Getting Started


Phon is a software program that supports the building of textual and phonological data corpora. While it was originally created to support the study of child language development, Phon can be used across virtually all types of corpus studies (e.g. textual, phonological, acoustic, clinical) based on child or adult language data. Among other features, Phon offers specialized support for research on phonological units (e.g. phones, phonological features, stress, tones) and includes some specialized functions for clinical speech analysis. Phon also incorporates Praat functions for acoustic data analysis.

New Features in Phon 3

Revamped query and reporting systems

Phon 3 combines brand new approaches to data query, analysis and reporting with a more uniform, streamlined interface across virtually every aspect of the application. At the level of the query and reporting system, we have continued to expand the Phonex language in ways that add both power and flexibility for data analysis. The reports generated from data queries can also be personalized using the new Report Composer, a new interface to build reports after running a query.

Built-in analyses

New within Phon 3 is a set of ready-to-use analyses geared toward clinical analyses of speech sound disorders as well as other general reports on phonological performance that can be used to obtain ready assessments of phonological performance. These analyses are intuitively grouped within the new "Analysis" menu option.

The Analysis Composer

Phon users can utilize the Analysis Composer to combine pre-defined queries and analyses and assemble uniform reports on different aspects of linguistic, phonological or acoustic patterns. Using this system, students, researchers, and clinicians can obtain ready data classifications useful both for research and for the diagnosis of speech disorders.

All results extracted from Phon queries and analyses can now be saved in print-ready HTML format, CSV, and Excel workbooks. The reports generated by Phon offer ‘hot’ links between query/analysis results and Phon data. The user can click on these links to automatically open the transcript data that correspond to these results, which greatly facilitates validation or verification tasks: each individual token reported through a data query or analysis is only a click away from each place where it appears within query and analysis reports.

Finally, Phon 3 comes with multiple improvements in the areas of workspace/project management (e.g. support for multiple workspace folders), data transcription (e.g. new IPA and transliteration dictionaries; syllabification algorithms for additional languages), improved phone alignment, more robust methods to generate, import, and edit TextGrid data, and additional functions for acoustic analysis (e.g. Spectral moments; VOT analysis).

Citing Phon

Hedlund, Gregory & Yvan Rose. 2020. Phon 3.1 [Computer Software]. Retrieved from ​

Rose, Yvan & Brian MacWhinney. 2014. The PhonBank Project: Data and Software-Assisted Methods for the Study of Phonology and Phonological Development. In Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut & Gjert Kristoffersen (eds.),  The Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 308-401.

Rose, Yvan, Brian MacWhinney, Rodrigue Byrne, Gregory Hedlund, Keith Maddocks, Philip O’Brien & Todd Wareham. 2006. Introducing Phon: A Software Solution for the Study of Phonological Acquisition. In David Bamman, Tatiana Magnitskaia & Colleen Zaller (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. 489-500.

Discussion group & Support

We encourage you to subscribe to the discussion group for helpful information and technical support. Please click on the following link to request membership to the PhonBank (or other TalkBank-related) discussion group:


Funding: Current development of Phon and PhonBank is supported by the National Institutes of Health. Earlier development of Phon was funded by grants from National Science Foundation, Canada Fund for Innovation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Petro-Canada Fund for Young Innovators, and the Office of the Vice-President (Research) and the Faculty of Arts at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Dictionaries: Built-in dictionaries of pronounced forms were obtained from generous organizations and people, to whom we are indebted:

Special thanks: While it is impossible to name everyone who ended up being involved in one way or another in this project, we owe special thanks to a wonderful group of early adopters and beta testers, students and researchers alike, without whom it would have been much more difficult to produce the current software program. We are also grateful to Paul Boersma for this tremendous collaboration toward the interactions between Praat and related functions within Phon 2.