Robert Eklund’s Xenophones Page

This page summarizes work on “foreign” phones, carried out by myself and my colleague and fellow PhD student/course mate Anders Lindström during the period 1996 to 2008 at TeliaSonera.


Since 1996, Robert Eklund and Anders Lindström have done research on so called xenophones, i.e., “foreign” speech sounds in Swedish, such as the “lisp” sound in English names/words like “Thatcher” (dental fricatives in phonetic jargon).

These sounds are normally not included in description of Swedish, but are nevertheless used by the bulk of the Swedish populations in normal Swedish conversation, and consequently need consideration in the development of both speech synthesizers and speech recognizers.

The research has been presented in a number of articles that describe to what degree Swedish speakers have incorporated such sounds into their Swedish phoneme inventory, and the observations have served as the basis for an expanded polyphone material for a Swedish speech synthesizer. Present research also includes a study of the underlying factors (social, regional, educational etc.) that govern the expanded phone inventory that many Swedish speakers exhibit.


For comments, inquiries, discussion or other, please send an email to


Here are all articles we have so far published on xenophones. The numbering is the same as on Robert Eklund’s Home Page.


Lindström, Anders & Robert Eklund. 2009.
The Integration of Foreign Items. A Corpus-based Study of Cross-lingual Influence with Examples from Swedish.
In: Anke Lüdeling & Merja Kytö (eds.), Corpus Linguistics. An International Handbook, Series: Handbücher zur Sprache und Kommunikationswissenschaft / Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. vol. 2, ch. 48, pp. 1024–1043.

Lindström, Anders. 2004.
English Influence on Swedish Word Formation and Segmentals.
Nordic Journal of English Studies, Special Issue. vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 115–142.

Lindström, Anders. 2004.
English and Other Foreign Linguistic Elements in Spoken Swedish.
PhD thesis. Linköping Studies in Science and Technology, Thesis No. 887, Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. ISSN 0345-7524. ISBN 91-7373-981-2.

Lindström, Anders. 2004.
Non-native Elements in Spoken Swedish.
Proceedings of the International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS), 3–9 August 2003, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 2353–2356.


Lindström, Anders & Robert Eklund. 2001.
Xenophenomena: studies of foreign language influence at several linguistic levels.
Proceedings of 24. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft fü Sprachwissenschaft: Mehrsprachigkeit Heute, AG 8: Integration Fremder Wörter, Universität Mannheim, August 27– March 1, 2002, pp. 132–134.
[pdf] [slides.pdf]


Eklund, Robert & Anders Lindström. 2001.
Xenophones: An Investigation of Phone Set Expansion in Swedish and Implications for Speech Recognition and Speech Synthesis.
Speech Communication 35, vols. 1–2, pp. 81–102.
Purchase/download print version at: Science Direct
Draft version here:  [pdf]

Lindström, Anders & Anna Kasaty. 2000.
A Two-Level Approach to the Handling of Foreign Items in Swedish Speech Technology Applications
Proceedings of ICSLP’ 00, Beijing, 16–20 October, vol. 1, pp. 54–57.


Lindström, Anders & Robert Eklund. 2000.
How foreign are “foreign” speech sounds? Implications for speech recognition and speech synthesis.
Multi-Lingual Interoperability in Speech Technology, RTO Meeting Proceedings 28, Papers and reports presented at the Tutorial and Workshop held in Leusden, The Netherlands, 13–14 September 1999.


Lindström, Anders & Robert Eklund. 1999.
Xenophones Revisited: Linguistic and other underlying factors affecting the pronunciation of foreign items in Swedish.
Proceedings of ICPhS ’99, San Francisco, California, 1–7 August 1999. Paper 0708, vol. 3, pp. 2227–2230.


Lindström, Anders & Robert Eklund. 1999.
[jà:mes] or [dzeimz] or Perhaps Something In-between? Recapping Three Years of Xenophone Studies.
Gothenburg Papers in Theoretical Linguistics, 81. Proceedings Fonetik 99, The Swedish Phonetics Conference, June 2–4 1999, pp. 109–112. [NB! IPA font in title problematic in HTML.]


Eklund, Robert & Anders Lindström. 1998.
How To Handle “Foreign” Sounds in Swedish Text-to-Speech Conversion: Approaching the ‘Xenophone’ Problem.
Proceedings of ICSLP 98, Sydney, November 30 – December 5. Paper 514, Vol. 7, pp. 2831–2834.
CD-ROM from Causal Productions Pty Ltd, PO Box 100,


Eklund, Robert & Anders Lindström. 1996.
Pronunciation in an internationalized society: a multi-dimensional problem considered.
FONETIK 96, Swedish Phonetics Conference, Nässlingen, 29–31 May, 1996.
TMH-QPSR 2/1996, pp. 123–126.
(NB! The downloadable version contains some corrections.)

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