WorldWideScience

Sample records for proficient alaryngeal speakers

  1. Objective eye-gaze behaviour during face-to-face communication with proficient alaryngeal speakers: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evitts, Paul; Gallop, Robert

    2011-01-01

    There is a large body of research demonstrating the impact of visual information on speaker intelligibility in both normal and disordered speaker populations. However, there is minimal information on which specific visual features listeners find salient during conversational discourse. To investigate listeners' eye-gaze behaviour during face-to-face conversation with normal, laryngeal and proficient alaryngeal speakers. Sixty participants individually participated in a 10-min conversation with one of four speakers (typical laryngeal, tracheoesophageal, oesophageal, electrolaryngeal; 15 participants randomly assigned to one mode of speech). All speakers were > 85% intelligible and were judged to be 'proficient' by two certified speech-language pathologists. Participants were fitted with a head-mounted eye-gaze tracking device (Mobile Eye, ASL) that calculated the region of interest and mean duration of eye-gaze. Self-reported gaze behaviour was also obtained following the conversation using a 10 cm visual analogue scale. While listening, participants viewed the lower facial region of the oesophageal speaker more than the normal or tracheoesophageal speaker. Results of non-hierarchical cluster analyses showed that while listening, the pattern of eye-gaze was predominantly directed at the lower face of the oesophageal and electrolaryngeal speaker and more evenly dispersed among the background, lower face, and eyes of the normal and tracheoesophageal speakers. Finally, results show a low correlation between self-reported eye-gaze behaviour and objective regions of interest data. Overall, results suggest similar eye-gaze behaviour when healthy controls converse with normal and tracheoesophageal speakers and that participants had significantly different eye-gaze patterns when conversing with an oesophageal speaker. Results are discussed in terms of existing eye-gaze data and its potential implications on auditory-visual speech perception. © 2011 Royal College of Speech

  2. Tone Attrition in Mandarin Speakers of Varying English Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Sarah C.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine whether the degree of dominance of Mandarin–English bilinguals' languages affects phonetic processing of tone content in their native language, Mandarin. Method We tested 72 Mandarin–English bilingual college students with a range of language-dominance profiles in the 2 languages and ages of acquisition of English. Participants viewed 2 photographs at a time while hearing a familiar Mandarin word referring to 1 photograph. The names of the 2 photographs diverged in tone, vowels, or both. Word recognition was evaluated using clicking accuracy, reaction times, and an online recognition measure (gaze) and was compared in the 3 conditions. Results Relative proficiency in English was correlated with reduced word recognition success in tone-disambiguated trials, but not in vowel-disambiguated trials, across all 3 dependent measures. This selective attrition for tone content emerged even though all bilinguals had learned Mandarin from birth. Lengthy experience with English thus weakened tone use. Conclusions This finding has implications for the question of the extent to which bilinguals' 2 phonetic systems interact. It suggests that bilinguals may not process pitch information language-specifically and that processing strategies from the dominant language may affect phonetic processing in the nondominant language—even when the latter was learned natively. PMID:28124064

  3. Proficiency in English sentence stress production by Cantonese speakers who speak English as a second language (ESL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Manwa L; Chen, Yang

    2011-12-01

    The present study examined English sentence stress produced by native Cantonese speakers who were speaking English as a second language (ESL). Cantonese ESL speakers' proficiency in English stress production as perceived by English-speaking listeners was also studied. Acoustical parameters associated with sentence stress including fundamental frequency (F0), vowel duration, and intensity were measured from the English sentences produced by 40 Cantonese ESL speakers. Data were compared with those obtained from 40 native speakers of American English. The speech samples were also judged by eight native listeners who were native speakers of American English for placement, degree, and naturalness of stress. Results showed that Cantonese ESL speakers were able to use F0, vowel duration, and intensity to differentiate sentence stress patterns. Yet, both female and male Cantonese ESL speakers exhibited consistently higher F0 in stressed words than English speakers. Overall, Cantonese ESL speakers were found to be proficient in using duration and intensity to signal sentence stress, in a way comparable with English speakers. In addition, F0 and intensity were found to correlate closely with perceptual judgement and the degree of stress with the naturalness of stress.

