Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in workshop, seminar, course
Workshop on Sociophonetic Methods
Anne Fabricius (Roskilde University, DK)
Nicholas Flynn (University of York, UK)
Tyler Kendall (University of Oregon, US & LANCHART)
Dominic Watt (University of York, UK)
15 November 2011, 12.00 – 17.00
LANCHART Centre, University of Copenhagen - Amager 27.5
Sociophonetics – the intersection of sociolinguistics and phonetics – represents a fast growing area of linguistic research, in which scholars are gaining new insights into the social and cognitive aspects of variation and change in linguistic sound systems. Much sociophonetic work focuses on the analysis of vowels, where instrumental techniques in particular have proven helpful in advancing the understanding of vowel shifts, mergers, and individual vowel changes in production. Sociophonetic vowel studies can be characterized on the one hand by some widely shared practices (such as the conventionalized plotting of first and second formants in specifically formatted scatterplots) and on the other hand by widely varying and currently-being-negotiated practices (such as the best techniques for the quantitative analysis of vowel data and, most relevantly for this workshop, the best approaches to use to control for (i.e. normalize) speaker differences that are not of interest so that speaker differences that are of interest can be best identified).
In this workshop, we discuss several major topics in the instrumental analysis of sociophonetic vowel data, focusing primarily on the mathematical models used for normalizing and interpreting the data. How can we eliminate extraneous information about the individual characteristics of the speakers – namely acoustic differences based on physiology like vocal tract size – so that characteristics of the larger group can more clearly be identified? What are the pros and cons of different available normalization techniques? How, why, and when is normalization necessary for different types of projects? Sociophonetic analysis often involves examining individual vowels as parts of larger systems and we review some recent moves in this direction in the analysis of sociophonetic vowel data.
The workshop involves a series of presentations on sociophonetic methods which are followed by a hands-on session where participants work with vowel data (supplied) to learn how to use normalization and plotting software and how to interpret the outcome. The schedule is approximately:
12.00 – 14.45: Presentations and discussion
15.15 – 17.00: Hands-on session
The workshop will be conducted in English. Space is limited, so please rsvp to Nicolai Pharao if you would like to attend. The hands-on session is already fully booked, but attendance at the presentations and participation in the discussion is still possible.
Recommended readings will be supplied to participants.