Tutorial day

Tuesday 13th December

Day 1 of SST2022 will be the tutorial day, held on the ANU campus in the same venue as the main conference. Tutorials are intensive instructional sessions that provide a comprehensive introduction to established or emerging research topics of interest to the SST community.

Participants can choose to attend two out of four half-day tutorials on offer (see below). Lunch and morning and afternoon tea are included in the in-person registration fee. Participants can register for the tutorial day either in addition to the main conference, or without registering for the main conference. After registration, please take a moment to indicate which two tutorial sessions you plan to attend.

Morning: 09:00-10:30, 11:00-12:30Afternoon: 1:30-3:00, 3:30-5:00
Márton Sóskuthy “Generalised Additive Modelling for Linguists”Catherine Watson “Formants: The Power and the Pitfalls”
Paul Foulkes “An introduction to forensic speech science”Helen Fraser & Debbie Loakes “Specifying new scientific knowledge required by forensic applications”
Generalised Additive Modelling for Linguists

Márton Sóskuthy (University of British Columbia)

This workshop focuses on Generalised Additive Modelling, a regression modelling technique for the flexible analysis of non-linear patterns. GAMs are becoming standard in the analysis of a wide range of different types of linguistic data that show temporal or spatial dependencies: formant contours, eye-tracking data, EEG measurements, midsagittal tongue surface data, map data, etc. We will take an approach that balances GAM theory with practical coding exercises. The goal of the workshop is to allow you to set up, run and interpret your own GAM models as well as critically evaluate those of others.
This three hour workshop will cover the following topics:
• What is a generalised additive model?
• When should I use one?
• GAMs for data with multiple trajectories: autocorrelation, AR error models and generalised additive mixed model
• Fitting simple GAMs
• GAM visualisation

Target audience: This is an introductory tutorial, open to anyone who is interested. Some knowledge of linear regression models would be useful, but the tutorial will go through the basics quickly at the start. Some knowledge of R will be helpful too, though participants will be able to get something out of the workshop even without that.

Requirements: Participants will need a laptop with the latest (or at least a relatively new) version of R and RStudio, and the packages mgcv, itsadug and tidyverse. I won’t be able to help with installation during the workshop, as it would take up too much time, but I’m more than happy to advise people in advance of the workshop if they get stuck.

Formants: The Power and the Pitfalls

Catherine Watson (University of Auckland)

There is an increasing trend that the methodology around formant analysis is under reported, particularly when an automated workflow is used. For example in an analysis of papers published since 2014 in Language Variation and Change on studies that a used formant values obtained via an automated work flow only 5 out of the 19 papers had enough details that the study could be replicated. This tutorial session will focus on important considerations in formant measurements and analyses of vowel spaces, from labelling, the impact of formant trackers, through to statistical analysis and everything in between. The session will highlight the importance of including replicable details in studies using formants, and cover appropriate ways to report and present formant values. The session will include a mixture of discussion and demonstrations of practical examples.

Target audience: This is an introductory tutorial on the mechanisms behind formant analysis. it will be of interest to people that do or want to do formant analysis in their research. It is aimed at Phoneticians or Sociophoneticians.

Requirements: If people wish to have some guidance on their own analysis they are welcome to bring along their laptops with the appropriate software installed.

An introduction to forensic speech science

Paul Foulkes (University of York)

This workshop provides an introduction to forensic applications of speech science (phonetics, linguistics, acoustics and speech technology). Part 1 will provide an overview of a range of tasks in which techniques from speech science are applied to forensic cases. Part 2 is a problem-based practical session in which participants can explore speaker comparison case materials. Both parts of the session draw on authentic materials from forensic cases.

Target audience: The workshop is open to researchers at any level, but is designed for those with little or no previous experience of forensic casework. Participants should ideally have a solid background in phonetics, but those working in related areas are most welcome.

Requirements: Participants must have access to a laptop or desktop computer and good quality headphones. Playback and analysis requires a phonetic analysis software package such as Praat. For ethical reasons participants will be asked to sign a disclaimer prior to participation. Audio materials are provided solely for the purposes of the workshop, and must be permanently deleted at the end of the workshop.

Specifying new scientific knowledge required by forensic applications

Helen Fraser and Debbie Loakes (Research Hub for Language in Forensic Evidence, The University of Melbourne)

Speech scientists often assume that giving forensic evidence requires merely applying existing scientific knowledge. Actually it poses challenges that demand generation of new knowledge, with implications for speech science more broadly. This tutorial aims to open these challenges for discussion, and lay a foundation for new research projects connecting forensics more closely to other branches of speech science.
Part 1 aims to ensure clear understanding of the legal procedures governing admission and use of speech evidence in criminal trials. Since ASSTA joined the 2017 ‘call to action’, many know these procedures embody misconceptions about language and speech that affect the fairness of trials (e.g., police give opinions as ‘ad hoc experts’). However, scientists also hold misconceptions about the legal process that can affect efforts to provide reliable evidence in useful ways – indeed that may unwittingly entrench rather than overcome legal misconceptions.
Part 2 aims to specify the scientific knowledge that is needed to provide expert evidence in ways that help juries use it effectively – showing that some of this knowledge is not yet fully available, and considering the projects that can generate it. Topics include forensic voice comparison, enhancing poor quality audio, automatic speech and speaker recognition, transcription of indistinct forensic audio.

Target audience: The tutorial is open to researchers at any level, especially those looking to develop projects with real-world impact for themselves or their students.
Participants do not need to have a background specifically in forensics – though of
course those who do have forensic experience are very welcome. Participation by
those who work in other areas interfacing with societal misconceptions about
language and speech would also add value.

Requirements: No special equipment is needed. Please check the tutorial website for a transcription task to have a go at as preparation, and consider making contact with the organisers in advance – they’d love to hear from you, especially if you have questions or suggestions, but also just to say hi.