From September 2021 to February 2022, our research group has been very active and involved in several projects. Here is a short summary of what we discussed during our weekly meetings:
- Accent and Social Justice:
Within our research theme for this year, “Accent and Social Justice”, we reviewed recent literature on how different accents are processed, perceived and potentially discriminated against. We also attended a talk by Melissa Base-Berk from the University of Oregon, in which she discussed her novel and fascinating research on accent perception and adaptation. Have a look at this blog post if you would like to find out more. Currently, we are organising an interdisciplinary workshop on accent, communication and social justice, to be held in March 2022. Watch this space for further information on the event.
- Quantitative Methods:
Bilal Alsharif, a member of our research group, provided us with an introduction to Bayesian methods. We discussed their benefits and challenges in comparison with frequentist methods. Our interest in everything quantitative did not stop there, as we held weekly study group meetings to brush up on our statistics and R skills. The statistic study group will be continuing this semester.
- Many Speech Analyses:
As a group, we signed up for this large collaborative project. The aim of the project is to compare the approaches that different researchers take to answer the same research question (“Do speakers phonetically modulate utterances to signal atypical word combinations?”) with the same dataset. We have already explored the dataset and will discuss in the following weeks which methods we want to use. You can find out more about Many Speech Analysis on the project website.
- Noise-Masking of Speech:
Another topic of discussion came from Andreas Krug, who was wondering why some of the speakers in his study were easier to hear over noise than others. We had a look at potential acoustic measures to quantify this and how to deal with these differences in an experimental design and statistical analysis.
- Transcription Training:
We practised our phonetic transcription skills with some of Ghada Khattab‘s Arabic data. We discussed the differences in our transcriptions and compared the realisations we heard with the target realisations in Arabic. We are planning to practise transcriptions of other speech data this semester, including dysarthric speech, to further our transcription skills.
- New Doctors:
Our members Nief Al-Gambi and Bruce Wang successfully completed their vivas. Congratulations to the two of them!
We are looking forward to keep working on these projects in Semester 2. You can check our website to keep up to date with our work.