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Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology

Edited by Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut, and Gjert Kristoffersen

Offers the first detailed examination of corpus phonology and serves as a practical guide for researchers interested in compiling or using phonological corpora

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The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History

By Bernard Spolsky

A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.

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Indo-European Linguistics

New Open Access journal on Indo-European Linguistics is now available!

Academic Paper

Title: The Self-Organization of Speech Sounds
Paper URL:
Author: Pierre-Yves Oudeyer
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Sony Computer Science Laboratory, Paris
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: The speech code is a vehicle of language: it defines a set of forms used by a
community to carry information. Such a code is necessary to support the linguistic
interactions that allow humans to communicate. How then may a speech code be
formed prior to the existence of linguistic interactions? Moreover, the human speech
code is discrete and compositional, shared by all the individuals of a community
but different across communities, and phoneme inventories are characterized by
statistical regularities. How can a speech code with these properties form?
We try to approach these questions in the paper, using the "methodology of
the artificial". We build a society of artificial agents, and detail a mechanism that
shows the formation of a discrete speech code without pre-supposing the existence
of linguistic capacities or of coordinated interactions. The mechanism is based on
a low-level model of sensory-motor interactions. We show that the integration of
certain very simple and non language-specific neural devices leads to the formation
of a speech code that has properties similar to the human speech code. This result
relies on the self-organizing properties of a generic coupling between perception and
production within agents, and on the interactions between agents. The artificial
system helps us to develop better intuitions on how speech might have appeared,
by showing how self-organization might have helped natural selection to find speech.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Publication Info: Oudeyer, P-Y. (2005) The Self-Organization of Speech Sounds, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 233(3), pp. 435--449.

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