  4. Attitudes of Jordanian University Students towards Using Online Chat Discourse with Native Speakers of English for Improving Their Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahfouz, Safi M.; Ihmeideh, Fathi M.

    2009-01-01

    This study aims to investigate Jordanian university students' attitudes towards using video and text chat discourse with anonymous native speakers of English to improve their English proficiency. To achieve this aim, a questionnaire was designed. The study sample consisted of 320 university students enrolled in two Jordanian universities. Results…

  5. Correlation between low-proficiency in English and negative perceptions of what it means to be an English speaker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavarljit Kaur Gill

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Learning another language is very much affected by positive or negative connotations attached to the new language by the language learner. Entering Malaysian public universities there are many students with a low proficiency in English, despite spending eleven years studying English in schools. Could it be that the lack of progress among these students could be attributed to a negative view of what it means to be a speaker of English? This study investigated the perceptions of students at a public university, to determine whether there is a correlation between low-proficiency and negative perceptions of what it means to be an English speaker. Analysis of the results showed that Malaysian students have a very positive perception of what it means to be an English speaker.

  6. The effects of L2 proficiency level on the processing of wh-questions among Dutch second language speakers of English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jackson, C.N.; Hell, J.G. van

    2011-01-01

    Using a self-paced reading task, the present study explores how Dutch-English L2 speakers parse English wh-subject-extractions and wh-object-extractions. Results suggest that English native speakers and highly-proficient Dutch–English L2 speakers do not always exhibit measurable signs of on-line

  7. Vocabulary Use by Low, Moderate, and High ASL-Proficient Writers Compared to Hearing ESL and Monolingual Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, Jenny L; Morgan, Dianne; DiGello, Elizabeth; Wiles, Jill; Rivers, Rachel

    2004-01-01

    The written English vocabulary of 72 deaf elementary school students of various proficiency levels in American Sign Language (ASL) was compared with the performance of 60 hearing English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers and 61 hearing monolingual speakers of English, all of similar age. Students were asked to retell "The Tortoise and the Hare" story (previously viewed on video) in a writing activity. Writing samples were later scored for total number of words, use of words known to be highly frequent in children's writing, redundancy in writing, and use of English function words. All deaf writers showed significantly lower use of function words as compared to their hearing peers. Low-ASL-proficient students demonstrated a highly formulaic writing style, drawing mostly on high-frequency words and repetitive use of a limited range of function words. The moderate- and high-ASL-proficient deaf students' writing was not formulaic and incorporated novel, low-frequency vocabulary to communicate their thoughts. The moderate- and high-ASL students' performance revealed a departure from findings one might expect based on previous studies with deaf writers and their vocabulary use. The writing of the deaf writers also differed from the writing of hearing ESL speakers. Implications for deaf education and literacy instruction are discussed, with special attention to the fact that ASL-proficient, deaf second-language learners of English may be approaching English vocabulary acquisition in ways that are different from hearing ESL learners.

  8. The Proficiency Continuum in Quechua-Spanish Bilingual Speakers: An Analysis of the Verbal Clitic System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paredes, Liliana

    2001-01-01

    Examines the variable use of verbal clitics in bilingual Spanish and proposes that the contact between Quechua and Spanish is expressed in the existence of more than one clitic system across an oral proficiency continuum in Spanish. Proposes that the clitic use in these different systems is variable and constrained by different factors.…

  9. Optimizing Automatic Speech Recognition for Low-Proficient Non-Native Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catia Cucchiarini

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL applications for improving the oral skills of low-proficient learners have to cope with non-native speech that is particularly challenging. Since unconstrained non-native ASR is still problematic, a possible solution is to elicit constrained responses from the learners. In this paper, we describe experiments aimed at selecting utterances from lists of responses. The first experiment on utterance selection indicates that the decoding process can be improved by optimizing the language model and the acoustic models, thus reducing the utterance error rate from 29–26% to 10–8%. Since giving feedback on incorrectly recognized utterances is confusing, we verify the correctness of the utterance before providing feedback. The results of the second experiment on utterance verification indicate that combining duration-related features with a likelihood ratio (LR yield an equal error rate (EER of 10.3%, which is significantly better than the EER for the other measures in isolation.

