Over the past 30+ years, Programs to Examine Phonetic and Phonologic Evaluation Records (PEPPER) has been the Phonology Project’s go-to software for storing and analyzing speech data. Over its lifespan, PEPPER has been expanded and modified to reflect the evolving needs and research goals of the Project.

PEPPER Guides 1 – 8 (i.e., PG1 – PG8) are designed to provide procedural information and tutorials on data collection, data reduction, and data analysis methods. There also is a wealth of technical and procedural information about PEPPER that is accessed using PEPPER’s Help tab.

In addition to the PEPPER software, the Madison Speech Assessment Protocol (MSAP), a series of tasks we have used in research to collect speech data from study participants of all ages, is available on the Phonology Project website. The MSAP is adapted for 4 age groups, with the tests and tasks administered in a fixed sequence. Each of the 4 protocols includes PowerPoint files to administer audiovisual stimuli for up to 12 imitation tasks, with accompanying forms for scoring and/or recording responses. PEPPER includes an option to print pepforms for each of the MSAP tasks. The pepforms include space for phonetic transcription in the format required for entering perceptual speech data into PEPPER.

The knowledge and skills needed to use PEPPER effectively include

  • familiarity with Microsoft Windows applications
  • familiarity with audio and/or video recording equipment and audio and/or video file formats, including how to convert a file from a format that is not supported by PEPPER into one that is
  • the ability to phonetically transcribe speech sounds using the phonetic symbols described in Clinical Phonetics (editions 1-5). The PEPPER program uses the PEPPER Proportional font described in editions 1-4 rather than the newer CP5e font introduced in edition 5. The differences between the CP5e and previous fonts are listed in the following section.
  • optional: the ability to code a conversational sample using the Prosody-Voice Screening Profile (PVSP) (NOTE: PepFiles for conversational samples that will be acoustically analyzed must have corresponding PVSP data entered in PEPPER.)
  • optional: the ability to complete acoustic procedures to obtain data used in many of the PepAssess and all PepClass outputs (more on that later!)

Differences in PEPPER fonts

All of the research completed in the Phonology Project has used the PEPPER Proportional font as used in Clinical Phonetics, editions 1-4. The CP5e font is an adaptation of the PEPPER Proportional font that was created to accommodate some symbol changes introduced in the 5th edition of Clinical Phonetics (Shriberg, Kent, McAllister, & Preston, 2019). The PEPPER Proportional font is used in PEPPER and continues to be available for downloading from the Phonology Project website. The “new” CP5e symbol changes have not been incorporated in PEPPER because the reference data for and the findings in all Phonology Project articles and technical reports were completed using the characters in the PEPPER Proportional font in Clinical Phonetics, editions 1-4. The following table summarizes the differences between the PEPPER Proportional and CP5e fonts.

Image showing font differences

PEPPER Procedures Flow Chart

The flowchart below includes each of the required and optional PEPPER procedures described in PG1 – PG8.

PEPPER Procedures Flowchart

The PEPPER Procedures Flow Chart includes, if relevant, a hyperlink to the corresponding PEPPER Guide and/or additional information and resources.


Shriberg, L.D., & Kent, R.D. (1982). Clinical Phonetics. New York: Macmillan.

Shriberg, L.D., & Kent, R.D. (1995). Clinical Phonetics (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Shriberg, L.D., & Kent, R.D. (2003). Clinical Phonetics (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Shriberg, L.D., & Kent, R.D. (2013). Clinical Phonetics (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Shriberg, L.D., Kent, R.D., McAllister, T., & Preston, J.L. (2019). Clinical Phonetics. (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Shriberg, L.D., Kwiatkowski, J., & Rasmussen, C. (1990). The Prosody-Voice Screening Profile. Originally published by Communication Skill Builders, Tucson, AZ; rights returned to The Phonology Project, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.