LINGUIST List 12.612

Tue Mar 6 2001

Qs: "Waves" Source/Substitute, British Eng Survey

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  1. j.mukherjeeuni-bonn.de>, MARSEC/Waves converter
  2. Richard Todd (Forensic Audio Unit), Survey on Foreign-Accented (British) English Speech

Message 1: MARSEC/Waves converter

Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 12:47:14 +0100
From: j.mukherjeeuni-bonn.de> <j.mukherjeeuni-bonn.de>
Subject: MARSEC/Waves converter




Dear colleagues,

A colleague of mine is currently working with the Machine-Readable 
Spoken English Corpus (MARSEC) for her PhD project. According to the 
distributors of the MARSEC CD-Rom, it is possible in principle, by using 
a program called "Waves", to obtain phonetic details from the spoken 
texts such as fundamental frequency, intensity etc. Unfortunately, this 
program is obviously not available anymore. Is there anyone who can give 
us a clue to alternative programs suitable for the same purpose (and 
easily applicable without the help of a software engineer), or tell us 
where "Waves" can still be purchased or downloaded from the web? Any 
suggestions will be appreciated.

Best,

JM

Joybrato Mukherjee
Assistant Professor of Modern English Linguistics
Department of English, University of Bonn
Regina-Pacis-Weg 5, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel. +49-228-735727 and 734603
Fax +49-228-739714
Email j.mukherjeeuni-bonn.de
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Message 2: Survey on Foreign-Accented (British) English Speech

Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 19:47:51 -0000
From: Richard Todd (Forensic Audio Unit) <r.toddfusioncorp.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: Survey on Foreign-Accented (British) English Speech



Hello All

I'm writing because I need the help of those willing to spare 5 minutes of
their time. I'm doing my PhD in the department of computer science,
University of Sheffield, UK. My project is on describing differences between
mainstream (British anglo-saxon) and ethnic (caribbean/south asian)
varieties of English speech.

We all make assumptions about subjects we don't fully understand. As
listener's, we sometimes create mental images of unknown speakers in our
minds. On hearing a voice we may attribute an age-range, gender, hair
colour, etc, to it. These attributes are all assumed, regardless of however
reasoned. My research aims to uncover what cues significantly steer
decision-making with regards to the _ethnicity_ of such an image. Any ethnic
group attributions (EGAs) we make are thought to be due to some perceived
degree of speaker-'sameness' or -'foreigness'.

It is still unclear however, whether a EGA accuracy is largely a function of
contact or something to do with a more innate (phonetic) faculty of the
listener. Naturally, the attitudes of the speakers themselves is also
important, as some strong motivations may exist for their accent change or
maintenance/reinforcement.

At this time I'm conducting a plain-speaking survey. The survey is meant to
glean information on a listener's contact with, and general thoughts about
ethnic minority people enocuntered in Britian. It's simply written (and
worded the same way for the entire readership) because I want _personal_
(not group/institutional) responses, whether informed or not. From there, I
hope to be in a better position to see what assumptions are commonly made by
listeners, and subsequently discover whether there're any foundations for
them.

Those wanting to respond to the survey can be sent a copy via email
attachment. If anyone is interested in providing help in any other way,
please contact me by email also. Feel free to pass this posting on to others
with some personal experience of British English speech, whether presently
staying the UK or not.

Thanks in advance for your help,

Richard.
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