The crosslinguistic corpus of hesitation phenomena, collated beginning in 2012

Second language speech fluency at Utrecht University

[Note: This post was published in August 2015 but has been dated in order to reflect the actual timing of the events described here.]

After attending the Copenhagen Speech Event, I travelled down to the Netherlands to visit the University of Utrecht.  There I met with Nivja de Jong to talk about hesitation phenomena research. I'be been really impressed with her work on hesitation phenomena as it pertains to the evaluation of fluency in second language speech proficiency development. Unfortunately, I was unable to join a workshop she had organized a few months earlier at Utrecht.  So, it was a great chance to hear more about the corpus she has been using in her research.

Copenhagen Speech Event in Denmark

[Note: This post was published in August 2015 but has been dated in order to reflect the actual timing of the events described here.]

In March, 2013, I had the chance to join the Copenhagen Speech Event in Denmark. This was actually a pair of conferences, SJUSK 2013 and ExAPP 2013 in succession. I was a great trip, though extremely cold: When visiting the little mermaid statue, I took off my gloves for one minute to take a photo, but couldn't feel them again for nearly half an hour.

Windows to the Mind Research Symposium

My department, the Center for English Language Education (CELESE) at Waseda University Faculty of Science and Engineering recently organized our own research symposium with the theme, "Windows to the Mind". The main event was an open lecture by Dr. Margaret Thomas of Boston College. She talked about her research on kuusho (空書), or the habit most Japanese speakers have of writing kanji characters in the air or on one's palm (also observed in Chinese speakers and others). She talked about several experiments she has done to explore the practice and what implications they have for larger issues of language and cognition. It was a fascinating lecture and I would definitely recommend interested people to follow her work on this. It's a topic that is incredibly prevalent in Japan, yet largely ignored (perhaps because it is so prevalent).

More CCHP files added to archive

The files for five more participants have been added to the Crosslinguistic Corpus of Hesitation Phenomena (CCHP) archive.  The new files include wav, mp3, annotated xml and plain text transcripts of the participants' speech.  Participant collections (single files containing all files for each participant) have also been uploaded.  However, other collections (e.g., by language, by task, etc.) have not been updated.  Those who wish to have the complete current corpus should download the participant collection files one by one.

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