Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology

Berkeley linguists @ ICPhS 2023

May 10, 2023

The following Berkeley linguists will be presenting their research at the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS), taking place in Prague in August:

Amber Galvano: "Cross-dialectal comparison of /st/ clusters in Spanish: Implications for sound change" Emily Grabowski: "Methodological trends in acoustic phonetic analysis" Keith Johnson: "Individual differences in Speech Production: What is 'Phonetic Substance'?" Yevgeniy Melguy: "Mechanisms of generalization for phonetic learning of accented speech" Alexandra Pfiffner and Julian Martinez-Garcia (BA 2023): "Spirantization of word-final plosives in Standard Dutch" Alexandra Pfiffner and Nicole Rosen (University of Manitoba): "Stop voicing in two settler communities on the Canadian Prairies"

Interpreting Intermediate Convolutional Layers of Generative CNNs Trained on Waveforms

Gašper Beguš
Alan Zhou

This paper presents a technique to interpret and visualize intermediate layers in generative CNNs trained on raw speech data in an unsupervised manner. We argue that averaging over feature maps after ReLU activation in each transpose convolutional layer yields interpretable time-series data. This technique allows for acoustic analysis of intermediate layers that parallels the acoustic analysis of human speech data: we can extract F0, intensity, duration, formants, and other acoustic properties from intermediate layers in order to test where and how CNNs encode various types of...

Encoding of speech in convolutional layers and the brain stem based on language experience

Gašper Beguš
Alan Zhou
Christina Zhao

Comparing artificial neural networks with outputs of neuroimaging techniques has recently seen substantial advances in (computer) vision and text-based language models. Here, we propose a framework to compare biological and artificial neural computations of spoken language representations and propose several new challenges to this paradigm. The proposed technique is based on a similar principle that underlies electroencephalography (EEG): averaging of neural (artificial or biological) activity across neurons in the time domain, and allows to compare encoding of any acoustic property in the...


The Berkeley Phonetics, Phonology and Psycholinguistics Forum ("Phorum") is a weekly talk and discussion series featuring presentations on all aspects of phonology, phonetics and psycholinguistics. We meet on Fridays from 3 to 4:30 pm. Phorum is organized by Katie Russell and Maks Dąbkowski. Our emails are respectively "krrussell" and "dabkowski"

Spring 2023 Schedule January 20

Sarang Jeong (Stanford): The relation between perception and production in an ongoing sound change...

Hyman and Agostinho chapter

April 10, 2023

Larry Hyman and Ana Lívia Agostinho, who was a visiting scholar in the department (2019-2020) from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, have authored a new chapter together:

Ana Lívia Agostinho & Larry M. Hyman. 2023. Interpreting non-canonical word prosody in Afro-European contact. In Jeroen van de Weijer (ed.), Representing phonological detail, 151-169. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.

Johnson speaks at PLC 47

March 14, 2023

Keith Johnson will be a keynote speaker at the 47th Penn Linguistics Conference, taking place March 18-19, with a talk on "Vowels in the Brain."

Hyman publishes in Studies in African Linguistics

February 21, 2023

Congrats to Larry Hyman, whose article "Deverbal nominalization in Runyankore" has just appeared in Studies in African Linguistics (though published as part of the last issue from 2022). Click here for the PDF.

Rolle and Merrill publish in Phonology

February 1, 2023

Congrats to Berkeley PhD alumni Nicholas Rolle (2018) and John T. M. Merrill (2018) on the publication of their article "Tone-driven epenthesis in Wamey" in Phonology!

Bleaman, Cugno, and Helms publish in LVC

January 25, 2023

Congratulations to Isaac Bleaman, Katie Cugno (SF State), and Annie Helms on the publication of their article "Medium-shifting and intraspeaker variation in conversational interviews" in Language Variation and Change! The article is available in Open Access here.

Sande plenary talk at OCP 2023

January 9, 2023

Hannah Sande will be giving a plenary talk at the OCP (Old World Conference in Phonology) in January. The conference runs January 25-27 and the conference website is here: Her talk is titled "Discontinuous harmony is movement after local phonology."