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Biography

Born and raised in Romania, Laura moved to the US in 2001 in order to pursue her Master's and doctoral studies. She has lived in various places in the Northeast, including Princeton, NJ, Stony Brook, NY, Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC. Before coming to Brooklyn, she also spent several years in Canada working for Concordia University (Montreal, QC) as well as York University, Brock University, the University of Toronto, and Western University in Ontario. She has made great friends in all of these places and feels really fortunate to have experienced the life of a true "global citizen".   


Courses

FALL 2017
Speech 29: Voice and Articulation
Speech 41: Language Development


Education

PhD 2010 Linguistics and Cognitive Science (University of Delaware)
MA 2004 Linguistics (Stony Brook University)
BA 2000 English-Spanish (University of Bucharest)


College Teaching

Laura's teaching experience spans nine North American universities over the past 15 years, including a variety of subjects and course levels, course types (lecture or lab-based), and class sizes (6-160 students). Laura has taught in departments such as Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Anthropology, French Studies, and Psychology.


Selected Publications and/or Other Resources

2016. (Spinu, L., Hwang, J., and Lohmann, R.) Is there a bilingual advantage in phonetic and phonological acquisition? The initial learning of word-final coronal stop realization in a novel accent of English. International Journal of Bilingualism, available online DOI: 10.1177/1367006916681080. 

2016. (Spinu, L., and Lilley, J.) A comparison of cepstral coefficients and spectral moments in the classification of Romanian fricatives. Journal of Phonetics, 57, 40–58.

2014. (Kondratenko, Y. and Spinu, L.) Being “better” with accents: evidence from bilinguals. Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, eds. Beltrama, A. et al. 387–400.

2013. (Vogel, I. and Spinu, L.) Vowel Length in Luganda. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 12, Acoustical Society of America.

2012. (Spinu, L., Vogel, I. and Bunnell, H.T.) Palatalization in Romanian - Acoustic properties and perception. Journal of Phonetics 40, Issue 1, January 2012, 54–66 

2010. Palatalization in Romanian: Experimental and theoretical approaches, PhD Dissertation, University of Delaware, published online by ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, http://search.proquest.com/docview/758934350

2009. (Vogel, I., Hestvik, A., Bunnell, H. T., and Spinu, L.) Perception of English compound vs. phrasal stress: natural vs. synthetic speech. In Interspeech-2009, Proceedings of the 10th Ann. Conf. of the Internat. Speech Communication Assoc. 

2009. (Vogel, I. and Spinu, L.) The domain of palatalization in Romanian. In Romance Linguistics 2007, ed. by P. J. Masullo et al., Amsterdam: John Benjamins 2007. 

2006: Perceptual Properties of Palatalization in Romanian. In Romance Linguistics Selected Papers of the 36th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), ed. by Jose Camacho et al., Amsterdam: John Benjamins

Events and/or Key Dates


Research Interests

Laura's research interests lie in acoustic phonetics, psycholinguistics, and experimental phonology. Her dissertation was the first to investigate experimentally the existence of a process known as secondary palatalization within the larger family of Romance languages. Her work served to document the sound system of Romanian, and thus add to our understanding of Romance phonology. Her current research interests include (1) acoustic methods for the classification of a category of sounds called fricatives, and (2) bilingual cognition (in particular, the bilingual advantage in phonetic and phonological learning).  


Awards Recognition, Distinctions and Grants

Award For Excellence for Teaching in French Studies, University of Western Ontario: 2014. 

Award For Excellence in Teaching, University of Delaware: 2010.

Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant #0720231, National Science Foundation, USA: June 2007-May 2009.

University Competitive Fellowship, University of Delaware: 2007-2008.

Merit Scholarship, University of Bucharest, Romania: Fall 1996-Spring 1998.


Institutional Affiliations / Professional Societies

Personal Interests

Laura's interests include nature and animals, visual and performing arts, foreign language conversation groups, literature, cooking with friends, and physical wellness. One of the favorite parts of her day is walking to and from campus along the waterfront.


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