Feedback about the mission in Maasai country: the SYSORI project

Following a first mission in 2020, Alain Ghio (LPL) and Didier Demolin (LPP) returned to Maasai country last June to record speakers around Arusha in northern Tanzania using laboratory techniques such as aerophonometry and electroglottography for their field study.

Full article on the Great African Rift Interdisciplinary Group (CNRS) website (in French):

First mission in 2020 (in French):


Photo credits: Projet Sysori / A. Ghio et D. Demolin

COBRA Hackathon session in Ferrara

From June 27 to July 1, a week of training was held in Ferrara, Italy, within the framework of the European network of innovative training Marie Skłodowska-Curie COBRA. This was the 4th training session of the network, following those organized by the academic partners in Bratislava, Aix-Marseille and Edinburgh. It offered doctoral students from the network the possibility of following a series of courses given by Stefan Benus (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava) on alignment between speakers in conversation, by Leonardo Lancia (LPP, Paris 3) on the mathematical analysis of time series in inter-individual interactions, and by Delphine Potdevin and Sébastien Biaudet (DAVI, Puteaux) on conversational agents.

In addition, a hackathon led by Thierry Legou (LPL) allowed doctoral students to familiarize themselves with the Arduino open platform for rapid prototyping of programmable interactive electronic objects. Thierry Legou notably offered an overview of the possibilities proposed by the Arduino platform in the field of on-board sensors. One of the demonstrations presented consisted in building and programming a device allowing the collection of physiological signals thanks to a sensor attached to an electronic card and a micro-controller. This kind of device is usable in studies on social interactions in natural situations.

Appointment was given to the participants for the 5th training session, jointly organized by Susanne Fuchs (Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft), Christine Mooshammer (Humboldt-Universität) and Friedemann Pulvermüller (Freie Universität) in Berlin in March 2023.


Research blog:

COBRA @Twitter: @CobraNetwork


Photo credits: COBRA Network

“Open Science Award for Open Source Research Software” ceremony

“Open Science Award for Open Source Research Software” ceremony

& Inauguration of the national research data portal

On July 8, the inauguration of the national federated research data platform Recherche Data Gouv will take place, followed by the ceremony of 2022 Open Science Award for Open Source Research Software.

As a reminder, the SPPAS automatic annotation software developed at LPL by Brigitte Bigi, CNRS researcher, is among the 2022 winners.

The PENSA project: For an open and critical digital culture at the university

PENSA is a European Erasmus + strategic partnership project in higher education. It aims to develop the skills of teachers for a critical use of digital in education and to promote open and free digital uses among students. The project associates 7 universities (including 6 of the CIVIS consortium), a scholarly association  and a company. At the LPL are involved Marco Cappellini (project coordinator), Christelle Combe, Isabelle Cros and Sandrine Eschenauer.

After starting in March 2021, the project carried out the first training of trainers in June, the first online exchange between students from AMU and the University of Tübingen, and launched the website as well as the first newsletter.

The project gave rise to two communications at the EuroCALL 2021 conference and the RANACLES Congress, as well as a plenary conference.


“The sound systems of languages of the Rift Valley” : project founded

Alain Ghio (LPL), Didier Demolin (LPP) and Michael Karani (University of Dar-es-Salaam) have just obtained funding for the project “The sound systems of the languages of the Rift Valley” submitted within the framework of the CNRS 2021 call for projects “Support for Collaborations with Sub-Saharan Africa”.

It follows, among other things, the field mission carried out in Tanzania in February 2020 which aimed to record and study two languages of the north-eastern region of the country (Iraqw and Hadzabe).

In addition, Alain Ghio and Didier Demolin will be present next week at the 10th World Congress of African Linguistics (7-12 June) with three oral presentations:

A phonetic study of Iraqw ejectives consonants
Didier Demolin, Alain Ghio, Maarten Mous
10th World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL), 2021, Leiden, Netherlands

Labialized consonants in Iraqw
Alain Ghio, Maarten Mous, Didier Demolin
10th World Congress of African Linguistics, Leiden University, 2021, Leiden, Netherlands

Distinctive features and articulatory gestures in Hadza
Richard Griscom, Andrew Harvey, Alain Ghio, Didier Demolin
10th World Congress of African Linguistics, Leiden University, 2021, Leiden, Netherlands

The role of emotions in learning abstract words

As part of the CNRS 80|Prime call, funding for the PhD project led by Johannes Ziegler (LPC) and Núria Gala (LPL) has been selected among the 2021 laureates! 

Project title: The role of semantic neighborhoods and emotion in the learning of abstract words: from embodied linguistic theory to classroom interventions (LAW)

A look back at the Bratislava Online COBRA Training Event… and perspectives!

A look back at the Bratislava Online Training Event organized by the European COBRA project

The European Conversational Brains (COBRA) project, funded by the European Commission for a period of four years (2020-2024), organized its first training event last week, from March 22 to 26. This event included a series of courses given by Susanne Fuchs (ZAS, Berlin), Peter Hagoort (MPI, Nijmegen), Martin Pickering (Univ Edinburgh) and Kristof Strijkers (LPL). COBRA's non-academic partners (DAVI, Furhat, Orange, ReadSpeaker) presented their artificial dialogue systems in a Show & Tell session. The doctoral students - including Emilia Kerr and Lena Huttner of the LPL - also gave a first glimpse of their progress, and that was a key moment of the week.

This event also made it possible to finalize the first version of the data management plan on OPIDoR, to announce the creation of a open data pool on Zenodo, and the setting up of an e-training platform on MoodleCloud, combined with another shared Jupyter-type platform for the training of doctoral students in the fields of statistics, calculation, and programming. Moreover, the doctoral students have opened a blog on the COBRA site, in which they will present their activities at regular intervals.

The week was thus extremely rich and intense, it offered everyone the opportunity to get to better know all the doctoral students and to strengthen ties within the network. Fortunately, the participants did not just work: Stefan Benus, the organizer of the event, invited all members to participate in an online police investigation, which took place in Bratislava. It was really exciting! 😉

And the perspectives...

The next event will take place from May 17 to 21 and will be organized by the Aix-Marseille team. It will be preceded by an online seminar given to doctoral students entitled “How to give engaging scientific talks”. Doctoral students will be called upon to make an even stronger contribution than during the 1st event, and will notably have to carry out a hackathon on data processing. It is also planned to offer doctoral students training in statistics tailored to their needs and provided by Shravan Vasishth and Audrey Bürki (Univ Potsdam).

The next events will be organized by our partners in Edinburgh (second semester 2021) and Ferrara (first semester 2022).

More information:

Contact: Noël Nguyen (Project coordinator)
Twitter: @CobraNetwork