Workshop: Vowel plotting for newbies

Event Date/Time: 
Friday, July 15, 2016 - 7:00pm
Event Details: 
  • Valerie Freeman
  • Kelly Berkson

This half-day workshop provides a hands-on introduction to basic acoustic analysis and data visualization. Participants will complete a vowel-system plotting project by measuring vowel formants in Praat and plotting vowel systems using several methods (by hand, Excel, NORM, R/phonR). The skills they gain will aid them in future independent research, and they will leave the workshop with resources that support efficient analysis in larger projects (Praat and R scripts, Excel templates, etc.). After discussion of workflow considerations, we will break into two groups: an introductory section for students with no-to-minimal experience with acoustic analysis/Praat and an advanced section for students with some prior experience. Beginners will record an English h_d word list, label words/vowels in Praat TextTiers, measure formants at vowel midpoints by hand and using built-in Praat functions, plot them with at least two methods, and compare results with classmates. Advanced students may bring their own research questions and data or choose to work on provided variations of the introductory procedure (measuring at multiple points/in difficult environments, characterizing mergers/splits before liquids/nasals, exploring mono/diphthongization in regional dialects, etc.). At the end of the session we will regroup to compare vowel plots and discoveries. Pros and cons of by-hand vs. automated data analysis will be discussed, as will key ideas like reproducibility, handchecking data, and tying individual work into a larger picture (i.e., why are vowel plots interesting?).

  • Requirements:¬†laptop with Praat installed (or work with a partner); Excel (or similar); wireless Internet access.
  • Optional:¬†R & R Studio installed (recommended for advanced students). Advanced students: simple research question/plan, materials/data to process (e.g., word list to record, recordings to analyze).