SRPP: Human Beatboxing: A physiological approach to voice production

Human Beatboxing (HBB) is a musical technique produced by vocal tract movements. Contrary to speech, in HBB, gestures and patterns are not restricted by linguistic constraints. Thus, new articulatory patterns of different level of complexity emerge. This talk will focus on the physiology of phonatory behaviors in Beatboxing. Even though production goals and sound patterning differ between speaking and beatboxing, physiological principles do not. This work is the first to propose an analysis of beatboxing voice by exploring the musical repertoire of electronic bass imitation by 5 beatboxers using laryngoscopic, aerodynamic and acoustic data. First, a description of the source and filter characteristics is given. Then a pilot study using Kreiman et al. (2014) model of voice production was carried on 5 phonatory behaviors : modal voice, the “Chest Bass” (egressive (ary)epiglotto-pharyngeal voice), the “Inward Bass” (ingressive aryepiglottic voice with open glottis), the “Throat Bass” (egressive ventricular voice) and a “Vibration Bass” (egressive breathy aryepiglottic voice). Results show a large panel of phonatory behaviors based on the production of periodic and aperiodic components at the source. Resonances shows configurations similar to posterior vowels of linguistic systems. Kreiman’s model of voice allowed to distinguish phonatory behaviors. The study of beatboxing voice revealed an extensive use of laryngeal articulators associated with a fine phonetic control of voice production.

SRPP: Sound-Meaning Mapping: Verbal Imitation of Super Mario Music by Yorùbá Gamers

This paper explores how Yorùbá gamers map lexical meaning to videogame music in their native language by focusing on an aspect of gaming culture in Yorùbá. Gaming culture among Yoruba millennials involves vocal imitating the music of the video game, Super Mario Bros. The themes of the linguistic interpretations are comparable to those of music texts at traditional Yoruba competitions. Drawing on the Yoruba music tradition, the account in this work is that, to the gamers, the background music of the video game performs a similar function as the music at traditional Yoruba competitions. The choice of words in the linguistic interpretation is conditioned by the situational contexts or scenes where the music is heard in the video game. The results of an acoustic analysis show that the choice of words in the linguistic interpretations is also determined by mapping the pitch trajectories of the music melodies to the tones of the gamers’ native language. This study suggests that the linguistic processing of music may not only involve phonetic iconicity but contextual inference and social expectation.

SRPP: Corpus-based approaches to segmental duration

Temporal aspects of speech such as the duration of vowels and consonants provides a window into the cognitive system underlying human language. A major question concerns the universality of temporal aspects, given that speech production is tightly linked to the biological and physical capacities of humans. The actual durational properties of phones is the result of a complex interplay between biological characteristics, melodic and prosodic features, linguistic context, speaker-dependent variables, among others.
This talk will provide an overview of temporal patterns in a cross-linguistic sample using data from DoReCo, a corpus containing time-aligned speech data from 51 languages. Special attention will be given to the duration of segments at the edge of prosodic boundaries, in particular final lengthening. The motivation for focussing on final lengthening is that while this process is commonly considered to be a universal feature of spoken language, languages are known to place very specific constraints on the extent of variation of segmental duration , most notably when a language maintains a phonological length contrast, or has phonotactic restrictions on the distribution of long segments. A recent study reveals  several significant interactions between phonological length and final lengthening, suggesting that final lengthening is contingent on the phonology of individual languages.

SRPP: Marqueurs prosodiques de la focalisation étroite en italien et français L2

L’expression de la structure informationnelle représente un problème pour les apprenants d’une L2, d’autant que celle-ci a des interactions complexes avec plusieurs niveaux de structurations de l’énoncé à la fois: prosodie, syntaxe, lexique, etc. En effet, les stratégies exploitées pour organiser l’information dans la phrase ne sont pas identiques dans toutes les langues, et les apprenants sont confrontés à une modulation complexe de cette interaction lors du passage d’une langue à l’autre. Dans cet exposé, nous allons analyser un échantillon de parole élicitée, afin de répertorier les moyens linguistiques employés dans l’expression de la focalisation étroite chez des locuteurs natifs (10 francophones et 10 italophones) et non-natifs (10 apprenants italophones de français L2). Nous examinons si les apprenants utilisent des moyens linguistiques similaires à ceux employés en français L1, et dans quelle mesure l’influence de la L1 se manifeste dans leurs productions. Les résultats montrent que les locuteurs francophones et italophones natifs emploient des structures syntaxiques similaires pour exprimer la focalisation étroite, et des patrons prosodiques qui se rapprochent du point de vue phonologique, mais avec des différences dans l’implémentation phonétique. De manière conséquente, donc, les apprenants se rapprochent de la langue cible en ce qui concerne l’emploi des marqueurs syntaxiques,  mais produisent des patrons prosodiques différents de ceux observés dans la langue cible. Certains traits prosodiques et segmentaux (intonations montantes, coups de glotte) pourraient constituer une caractéristique typique de l’interlangue des apprenants, indépendamment de leur L1; les résultats d’une étude pilote sur un échantillon d’apprenants francophones d’italien L2 semble aller dans cette direction.

SRPP: A Phonetic Conundrum: What does [+constricted glottis] mean?

Among the many terms that describe phonation type, [constricted glottis] presents an inconsistency for Laryngeal Articulator theory to address. In this talk, I will begin with some background on constriction in the larynx in general, especially for those of you who are not as familiar with our work. Then I will share with you some contradictions of laryngeal phonetic production revealed in recent analyses and explore how these contradictions might be resolved. My intention is to examine lower-vocal-tract behaviour from the perspectives of both the Glottal Continuum Model and the Laryngeal Articulator Model and to solicit your opinions to try and disentangle the way such behaviours are described phonetically. The result will be no less than a revision (and amplification) of Laryngeal Articulator theory.

SRPP: What is a possible speech sound?

What are the linguistic uses of sound? Lindblom (1990) proposed that the response to this question is linked to the total sound-producing potential of the human vocal tract. A consequence of this is that phonetics must broaden the scope of its inquiry to evaluate the human sound producing potential. Two important questions are associated to this claim. The first amounts to the finiteness of the sound inventories found in language. If finite, this would reflect a close system. The finiteness of phonetic alphabets is a working assumption but what is the theoretical justification for this? The second question is about the possible open character of sound systems. If true, what is the theoretical consequence of this claim? One consequence is that open systems can evolve towards a complexification of their structures. Both issues also raise the question of what is a relevant speech sound in languages? What are the limits of the sound producing system of human languages? A way to address these fundamental issues in speech is to evaluate what we know about the origin and evolution of sound source in primates; the complexification of sound system structures through the example of labial consonants and some vowel systems; the possible reuse of physiological mechanism for speech such as for clicks and ejectives. What is a relevant speech sound in languages must also account for the relevance of speech sounds in oral tradition languages that represent about 90% of the world’s languages. An example from Maasai interjections and ideophones will illustrate this point.