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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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FYI: Parkinson's Voice Initiative

Author: Rachael Tatman

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

FYI Body: I'm not personally involved with this project, but both its methodology and content is of interest to linguists.

The Parkinson's vioce initiative (http://www.parkinsonsvoice.org/) is a large-scale experiment designed to determine whether Parkinson’s-related vocal changes can be detected over the phone.

From the website: ''What is exciting though: voice is affected as much by Parkinson's as limb movements, so we have developed the technology to test for symptoms using voice recordings alone. This could enable some radical breakthroughs, because voice-based tests are as accurate as clinical tests, but additionally, they can be administered remotely, and patients can do the tests themselves. Also, they are high speed (take less than 30 seconds), and are ultra low cost (they don't involve expert staff time). So, they are massively scalable.''

They’re working on large-scale data collection at the moment.

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