  10. Interpreting Mini-Mental State Examination Performance in Highly Proficient Bilingual Spanish-English and Asian Indian-English Speakers: Demographic Adjustments, Item Analyses, and Supplemental Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milman, Lisa H; Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Corcoran, Chris D; Damele, Deanna M

    2018-04-17

    Performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), among the most widely used global screens of adult cognitive status, is affected by demographic variables including age, education, and ethnicity. This study extends prior research by examining the specific effects of bilingualism on MMSE performance. Sixty independent community-dwelling monolingual and bilingual adults were recruited from eastern and western regions of the United States in this cross-sectional group study. Independent sample t tests were used to compare 2 bilingual groups (Spanish-English and Asian Indian-English) with matched monolingual speakers on the MMSE, demographically adjusted MMSE scores, MMSE item scores, and a nonverbal cognitive measure. Regression analyses were also performed to determine whether language proficiency predicted MMSE performance in both groups of bilingual speakers. Group differences were evident on the MMSE, on demographically adjusted MMSE scores, and on a small subset of individual MMSE items. Scores on a standardized screen of language proficiency predicted a significant proportion of the variance in the MMSE scores of both bilingual groups. Bilingual speakers demonstrated distinct performance profiles on the MMSE. Results suggest that supplementing the MMSE with a language screen, administering a nonverbal measure, and/or evaluating item-based patterns of performance may assist with test interpretation for this population.

  11. Measuring Second Language Proficiency with EEG Synchronization: How Functional Cortical Networks and Hemispheric Involvement Differ as a Function of Proficiency Level in Second Language Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiterer, Susanne; Pereda, Ernesto; Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the question of whether university-based high-level foreign language and linguistic training can influence brain activation and whether different L2 proficiency groups have different brain activation in terms of lateralization and hemispheric involvement. The traditional and prevailing theory of hemispheric involvement in…

  12. The Relationship between Receptive and Expressive Subskills of Academic L2 Proficiency in Nonnative Speakers of English: A Multigroup Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pae, Hye K.; Greenberg, Daphne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between receptive and expressive language skills characterized by the performance of nonnative speakers (NNSs) of English in the academic context. Test scores of 585 adult NNSs were selected from Form 2 of the Pearson Test of English Academic's field-test database. A correlated…

  13. Effects of Audio-Visual Information on the Intelligibility of Alaryngeal Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evitts, Paul M.; Portugal, Lindsay; Van Dine, Ami; Holler, Aline

    2010-01-01

    Background: There is minimal research on the contribution of visual information on speech intelligibility for individuals with a laryngectomy (IWL). Aims: The purpose of this project was to determine the effects of mode of presentation (audio-only, audio-visual) on alaryngeal speech intelligibility. Method: Twenty-three naive listeners were…

  14. A comparison of proficiency levels in 4-year-old monolingual and trilingual speakers of Afrikaans, isiXhosa and South African English across SES boundaries, using LITMUS-CLT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perold Potgieter, Anneke; Southwood, Frenette

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated how trilinguals fare on the cross-linguistic lexical tasks (CLT)-Afrikaans, -isiXhosa and -South African English (SAE) (cf. Haman et al., 2015) compared to monolingual controls, and whether the CLT-Afrikaans renders comparable results across socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. The LITMUS-CLTs were administered to 41 low SES 4-year-olds (11 trilinguals; 10 monolingual speakers of Afrikaans, isiXhosa and SAE) and the LITMUS-CLT-Afrikaans to 11 mid-SES 4-year-old monolinguals. Results (a) indicate that trilinguals' proficiency in their exposure-dominant language did not differ significantly from monolinguals' proficiency, but their proficiency in their additional two languages was significantly lower than monolinguals' proficiency; (b) reflect the extent, but not current amount, of exposure trilinguals had had over time to each of their languages; and (c) show that low and mid-SES monolinguals differed significantly on noun-related, but not verb-related, CLT measures. Possible reasons for and the clinical implications of these results are discussed.

