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LSLT: Morgan Sonderegger (LING)

Time: 
Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Location: 
Language Science Center (2130 H.J. Patterson)

Lunch available at 12:15, talk begins promptly at 12:30. 

Morgan Sonderegger (LING)

The SPADE project: large-scale analysis of a spoken language across space and time

Abstract: Speech corpora of many languages, styles, and formats exist in the world, representing significant potential for scientific studies of speech -- by language scientists but also for health and technological applications.  However in practice there are significant practical and methodological barriers to conducting the “same study” across corpora. The Speech Across Dialects of English (SPADE) project (2017-20), a collaboration between universities in Canada, Scotland, and the US,  aims to develop and apply user-friendly software for large-scale speech analysis of existing public and private English speech datasets, and to understand how English speech has changed over time and space. This talk summarizes the project's results thus far.  We briefly introduce our open-source software system for Integrated Speech Corpus ANalysis (ISCAN), then turn to datasets collected for the project and case studies carried out so far analyzing segmental realization across Old World (British Isles) and New World (North American) English, which illustrate two possibilities of large-scale studies: shedding light on longstanding questions (such as "why do different accents of English often change in the same way over time?"), and enabling completely new directions (such as "are there any sounds that sound the same across all dialects of 'English'?").