Interspeech 2016 – San Francisco

I was lucky to spend a few days in San Francisco in order to attend Interspeech 2016. Proceedings of the conference can be find here.

The conference focusses on Speech Technology and computional methods for speech analysis, segmentation etc. The conference itself was held in the Hyatt Regency which is close to the San Francisco Ferry Port. I presented a poster on acoustic features that help distinguish the German fricatives /ʃ/ and /ç/ in native and non-native speech.

San Francisco is a city surrounded by the sea. That for, it’s almost always windy here. Most of the time, the wind comes from the Pacific Ocean (west) and is quite cold. I feel that San Francisco is more expensive than Paris at least foodwise. Plates that contain vegetables or fruit are really pricy here. Tourists can come around by foot. Everything is in walking distance. But when tired, a ride in one of the Tramways or even the cable car is a nice change. In the Golden Gate Park, you can see high trees, racoons stealing lunch from old ladies and turtles getting a sun bath. At Fisherman’s Wharf, sea lions hang around, communicating with their special cries. San Francisco is worth a trip.

 

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Radboud University Summer school – Linguistics (July 2015)

In summer 2015, I spend a week in the Netherlands in Nijmegen. The Radboud University organized its second summer school. The class I attended was on interdisciplinary approaches in Linguistics.

So I learned about genes and language, IRM and eye tracking but also about the social behaviour of bats and how birds learn to sing. It really was a very interesting week with a lot of information. Personaly, I learned quite a bit about what kind of interdisciplinary approaches are possible in linguistics even if the chances of me actually working with genetists or biologist seem to be pretty low.

Luckily, the University lent bikes. So going from the housing to the University was super easy. Everybody bikes in the Netherlands (sometimes in very adventurous ways). Having a bike while visiting this country really gives you the impression to fit in.

The summer 2015 was hot in Europe. In the Netherlands temperatures were a few degrees less than in Germany or France but still hot. What I vividly remeber was the freh green grass everywhere. In Germany and France, it hadn’t rained for a few weeks so the grass was more or less dying. In the Netherlands it rained from time to time (for half an hour, tops) which kept everything in a vivid green!

Spending a week with other young researchers from different countries and different backgrounds was a very enriching experience and the program (academic & social) proposed by Radboud University was really something I like to remember.

International Symposiumon Monolingual and Bilingual Speech (September 2015)

My first conference during my PhD was in Crete (Greece) in September 2015.

I had the opportunity to present first results on the French Learners Audio Corpus of German Speech (FLACGS) to an audiance interested in L1 and L2 speech. I talked about vowel lenght and word initial /h/ supression in German L2 speech across different speech tasks with increasing production complexity.

You can find the conference Proceedings here.

I had a great time in Crete. The conference for one was very interesting and the island itself is a great place to spend some sunny days. I can warmly recommand Cretan food espeacially fennil pie with cream. It’s a pure delight!