Before you start, make sure you have downloaded and familiarized yourselves with the Praat software (see Working in Praat).
You will receive your recording (.wav files) by email within three weeks from the recording session. It will be cut into smaller pieces (paragraphs) that can be handled more conveniently, and TextGrids (.TextGrid files) will be sent along with these. You can open the sounds and TGs in Praat.
Please do not make any changes to the sound files – you only open them, never save them. You will only be changing, saving and sending to us the TGs. Do not rename any of the files (specifically, do not add things like „final“, „evaluated“ or anything to the file name or extension).
The automatic aligner which marks the boundaries of words and segments is not perfect. It may occasionally make mistakes which must be corrected manually. Therefore, before doing any other work, go through all files and see whether there are any “problems”.
In addition, the aligner may produce curious (and faulty) transcriptions of some words, e.g. the word years transcribed as /jəz/, the word of as /ʌv/, or the as /ðʌ/. You can ignore these 🙂
Once you’ve prepared all the sounds and TGs, you can start working on the analysis. First, create a new point tier which will be called “evaluation”. To do this, click on Tier – Add point tier… in the Editor window. In the dialogue window which pops up, enter “2” forPosition, and “evaluation” for Name. That’s it. Repeat for each TG. Don’t forget to save the modified TGs.
You will be evaluating three kinds of speech sounds:
For each evaluated sound, insert a point into the evaluation tier by clicking into the little circle at the top of the tier (or as described on the Working in Praat page). Then specify your evaluation in the newly created point.
The vowels and the three consonants will be evaluated on the following scale:
You will handle aspiration differently. Instead of evaluating the correctness of your pronunciation, you simply mark the presence or absence of aspiration in your pronunciation (“Y” equals presence, “N” equals absence of aspiration in the given sound).
An example sound and TG can be downloaded here (all phenomena are marked in the initial portion of this file).
The course of work is up to you, but we strongly recommend that you follow the rough guidelines below, and/or our announcements in classes.
NOTE: If you pronounce a completely different sound, don’t evaluate it! Especially in altered or otherwise modified words.
Listening assignment guideline (winter semester):
Week 4: do the preparation stage (see above)
Week 5: start evaluating your /e/ and /æ/ vowels
Week 6: start evaluating the other two vowels; all vowels are checked in the first Progress Check
Week 8: start marking aspiration
Week 9: evaluate your dental fricatives
Week 10: evaluate your velar nasal sound
You will work with the same recordings and TextGrids. You will need to create new point tiers, one for linking analysis (as the first tier), two for word stress analysis (between the phone and word tiers). To do this, click on Tier – Add point tier… in the Editor window.
You will be evaluating two connected-speech phenomena:
In files 2 and 4, do both analyses – linking and stress – into the same TG.
See an example sound and TG here to make sure you’re doing the task correctly.