Senior associate professor
A phonetic project aiming at understanding how cats and humans use melody and other prosodic features when they communicate with each other (MAW 2016–2022).
Linguist Robert Eklund shares an Ig Nobel Prize with two other researchers for their work on how cats communicate with humans in different ways. The alternative Nobel Prizes are awarded to research that makes people laugh and then think.
Robert Eklund has gone from trying to make computers mimic human speech to investigating how cats communicate. He wants to know how to interpret their miaowing. A common thread that unites all his research is an interest in sound of various types.
The linguist Robert Eklund has researched how people speak while they inhale. But for the past few years, what has really taken his breath away has been how felines purr during both inhalation and exhalation.