Term Paper Suggestions
- Topics on the acoustics of speech production. Could expand on topics discussed in class. For example: models of the larynx; effects of vocal-tract walls; effects of coupling to the nose; more on losses in the vocal tract; the subglottal resonances. Much has been written on these topics, especially about the larynx.
- Topics related to sentence production. Models for intonation contours. Models for timing in sentences. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel can suggest references. Here are some examples:
Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. "The Role of Word Structure in Segmental Serial Ordering." Cognition 42 (1992): 213-259 (and its references). Also,
Pierrehumbert, J. "Synthesizing Intonation." J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 70 (1981): 985-995. Also,
Klatt, D. H. "Linguistic Uses of Segmental Duration in English: Acoustic and Perceptual Evidence." J. Acoust. Soc Am. 59 (1976): 1208-1221. Also,
Shattuck-Hufnagel, S., and A. E. Turk. "A Prosody Tutorial for Investigators of Auditory Sentence Processing." J. of Psycholinguistic Research 25 (1996): 193-247.
- Study of clear versus conversational speech. See, for example, Picheny, et al. J. Speech and Hearing Res 28: 96-102, and 29, 434-446. Reduction of vowels and consonants in casual speech. Also, J. C. Krause has some recent papers.
- Phonetic descriptions and acoustic analysis of some non-English speech sounds such as clicks, ejectives, retroflex consonants, breathy vowels, nasal vowels, implosives, tones. If you have access to speakers of other languages, you could make recordings of your own and analyze them.
- Acoustic characteristics that distinguish the speech of one individual from another; also listener identification of voices.
- Discrimination of speech sounds by infants. See, for example:
Kuhl, P. K. "Perception of Speech and Sound in Early Infancy." In Handbook of Infant Perception. Vol. 2. New York, NY: Academic Press, 1986. ISBN: 9780126151510. Or,
Kuhl, P., et al. "Linguistic Experience Alters Phonetic Perception in Infants by 6 Months of Age." Science 255 (1992): 606-608.
Prof. Stevens has some of these and other references. Also,
Jusczyk, P., et al. "Infants' Sensitivity to Sound Patterns of Native Language Words." J of Memory and Language 32 (1993): 402-420.
Also a book by Jusczyk. The Discovery of Spoken Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780262600361.
- Production of speech by children. We have a database of recorded speech from children in the age range 2-4 years, where accurate speech production is still being developed.
- Perception of speech sounds by animals. See, for example Kuhl, P. K. "Theoretical Contributions of Tests on Animals to the Special-mechanisms Debate in Speech." Experimental Biology 45 (1986): 233-265.
- Characteristics of baby cry. Can characteristics of the cry be used to detect abnormalities in infants? Professor Stevens has some references.
- Speech synthesis by machine. There are plenty of references on this. Dennis Klatt has prepared a review article on speech synthesis, "Review of Text-to-Speech Conversion for English." J Acoust Soc Am 82 (1987): 737-793. Professor Stevens has a copy.
- Characteristics of female and male voices. See, for example:
Klatt, D. H., and L. C. Klatt. "Analysis, Synthesis, and Perception of Voice Quality Variations Among Female and Male Talkers." J Acoust Soc Am 87 (1990): 820-857. Also,
Hanson, H. M. "Glottal Characteristics of Female Speakers: Acoustic Correlates." J Acoust Soc Am 101 (1997): 466-481. Also,
Hanson, H. M., and E. Chuang. "Glottal Characteristics of Male Speakers: Acoustic Correlates and Comparison with Female Data." J Acoust Soc Am 106 (1999): 1064-1077.
- Acoustic and articulatory characteristics of disordered speech. See, for example:
Ohde, R. N., and D. J. Sharf. Phonetic Analysis of Normal and Abnormal Speech. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
Also chapters in Minifie, F. D., ed. Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders. San Diego: Singular, 1994. ISBN: 9781565932029.
An example of a paper on dysarthria is: Kent, J. F., et al. "Quantitative Description of the Dysarthria in Women with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis." J Speech and Hearing Research 35 (1992): 723-733.
Also see J. Speech and Hearing Research and J. Speech and Hearing Disorders.
- Automatic speech recognition. There are many papers on this topic, including several review articles. A starting place is an article by:
Rabiner, L. R. "Machine Recognition of Speech." In Encyclopedia of Acoustics. Vol. 4. Edited by M. Crocker. New York, NY: Wiley, pp. 1607-1614 and references therein. ISBN: 9780471180074.
Also more recent books and papers, e.g.: O'Shaughnessy, D. Speech Communication: Human and Machine. IEEE Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780780334496. There are several other books on this topic.