Computer modelling of the speech communication process


Project director:
Anders Eriksson, Department of Phonetics, Umeå University.

Project title:
Computer modelling of the speech communication process.

Project Period:
1/7/1996 - 31/6/1999

Funding agency:
Högskoleverket, Grundutbildningsrådet (National Agency for Higher Education: Council for the Renewal of Undergraduate Education, Grant number 08495)

Project abstract:
The purpose of this project is to develop computerized teaching aids for undergraduate courses in phonetics. At least some of the programs in this package will be developed in the Java programming language. Links to these programs will be published as soon as working demos have been developed.
The first year was devoted to developing components suitable for demonstrations and experiments. The second year will be focused on integrating these components into tutorials or at least larger units than mere components. During the final year one or two complete course modules will be developed.

Current state of the project:
Work on the project began in July 1996. The first few months were spent on setting up the equipment that is used and customizing the computer lab.
During the first year, components in the form of perception experiments and tools for exploring phonological rules and systems were developed. The goal is to make components accessible over the internet, but due to present limitations of the sound handling capabilities, this is not practical for all types of components. All components where sound analysis is involved are therefore developed in an environment that combines internet based instruction with UNIX based tools. Some components, however, are fully available over the internet.

These include:

  • A perception test, replicating a classical experiment on Categorical Perception The test, written in the Java language, is available in Swedish and English. French and German versions will appear soon!

  • Three phonological parsers, one phoneme based parser and one distinctive feature based parser in the classical SPE style. (Instructions in English.)

  • During year one, a complete course module on elementary acoustic phonetics for first year students of phonetics was developed, using the WebCT course development package. This work has continued during year two, and the course has been further developed during this period.
    A new perception experiment component, testing the just noticeable difference (JND) for formant frequencies, has been developed. The component has been used successfully in a course on experimental phonetics for second year students.
    The project group co-operates actively with other developers of teaching materials and other types of materials which may be part of phonetics teaching. At present work is in progress to adapt the articulatory synthesis program, APEX, for educational purposes. The program has been develpoped at the Department of Linguistsics, Stockholm University, by Björn Lindblom and Johan Stark.

    Project staff:
    Ola Andersson, Research engineer

    Publications:
    Anders Eriksson has been a member of the Socrates sponsored Thematic Network in Phonetics and Speech Communication since the autumn of 1996, actively taking part in the CAL (Computer Aided Learning and use of the Internet) working group. The working group has so far published four conference papers and three book chapters on computer aided learning, with special reference to use of the Internet.

  • Huckvale, M, C. Benoit, C. Bowerman, A. Eriksson, H. M. Rosner, M. Tatham, B. Williams. 1997. Opportunities for computer-aided instruction in phonetics and speech communication provided by the internet. In Proc. EUROSPEECH `97, Vol. 4, 1919-1922. pdf
  • Huckvale, M, C. Benoit, C. Bowerman, A. Eriksson, H. M. Rosner, M. Tatham, B. Williams. 1997. Computer aided learning and use of the internet. In The Landscape of Future Education in Speech Communication Sciences, 1 Analyses, ed. by G. Bloothooft et al., 94-144. Utrecht: OTS Publications. pdf
  • Huckvale, M, C. Bowerman, A. Eriksson, H. M. Rosner, M. Wolters. 1998. Catalysing web-based teaching with tutorial components. In Proceedings from The Future of Humanities in the Digital Age, ed. by K. de Smedt and D. Apollon, 70-72. Bergen, 25-28 September 1998, University of Bergen. html
  • Huckvale, M, C. Bowerman, A. Eriksson, H. M. Rosner, M. Tatham, B. Williams, M. Wolters. 1998. Computer aided learning and use of the internet. In The Landscape of Future Education in Speech Communication Sciences, 2 Proposals, ed. by G. Bloothooft et al., 81-126. Utrecht: OTS Publications. pdf
  • Bowerman, C, A. Eriksson, M. Huckvale, M. Rosner, M. Tatham, M. Wolters. 1999. Tutorial design for we-based teaching and learning. In Proceedings of the ESCA/SOCRATES workshop: Method and Tool Innovation for Speech Science Education, London, 16-17 April 1999. pdf
  • Huckvale, M, C. Bowerman, A. Eriksson, M. Rosner, M. Tatham, M. Wolters. 1999. Computer aided learning and use of the Internet. In The Landscape of Future Education in Speech Communication Sciences, 3 Recommendations, ed. by G. Bloothooft et al., 98-117. Utrecht: OTS Publications. pdf
  • Bowerman, C, A. Eriksson, M. Huckvale, M. Rosner, M. Tatham, M. Wolters. 1999. Criteria for evaluating Internet tutorials in speech communication sciences. In Proc. EUROSPEECH `99, Vol. 6, 2455-2458. pdf
  • Additional publications

  • Eriksson, A. 1998. A laboratory course for undergraduate students of phonetics. In Proceedings from the WebNet '98 Conference, Orlando Fl., November 7-12, 1998. pdf
  • Eriksson, A. 1999. A laboratory course for undergraduate students of phonetics. Extended Internet version with interactive components of the above, published in IMEj (Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning) URL
  • Eriksson, A. 1999. Web-accessible resources for teaching phonetics. Paper presented at the Joint ASA/EAA Meeting, Berlin, 14-19 March 1999. pdf
  • Eriksson, A. 2001. Use of the Internet in speech science education. In Proceedings of the SSGRR Conference, L'Aqulia, Italy, 6-12 August 2001. pdf


  • Last modified: Tue Aug 14 10:06:07 MET DST 2001