  15. Language proficiency: Current strategies, future remedies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Language proficiency among young South Africans is low. This is true not only of mother tongue speakers of English and Afrikaans, but also, and especially, of non-mother tongue speakers of English, among whom language proficiency levels raise serious concern. Some examples are given to illustrate the importance of ...

  16. Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mølgaard, Lasse Lohilahti; Jørgensen, Kasper Winther

    2005-01-01

    Speaker recognition is basically divided into speaker identification and speaker verification. Verification is the task of automatically determining if a person really is the person he or she claims to be. This technology can be used as a biometric feature for verifying the identity of a person...

  17. Speaker Authentication

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Qi (Peter)

    2012-01-01

    This book focuses on use of voice as a biometric measure for personal authentication. In particular, "Speaker Recognition" covers two approaches in speaker authentication: speaker verification (SV) and verbal information verification (VIV). The SV approach attempts to verify a speaker’s identity based on his/her voice characteristics while the VIV approach validates a speaker’s identity through verification of the content of his/her utterance(s). SV and VIV can be combined for new applications. This is still a new research topic with significant potential applications. The book provides with a broad overview of the recent advances in speaker authentication while giving enough attention to advanced and useful algorithms and techniques. It also provides a step by step introduction to the current state of the speaker authentication technology, from the fundamental concepts to advanced algorithms. We will also present major design methodologies and share our experience in developing real and successful speake...

  18. Speaker segmentation and clustering

    OpenAIRE

    Kotti, M; Moschou, V; Kotropoulos, C

    2008-01-01

    07.08.13 KB. Ok to add the accepted version to Spiral, Elsevier says ok whlile mandate not enforced. This survey focuses on two challenging speech processing topics, namely: speaker segmentation and speaker clustering. Speaker segmentation aims at finding speaker change points in an audio stream, whereas speaker clustering aims at grouping speech segments based on speaker characteristics. Model-based, metric-based, and hybrid speaker segmentation algorithms are reviewed. Concerning speaker...

  19. Proficiency and sentence constraint effects on second language word learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Baoguo; Lu, Chunming; Dunlap, Susan

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents an experiment that investigated the effects of L2 proficiency and sentence constraint on semantic processing of unknown L2 words (pseudowords). All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a second language. In the experiment, we used a whole sentence presentation paradigm with a delayed semantic relatedness judgment task. Both higher and lower-proficiency L2 learners could make use of the high-constraint sentence context to judge the meaning of novel pseudowords, and higher-proficiency L2 learners outperformed lower-proficiency L2 learners in all conditions. These results demonstrate that both L2 proficiency and sentence constraint affect subsequent word learning among second language learners. We extended L2 word learning into a sentence context, replicated the sentence constraint effects previously found among native speakers, and found proficiency effects in L2 word learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Foreign language proficiency and working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, M.W.M.L. van den; Bosch, M.P.C.; Hugdahl, K.

    2006-01-01

    In this study, the hypothesis that working memory capacity interacts with (foreign) language proficiency was tested on multilinguals, who were native (L1) Dutch speakers, were fluent in their second (L2) language, German, and had recently started the acquisition of their third (L3) language,

  1. Sensitivity to phonological context in L2 spelling: evidence from Russian ESL speakers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dich, Nadya

    2010-01-01

    The study attempts to investigate factors underlying the development of spellers’ sensitivity to phonological context in English. Native English speakers and Russian speakers of English as a second language (ESL) were tested on their ability to use information about the coda to predict the spelling...... on the information about the coda when spelling vowels in nonwords. In both native and non-native speakers, context sensitivity was predicted by English word spelling; in Russian ESL speakers this relationship was mediated by English proficiency. L1 spelling proficiency did not facilitate L2 context sensitivity...

