Two CLaS talks

Two CLaS talks

Please find below details of upcoming CLaS talks. The CLaS Colloquium Series provides an opportunity for national and international researchers to present talks and meet  with staff, HDR and senior undergraduate students, and aims to promote collaborative research links across Faculties within the University and with industry. Event information is also available on the CLaS website here.
Date: Monday, 29th July 2019, 11.30am-12.30pm
Venue: Room 3.610, Level 3, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University
Speaker: Professor Aditi Lahiri, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, Language and Brain Lab, University of Oxford
Host: Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth
Topic:  What you think you hear may not be what has been said: Processing alternatives and asymmetry
Abstract
A speaker-listener relationship is fraught with difficulties. The listener has no influence over a speaker’s utterances which could be as variable as they please. Nevertheless, language comprehension amidst native speakers seem straightforward in normal conversation. Models of speech perception and word recognition vary considerably in their assumptions about how words are represented in the mental lexicon, how much detail is stored, and how the speech signal is mapped on to the lexicon. Since languages are replete with both phonological and morphological asymmetries, assuming asymmetric representation which in turn affect processing and change appear not to be unreasonable. In this presentation, we will provide evidence from language change as well as from a series of psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experiments on German, English, and Bengali in support of abstract and asymmetric representations.
Bio
Aditi Lahiri FBA, is a Statutory Professor of Linguistics and the Director of the Language and Brain Laboratory at the University of Oxford. She received her first PhD from the University of Calcutta and the second from Brown University. After short stints of teaching at UCLA and UC Santa Cruz, she spent a number of years at the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen after which she was appointed as the Professor of GeneralLinguistics at the University of Konstanz. Her research involves theoretical phonology (synchronic and diachronic) as well as psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, both of which address phonological and morphophonological issues.

Date: Monday 29th July 2019, 2.00pm-3.00pm
Venue: Room 3.610, Level 3, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University
Speaker: Professor Lucie Ménard, Université du Québec à Montréal
Host: Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth 
Topic: Speech development in children with impaired articulatory or sensory systems

Abstract
Learning to speak is a long process involving a complex interplay between cognitive, motor, and perceptual factors. When acquiring phonemes, children must learn how to reach a specific goal using immature perception and production systems. During childhood,  the relationships between sensory goals and motor actions in speech are acquired through feedback mechanisms. Although many studies have examined speech development, little is known about the specific roles of auditory and somatosensory feedback in phonetic  development. We review two studies that examined how children with impairments rely on sensory feedback to reach phonemic targets. One study looked at children with normal-hearing and deaf children with cochlear implants (impaired sensory system). In a second  study, children with muscular dystrophy (impaired articulatory system) were recruited and vowels and consonants were recorded in different prosodic contexts (neutral and under contrastive emphasis) and perturbation conditions (with or without artificial perturbations  of the articulators). Acoustic, articulatory, and perceptual analyses were conducted to assess the degree to which children reached the desired targets. Although intelligibility was altered in both groups of children with impaired articulatory or sensory systems, children used compensatory strategies to maximally preserve intelligibility. These results highlight the role of motor and sensory factors in shaping phonetic development.

Bio
Professor Lucie Ménard is the Founder and Director of the Phonetics Laboratory at Université du Québec à Montréal and Adjunct-director of the Center for Research on Brain, Language, and Music—CRBLM. She has been engaged in a sustained program of studies of  the development of speaker strategies for reaching intelligible multisensory speech goals. Her research has used a combination of instrumental measures (ultrasound imaging, optical and electromagnetic tracking of orofacial articulators), acoustic measures  and modeling in sensory deprived young children and adults to investigate speech production during different developmental stages and under varying conditions of sensory feedback and speaking demands. To support this work, her lab has devised methods of obtaining  and analyzing accurate ultrasound data on the tongue movements of children as young as two years old. Most recently, Professor Ménard has been involved in the development of clinical assessment tools (ultrasound imaging and virtual reality) for children with  neuromuscular disease at the Living Lab Ste-Justine Pediatric Hospital.

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