Field mission in Tanzania: recording of the Iraqw and Hadza languages

Alain Ghio, research engineer at LPL, and Didier Demolin, professor at the Laboratory of Phonetics and Phonology (LPP) in Paris, carried out a joint mission from 13 to 26 February in the northeast region of Tanzania. The purpose of this mission is to record and study two languages ​​of this region: the language of the Iraqw (Kwermusl village) and the language of the Hadzabe (Mwangeza). The first language is distinguished by ejective consonants for which the larynx makes surprising movements. The second is a language spoken by a tribe of hunter-gatherers, which has 65 consonants, including a dozen clicks.

But what did they go to do more specifically?
Experimental field linguistics. The association of these different words is generally difficult to reconcile. And yet, that’s what they did. They went to meet Iraqw and Hadza speakers on the spot, in the bush, in Tanzania, and they recorded them with advanced laboratory techniques: aerophonometry, electroglottography, lab films, palatography ... which is a scientific feat almost new. Using these techniques in the laboratory in Amsterdam, Marseille or Los Angeles is common. Do field surveys with a portable pocket recorder. That is done. But doing aerophonometry in the middle of the savannah is a challenge. Didier Démolin is the specialist. Alain Ghio is co-inventor of the EVA2 aerophonometry device and masters the technical constraints of this type of experiment. [...]

For more information: Alain Ghio / Didier Demolin

See also the article published by the Laboratory of Phonetics and Phonology (LPP), partner of this project (in French):

Mission de collecte de données phonétiques en Tanzanie

From lip- to script-reading: new ANR contract awarded

The LPL is pleased to announce that the project "From lip- to script-reading: An integrative view of audio-visual associations in language processing" (AVA), submitted by Chotiga Pattamadilok, LPL researcher, was validated in the framework of the last ANR PRC selection.

The early exposure to speech and speakers’ articulatory gestures is the basis of language acquisition and is a fingerprint of audiovisual association learning. Is this initial ability to associate speech sounds and visual inputs a precursor of infants’ reading ability? Answering this question requires a good understanding of the cognitive/neural bases of both language abilities and whether they interact within the language system. Studies comparing task performance and spatio-temporal dynamics of brain activity associated with these abilities will be conducted. At the theoretical level, the outcome should lead to an elaboration of a unified framework explaining how multi-modal inputs jointly contribute to form a coherent language representation. At the practical level, the new perspective of a link between the developmental trajectories of “lip-reading” and “script-reading” should contribute to language learning and facilitate early detection and remediation of reading deficits.

Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Aix-Marseille Univ. (coordinator)
Laboratoire D'Etude des Mécanismes Cognitifs, Univ. Lyon 2
Laboratoire de Psychologie et NeuroCognition, Univ. Grenoble Alpes
SFR Santé Lyon-Est, Univ. Lyon 1

European project COBRA accepted!

We are pleased to announce that the COBRA (Conversational Brains) project has been accepted by the European Commission as part of the Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks program. COBRA brings together 14 partners in 10 countries (France, Great Britain, Italy, Slovakia, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Hong Kong), including 4 industrial partners. It will run for four years, starting in 2020.

COBRA is a continuation of the European MULTI project previously carried out by the LPL, and is closely linked to the ILCB Institute. It will contribute to developing research and advanced training in the field of brain-language relationships, in human-human and human-machine conversational interactions, and in a wide variety of languages. It will open wide perspectives for our students in cognitive science and language science, at doctoral level and on a European scale.

The overall budget is 4 million euros. The project was prepared with the support of Protisvalor. It is coordinated by Noël Nguyen.


In addition, a press release has just appeared on this subject in the last issue of AMU's letter:


Project ANR CoDyFLE accepted!

The LPL is pleased to announce that the project “Conversational Dynamics in multimodal computer-mediated communication for Foreign Language Education” (CoDyFLE) led by Marco Cappellini (LPL / AMU) as part of the ANR 2019 call “Networking European or International Scientists ”(MRSEI) was selected by the selection committee.

Among its partners, this project has the following institutions: Clermont University - Auvergne - Language Research Laboratory, Trinity College Dublin, Università del Salento, Groningen University, Universidad Autonoma Madrid, Universitad Oberta de Catalunya, Open University, Polytechnic University Hong Kong, Arizona State University, Ayni, 7-Speaking.

LPL members: Marco Cappellini (project leader), Christelle Combe, Marion Tellier and Brigitte Bigi

PHC Aurora 2019 project accepted

The Parole and Language Laboratory is pleased to announce that the research project proposed by Laurent Prévot (LPL) and Pierre Lison (Norwegian Computing Center) as part of the call PHC AURORA 2019 has been selected by the selection committee.
This project, which focuses mainly on the themes “dialogue systems, large conversational corpus, TAL for the conversation” also counts among its members Philippe Blache (LPL) and Magalie Ochs (LIS).