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Phonetics Laboratory
Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics

Lab Skills Workshops

Lab Skills is an initiative run by the Oxford University Phonetics Lab. Its goal is to provide a space for anyone in our community to learn and share knowledge about techniques and methods that can be useful to carry out experimental research in phonetics and phonology.

Organizer: Dr Jose Elias-Ulloa (jose.eliasulloa@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk)

Past workshops

Speech production study in a lab setting and beyond
Presenter: Danfeng Wu  
Date: February 24th, 2023
Description: In this talk, I will discuss how to run a speech production study based on my prior experience with prosodic/phonetic projects. The presentation will discuss experimental design (including materials, experimental setup, key measures – duration, pitch and intensity, location – lab, outside the lab, or completely self-executed by the speaker at their home, etc.), execution of the experiment (including recruitment of participants and possibly research assistants and their training, pilot studies, etc.), statistical analysis, and pros and cons of eliciting speech in a controlled lab setting.
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Introduction to experiment building with OpenSesame
Presenter: Jonathan Wei  
Date: February 17th, 2023
Description: In this presentation, I introduce a relatively intuitive program for designing experiments. Using OpenSesame, I will walk you through the steps to create a basic perception experiment, where sounds are played and listeners are prompted to select a choice that better represents what they hear. OpenSesame will be most appropriate for those without much prior knowledge of experiment building or coding.
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Running experiments online: An introduction to PCIbex Farm
Presenter: Runyi Rao  
Date: November 11th, 2022
Description: PCIbex Farm (https://farm.pcibex.net/) is a free platform where researchers can build web-based experiments easily. This workshop will introduce some features of PCIbex and demonstrate how to create/run an online phonetic experiment on PCIbex step-by-step. Creating experiments on PCIbex doesn’t require you to have any background in coding.
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Experimental methods for the perception of stress: ABX and sequence recall
Presenter: Holly Kennard  
Date: October 28th, 2022
Description: In this presentation, I outline two methods for exploring speakers' perception of stress: an ABX task and a sequence recall task. In an ABX paradigm, participants are presented with three stimuli and must decide whether the third (X) is the same as the first (A) or the second (B). In a sequence recall task, participants are presented with a sequence of two stimuli (e.g. ABAB) and must reproduce that sequence from memory. I will explain how I constructed the experiments, including creating the stimuli, the software I used, and what the results might tell us about the speakers' phonology.
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Introduction to ELAN
Presenter: Claire Huang  
Date: May 27th, 2022
Description: ELAN (https://archive.mpi.nl/tla/elan) is a tool to annotate and transcribe video and audio. It has a tier-based data model that allows you to create multiple tiers of unlimited annotations. It has been a popular tool for language research that involves multimodal analysis for you can annotate with synchronised audio and video recordings. This workshop will introduce the functions of ELAN for you to start with and work your way around this software and demonstrate a workflow of creating annotations tiers, templates, and exporting annotations. Three different working modes of ELAN will be demonstrated. Finally, we will go through a few examples of analyses you can carry out from the statistics and complex search functions on ELAN.
Download presentation: [pdf]

Sounds old: analysing vowels in legacy recordings
Presenter: Joanna Przedlacka  
Date: May 13th, 2022
Description: This presentation is a checklist of things to bear in mind when analysing vowels from legacy audio recordings. The topics covered during the workshop range from how to process/annotate audio recordings to how to plot your results. The processing and annotation are demonstrated in SFS (Speech Filing System - https://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/resource/sfs/), and the plotting in NORM (http://lingtools.uoregon.edu/norm/norm1.php).
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Forced-alignment with SPPAS
Presenter: Stephen Nichols  
Date: March 4th, 2022
Description: Forced alignment refers to the process by which orthographic or phonetic transcriptions are aligned to audio recordings to automatically generate phone level segmentation. In this workshop, Dr Nichols discusses how the forced-aligner SPPAS can be adapted for use with languages that are not currently explicitly supported by this or other forced-aligners and present a streamlined workflow for doing so (something which Dr Nichols has previously applied to three Bantu languages—Bemba, Lozi and Nyanja—and is currently making use of for two indigenous languages of Mexico—Amuzgo and Huave).
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Linear Mixed-Effects Models in R  
Presenter: Chenxi Xu  
Date: February 18th, 2022
Description: This workshop introduces you to linear mixed-effects models in R. It is decidedly conceptual without too many mathematical proofs or equations involved. We will focus on understanding the model through analysing two datasets and building up a linear modelling workflow in R.
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Introduction to Praat and Praat Scripting Date: February 4th, 2022
Presenter: Chenxi Xu
Description: Praat is a free computer software package for speech analysis in phonetics. This workshop serves as a boot camp guiding you to start your phonetic analyses using Praat. Instead of listing out how to perform specific functions, it focuses on introducing a sustainable workflow that bootstraps our knowledge to start our own analyses as quickly as possible.
Download presentation: [pdf]