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Ferenc Bunta, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Phone: (713) 743-2892
Office: Melcher Life Sciences M243A
Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Video

Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Houston, Dr. Ferenc Bunta worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Temple University. He completed his Ph.D. at Arizona State University in speech and hearing sciences. The main focus of Dr. Bunta's research is bilingual phonological acquisition. 


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Bilingual Language Laboratory and the Eleanor M. Saffran Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Ph.D., Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • M.A., English Linguistics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • B.Ed., Teaching English as a Second Language, Lajos Kossuth University (currently University of Debrecen), Debrecen, Hungary


  • Speech Science (COMD 3385)
  • Phonetics (COMD 2338)

Research Interests

The core of Dr. Bunta's research is the study of bilingual and cross-linguistic phonological acquisition. There are multiple on-going projects that investigate various aspects of phonological acquisition and representation cross-linguistically and in bilingual speakers, ranging from the phonological patterns of Spanish-English bilingual children with hearing loss who use cochlear implants and their peers with normal hearing (funded by the NIH/NIDCD) to exploring factors related to the identification of reading and language disorders in Spanish-speaking English language learners (funded by the IES in collaboration with Drs. David Francis, Kristi Santi, and Raul Rojas).

For more information, view Dr. Bunta’s research page.

Research Grants

(past 5 years)

  • 2020-2024   National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIH/NIDCD)1R01DC017683, Image-Guided Cochlear Implant Programming: Pediatric Speech, Language, and Literacy, Role: Consultant 
  • 2016-2018  United States Department of Education, Institute of Education SciencesR324A160258, Identification of Reading and Language Disabilities in Spanish-Speaking English Learners, Role: Co-Investigator 
  • 2013-2017  National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIH/NIDCD)1R03DC012640, Phonological Acquisition in Bilingual Children with Cochlear Implants, Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

(for a full list of publications, see curriculum vitae)

  • Sosa, A., Bunta, F. (2019). Speech production variability in monolingual and bilingual children with cochlear implants: A comparison to their peers with normal hearing. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62, 2601-2616. doi: 10.1044/2019_JSLHR-S-18-0263 
  • Khalaf, S., Santi, K., Kulesz, P., Bunta, F., & Francis, D. J. (2019). Bilingual phonological awareness: Construct validation of grade 1 Spanish-speaking English learners. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 166, 79-110. doi: 10.1002/cad.20303 
  • Bunta, F., Goodin-Mayeda, C. E., Procter, A., & Hernandez, A. (2016). Initial stop voicing in bilingual children with cochlear implants and their peers with normal hearing. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 59, 686-698. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0212
  • Bunta, F., Douglas, M., Dickson, H., Cantu, A., Wickesberg, J., & Gifford, R. H., (2016). Dual language versus English only support for bilingual children with hearing loss who use cochlear implants and hearing aids. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 51(4), 460-472. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12223 

Professional Activities

  • National Science Foundation and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Grant Reviewer
  • Beszédkutatás (2014-present) and JSLHR (2017-2018) Editorial Board member
  • ASHA’s Mentoring Academic-Research Careers (MARC), PROmoting the next GENeration of Researchers (PROGENY)