Applied Linguistics Speech Lab
This is the only speech lab in the program of Applied Linguistics at the English Department where both undergraduate and graduate students can actively participate in empirical research through hands-on experience. Using facilities in the speech lab, students can have opportunities to analyze speech production and perception data, observe speech signals, and verify their effects on speech perception. The ALSL is equipped with advanced speech acquisition and processing equipment and software.
Staff: The ALSL currently has one full-time post-doctoral researcher on staff and two part-time PhD students working on corpus transcription. The lab also supports the research efforts of a number of PhD students. The ALSL lab is also getting network support from the Information Technology Services (ITS) of NAU.
Equipment: The lab has a computerized speech lab (CSL) 4300 from KayPentax, which provides capacity for both real-time and off-line speech signal acquisition and processing, and has 3 high speed computers/workstations equipped with Matlab, Praat and Snack speech processing software toolkits. These toolkits provide cutting edge techniques for prosodic feature analysis and processing. It is also set up with a high-speed multiprocessor (4 processors – each 2.3 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD) mobile workstation and supporting data backup accessories, including CentOS 6.0 Linux virtual environment over Windows 7 for large vocabulary spontaneous speech recognition (LVCSR) training and decoding using KALDI, and HTK speech recognition toolkits.
Speech Corpora: The ALSL has several commercially available speech corpora: TIMIT Acoustic-Phonetic Continuous Speech Corpus, CSLU: Foreign Accented English Corpus, Boston University Radio News Corpus (BURNC), and LDC Switchboard corpus. Additionally, the lab has corpora obtained or collected and annotated by the ALSL: World Englishes, TOEFL, and Cambridge English Language Assessment.
Collaboration: A major strength of the ALSL is its emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration in both research and education. In the 2014-2015 academic year, the ALSL sponsored an automatic syllabification Capstone project for five undergraduate students in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at NAU. For the 2015-2016 academic year, four Electrical Engineering and Computer Science undergraduate students are working on a phone recognizer Capstone project that is being sponsored by the ALSL.