Tag Archives: R

Job: Research Assistant (Laboratory Manager)

For current researchers in this area at the university you can see the Phonetics & Phonology research groups people page.
Posted date: 23-Nov-2021
Closing date: 7-Dec-2021

More Information

Full job description can be found at here.

The Role

The School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (ECLS) seeks you for the position of Research Assistant (Laboratory Manager). You will support the research of academic staff and students in experimental and laboratory projects which take place in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences and across the faculty. This includes support for one of more of the following co-located labs:

  1. A psycholinguistics lab with an eyetracker and a range of software programs for behavioural experiments and audio-visual transcription and editing facilities (e.g. EyeLink, Eprime, Labvanced, Gorilla, Adobe Editing Suite, ELAN, PRAAT etc.)
  2. A phonetics lab with:
    • audio-visual recording facilities, including an anechoic chamber, edirol recorders for high quality auditory recordings for acoustic analysis and camcorders for video recordings.
    • articulatory recording facilities, including ultrasound tongue imaging, electropalatography, electro-glottography, and nasometry.

The University and the Department

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

The School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (ECLS) is an inter-disciplinary school with staff and students working in the fields of Speech and Language Sciences, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Communication and Education. Researchers in the school employ a variety of experimental methods including audio-visual, acoustic, and articulatory speech analysis, eye tracking, psycholinguistic experiments, and language learning paradigms and platforms.


Please apply from the university website. For informal enquires, please contact professor Ghada Khattab ghada.khattab@newcastle.ac.uk.

Speech Signal Processing in R – student experience

Abdulrahman Dallak (IPhD Phonetics & Phonology)

In this two-day workshop we covered some of the state-of-the-art techniques in processing and visualising acoustic and ultrasound data in R. Chris started the workshop talking about how he has been using these advanced techniques in his own research. The workshop was divided into two parts (i) processing and visualising acoustic data, and (ii) processing and visualising ultrasound data. The first parts covered a wide array of techniques such as best practices in data explorations, visualising spectrograms, resampling acoustic signals, formant analysis, windowing, playing sound files within R, plotting spectral slice, plotting acoustic space, plotting formant tracks, etc.

As for the second part of the workshop, it addressed advanced techniques in processing and visualising ultrasound data. Chris presented three ways of analysing ultrasound data (i) through contour fitting, (ii) through analysing the ultrasound images themselves based on ‘line of interest’, and (iii) through analysing the changing pixel intensities in ultrasound images. He started this part of the workshop by exploring the data. Then, he showed us how to fit tongue and palate contours dynamically. Next, how he moved on to how to read and interpret tongue contour plots. Chris also addressed some crucial aspects with measuring tongue contours. That is, he explained in detail the differences between Cartesian and polar coordinate systems and how to transform the coordinates of the spline data from cartesian to polar and vice versa. Similarly, how showed us how to calculate angular coordinate (known as theta θ) and radial coordinate (known as r). One interesting aspect of this part is the fact that dimensionality reduction techniques such as PCA can be applied to ultrasound data. This is a robust addition to the analysis along with the ability of plotting PC scores in order to unpack the nuance of the dynamic articulation.

The plot shows that the vowel in ‘hard’ is more retracted than that in ‘heed’; the higher the value the more retracted the tongue.

Yes, it was an intense, but exceptionally enjoyable, workshop. Some aspects of the workshop that I found very helpful include using functions as this helps make the analysis quicker and save time instead of repeatedly copying and pasting the same codes. The presenter went through many functions that he has created and showed us how to incorporate them in our own analysis. Another aspect that I found entertaining is when doing the exercises in groups. This helps us learn closely from each other and crucially consolidate our understanding of the codes being presented. I can’t finish this reflection without talking about the ‘locator()’ function. It is amazing how interactive this function is. It makes it so easy to index the points of interest in any ultrasound image for further analysis. I’ll definitely adapt it in my own research. Thanks to Chris for such a great workshop and to the organising team for making it possible.

R Workshop on Speech Signal Analysis: Dr Chris Carignan #SpeechSignalR

updated 12 July 2021

We are very happy to announce that Dr Chris Carignan will be leading a workshop on speech signal analysis in R. The workshop will take place remotely via Zoom on 13th and 14th July 2021. Please find the workshop description below:

Workshop Description

In phonetics and speech science research, the R programming environment is commonly used for curating data and performing a vast array of statistical analyses. However, given the history and focus on statistics using the R language—”R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics” (www.r-project.org)—it is not often used as an environment for primary data analysis. A typical workflow might consist of analyzing data in another language such as MATLAB or Python and subsequently importing the processed data into R for statistical treatment. In this two-day workshop, you will learn how R can be used as an environment for primary analysis of a variety of speech signals, including acoustics, articulatory.

Pre-requisites & Materials

Have working knowledge of the R programming environment. This includes having RStudio installed on your computer as well as the ability to install the requisite libraries (to be emailed with the Zoom details) and understanding base R syntax.

This workshop will likely not be suitable for R beginners.

Please install the following R packages:

  • “RCurl”
  • “sound”
  • “phonTools”
  • “raster”
  • “ggplot2”

Materials can be downloaded from https://github.com/caitlin91/SignalProcessing2021

Timing & Format

The workshop will be held on Zoom (details have been emailed to those registered). Please join with the name you registered with so that we can admit you from the waiting room.
The timings for both days will be approximately (with flexibility for breaks):

10am-12.10pm: Morning Session
12.10-12.40pm: Lunch Break
12.40-4pm: Afternoon Session


Registration is now closed, any issues please get in touch.

Please register using this form by 12pm BST (GMT+1) on 9th July. The workshop will be capped at 50 people and we will let you know if you are on a waiting list.


See here for contact information