LINGUIST List 31.1455

Mon Apr 27 2020

Disc: Speech Biomarkers Project

Editor for this issue: Yiwen Zhang <>

Date: 28-Mar-2020
From: Mark Liberman <>
Subject: Speech Biomarkers Project
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We've recently rolled out a new web-based experiment for collecting speech data that can be used to track neurocognitive health. Speech-based tasks have been part of standard neuropsychological test batteries for many decades, because speaking engages many psychological and neurological systems, offering many (sometimes subtle) clues about what might be going wrong.

Some colleagues and I are starting a large-scale project to get speech data of this general kind: picture descriptions, ''fluency'' tests (e.g. ''how many words starting with F can you think of in 60 seconds?''), and so on. The idea is to support research on analysis of such recordings, automated and otherwise, and to allow psychometric norming of both traditional and innovative measures, for both one-time and longitudinal administration, across a diverse population of subjects. We've got IRB approval to publish the recordings, the transcripts, and basic speaker metadata (age, gender, language background, years of education). This is just the first step down a long road, and therefore it's important to get it started as an open scientific project rather than a closed commercial effort.

Please donate a few minutes of your time by participating at -- report any problems or suggestions to -- and spread the word!

Linguistic Field(s): Clinical Linguistics

Page Updated: 27-Apr-2020