Phonetics Lab

Phonetics at USC studies the articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual properties of speech sounds from a linguistic perspective, both informing and being informed by an understanding of linguistic representations, structures, and processes found in human language and human cognition. We have a special interest in speech production from a cognitive science perspective, which seeks to illuminate the connections between speech as human action and the percept of those actions.

Our special areas of research focus on the coordination of speech movements, dynamic imaging of speech production, and understanding and computationally modeling spoken language as a complex dynamical system. We explore how linguistic structure, including particularly prosodic structure, conditions the spatiotemporal realization of articulatory movement during speaking. This research program investigates the control and coordination of articulation and its relation to grammatical structure within a dynamical systems model of speech production. We also investigate the relation between articulation and acoustics, especially how the interaction between the two informs phonological representation.

The USC Phonetics Laboratory is the home of experimental work in speech science within the Linguistics Department. The Laboratory includes a computing/meeting area and a physiology area equipped with dual magnetometers for tracking articulator kinematics during speech. The Laboratory has state-of-the-art acoustic, signal processing, and statistical analysis tools, and collaborates with the USC SAIL Laboratory in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

The USC Phonetics Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility for acoustic and articulatory speech analysis.

It includes a computing space and a physiology space, and features the following capabilities:

Magnetometer Articulatory Movement Tracking Systems

Northern Digital Instruments Wave Speech Research System
USC Phonetic Lab's Dual Wave systems for simultaneous articulatory recordings from two speakers

Laryngeal Data Collection

Glottal Enterprises Electroglottograph

Real-time MRI (with USC SAIL Laboratory, Narayanan)

Data Analysis MATLAB: with Simulink, Signal Processing Toolbox MView and MAVIS-EVENTS (M. Tiede) for signal derivation & event marking Optical flow analysis software (A. V. Barbosa, Yehia, & Vatikiotis-Bateson, 2008)Correlation Map Analysis (CMA) software (A. Barbosa et al., 2012)E-Prime and Spruce behavioral experiment softwareR statistics package
Audio CapabilitiesMacquirer external A-D hardwaremAudio multi-channel direct-to-digital signal acquisition Audio Recorders: Marantz portable cassette recorder, 2 Sony handheld pro cassette recorder, Onkyo dual cassette deck, Portable Tascam DAT recorder
Microphones: Dynamic: Two Shure head-mounted cardiod; Sennheiser e845 super-cardiod, Condenser: Sennheiser short gun super-cardioid (K6 power module + ME66 capsule) with boom and table mounts, Audio-Technica C87-MKII Studio Microphone, Omni Lavalier microphone, various line-level USB microphones, Hi-fi open field & supra-aural headphones, Rolls pre-amp & mixer, Altec and Harmon Kardon powered speakers
Modeling, Synthesis, and AnalysisTaDA: Task Dynamics Articulatory Speech SynthesisPraatMacquirer & Pitchworks softwareSynthworks: Graphical interface Klatt synthesisKay Elemetrics MultiSpeech and ASL for LPC resynthesisAudacity waveform editor
Various Teaching and Office Software
Anatomical Charts and Models