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Seminar: Expanding the study of linguistic variation through forced alignment for major and minority languages

Australian National University, Evolution

Date: 27 August 2018

Seminar: Expanding the study of linguistic variation through forced alignment for major and minority languages 

Speakers: Dr James Grama, Dr Simón González, & Professor Catherine Travis

When: Friday 7 September 2018, 3:30pm-5pm

Where: Basham Room, Baldessin Building level 2, ANU


Forced-aligners have revolutionized sociolinguistic and sociophonetic research. By automating the process of segmenting a time-aligned, orthographic transcription into individual phonemes, they have vastly increased the size of datasets utilized in phonetic work, thereby enhancing the power and robustness of analyses. While there are several different forced-aligners available, few systematic comparisons between them have been conducted. In this talk, we consider some of the major forced-aligners being used in linguistics today (namely FAVE, LaBB-CAT, MAUS and MFA). We review and compare the motivations behind the development of each aligner, their primary uses, strengths, and limitations. In doing this, we take into account their application to both English and non-English data, in particular, minority and under-described language varieties.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University