Several projects are currently ongoing in our lab. Please see a list below.
A large number of patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease show difficulty with articulation of speech. Speech of patients is often referred to as ‘slurred speech’, which can drastically affect the quality of life of patients. To date, the breakdown of the systems that underlies these articulatory difficulties is poorly understood. Our project therefore aims to shed more light on this issue by measuring the articulatory patterns of speech from patients. By means of electromagnetic articulography speech gestures are tracked and recorded. The analysis focuses on the coordination and timing of these gestures in order to investigate to what extent these features are responsible for the deterioration in the patient’s speech production.
This project is a PhD project supervised by prof. dr. Martijn Wieling, dr. Roel Jonkers, dr. Michael Proctor and prof. dr. Ben Maassen. It is funded by the University of Groningen and Macquarie University.
Contact: Jidde Jacobi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With the worldwide ageing of the population, there is an increased prevalence of age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). In PD, speech is also affected. Given the importance of being able to communicate effectively, the ultimate goal of this project is to investigate which aspects of speech – planning or monitoring – are affected most in PD. Importantly, we do not only investigate the produced speech, but also the underlying movement of the articulators. Another goal of this project is to assess if there are Parkinson-specific patterns in our results which may help develop better diagnostic tools and speech therapies.
This project is a PhD project supervised by prof. dr. Martijn Wieling, dr. Roel Jonkers and dr. Aude Noiray (University of Potsdam). It is funded by NWO and carried out within the Center for Language and Cognition Groningen.
This project uses data-driven approaches to study how pronunciation variation in the province of Groningen and the Low Saxon language area is distributed geographically, and how it has changed over time. In addition, we develop techniques that automatically rate how similar someone’s pronunciation is to a specific regional target pronunciation. Finally, we aim to investigate how dialect affects cognition.
This project is a PhD project supervised by prof. dr. Martijn Wieling. It is funded by the Center for Groningen Language and Culture, the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen and the Centre for Digital Humanities of the University of Groningen.
Dialects in the Netherlands are known to become more similar to Standard Dutch over time. We investigate the changing speech patterns of dialects in the north of the Netherlands on an aggregate level. By combining existing large phonetically transcribed datasets (extended with newly collected data using a mobile laboratory) with advanced statistical models, we are able to investigate these speech patterns across many decades. The data used for this project are constructed in such a way that we will be able to directly relate apparent-time and real-time approaches, which will shed light on the long-standing dilemmas between these methodologies. In line with recent studies, we also account for sociolinguistic variation in order to ensure accurate and reliable results of the dialectometric analyses. This includes a wide range of factors, such as individual change, speaker attitudes about particular language varieties, but also the ongoing changes in language policy in the Netherlands.
In this project we aim to investigate how visualizing tongue movements using ultrasound may be used to help a learner to improve his or her pronunciation in a second language (L2). This project is funded by the Groningen University Fund and De Jonge Akademie.
The Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a muscle disease that affects boys and is caused by a lack of dystrophin (a protein that prevents muscle damage during movements). DMD children suffer from a progressive breakdown of muscles and they become wheelchair-dependent before the age of 12. Duchenne patients also appear to have a delay in speech development. However, the reason behind this delay is not entirely clear. This project therefore aims to investigate if the speech (articulation) of young children with DMD differs from that of healthy children. More information on the effect of age on speech development might help to identify and diagnose the disease earlier as well as improve therapy for older DMD patients. This study uses ultrasound tongue imagine (UTI), through which the movements of the tongue is tracked during speech and later on analyzed.
The project is funded by the De Jonge Akademie. It is carried out in collaboration with Annemieke Artsma-Rus, Aude Noiray, Erik Niks and Jos Henriksen.
We study speech production using acoustic as well as articulatory methods, including electromagnetic articulography (EMA) and ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI).