a long history of teaching phonetics and my courses have covered areas such as:

- Theories of speech perception and production

- Theories of non-native speech learning and acquisition

- Speech acoustics and synthesis

- Basic phonetics

- Speech pronunciation and transcrption

- Statistical analysis of speech data

- Laboratory technigues

- Phonology


My main research interests are in the manner in which learners change their speech perception and production as a function of various types of experiences and trainings. Age, musicality, early immersion, classroom learning and multilingual settings are among the most interesting background factors affecting the learning process.  Most importantly, finding better suited learning paradigms for different kinds of learners is at the center of my attention. In my laboratories, the training protocols involving active and passive listening as well as audio-visual training are of interest. Brain responses, acoustic outputs, ultrasound imaging and discrimination sensitivity are all measured at LAB-lab. I am also interested in the fine details that make speakers unique and how this information could be more efficiently captured by person identification software. The manner in which big speech data can be used for identifying speech background factors is also in focus. Children as learners in multilingual settings are also in focus, and I have an interest in making the learning of Finnish easier for non-native child learners of Finnish. In addition, I have a growing interest in the preservation of the languages of the world that are at the edge of distinction.


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