  2. Working with Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestel, Ann

    1989-01-01

    The author discusses working with speakers from business and industry to present career information at the secondary level. Advice for speakers is presented, as well as tips for program coordinators. (CH)

  3. Physiological Indices of Bilingualism: Oral–Motor Coordination and Speech Rate in Bengali–English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Rahul; Goffman, Lisa; Smith, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To examine how age of immersion and proficiency in a 2nd language influence speech movement variability and speaking rate in both a 1st language and a 2nd language. Method A group of 21 Bengali–English bilingual speakers participated. Lip and jaw movements were recorded. For all 21 speakers, lip movement variability was assessed based on productions of Bengali (L1; 1st language) and English (L2; 2nd language) sentences. For analyses related to the influence of L2 proficiency on speech production processes, participants were sorted into low- (n = 7) and high-proficiency (n = 7) groups. Lip movement variability and speech rate were evaluated for both of these groups across L1 and L2 sentences. Results Surprisingly, adult bilingual speakers produced equally consistent speech movement patterns in their production of L1 and L2. When groups were sorted according to proficiency, highly proficient speakers were marginally more variable in their L1. In addition, there were some phoneme-specific effects, most markedly that segments not shared by both languages were treated differently in production. Consistent with previous studies, movement durations were longer for less proficient speakers in both L1 and L2. Interpretation In contrast to those of child learners, the speech motor systems of adult L2 speakers show a high degree of consistency. Such lack of variability presumably contributes to protracted difficulties with acquiring nativelike pronunciation in L2. The proficiency results suggest bidirectional interactions across L1 and L2, which is consistent with hypotheses regarding interference and the sharing of phonological space. A slower speech rate in less proficient speakers implies that there are increased task demands on speech production processes. PMID:18367680

  4. Teaching Mathematical Problem Solving to Students with Limited English Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Rochelle G.; Patino, Rodrigo A.

    Many mainstreamed students with limited English proficiency continue to face the difficulty of learning English as a second language (ESL) while studying mathematics and other content areas framed in the language of native speakers. The difficulty these students often encounter in mathematics classes and their poor performance on subsequent…

  5. Forensic speaker recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meuwly, Didier

    2013-01-01

    The aim of forensic speaker recognition is to establish links between individuals and criminal activities, through audio speech recordings. This field is multidisciplinary, combining predominantly phonetics, linguistics, speech signal processing, and forensic statistics. On these bases, expert-based

  6. Does verbatim sentence recall underestimate the language competence of near-native speakers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith eSchweppe

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Verbatim sentence recall is widely used to test the language competence of native and non-native speakers since it involves comprehension and production of connected speech. However, we assume that, to maintain surface information, sentence recall relies particularly on attentional resources, which differentially affects native and non-native speakers. Since even in near-natives language processing is less automatized than in native speakers, processing a sentence in a foreign language plus retaining its surface may result in a cognitive overload. We contrasted sentence recall performance of German native speakers with that of highly proficient non-natives. Non-natives recalled the sentences significantly poorer than the natives, but performed equally well on a cloze test. This implies that sentence recall underestimates the language competence of good non-native speakers in mixed groups with native speakers. The findings also suggest that theories of sentence recall need to consider both its linguistic and its attentional aspects.

  7. Proficiency tests, Evaluating

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cofino, W.P.; Molenaar, J.; Torfs, P.J.J.F.

    2017-01-01

    Marine monitoring programs provide data that are essential for marine management. The reliability of such data is underpinned by proficiency tests. In the context of Quasimeme, a proficiency testing program for the marine environment, a statistical model has been developed in 2000 to evaluate data

  8. Heritage Language Proficiency in Relation to Attitudes, Motivation, and Age at Immigration: A Case of Korean-Australians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jee, Min Jung

    2018-01-01

    This study investigated Korean heritage speakers' Korean language proficiency (i.e. morphosyntax, collocation, and lexicon) in relation to their attitudes, motivation, and age at immigration (AI). Seventy-six adult Korean-Australians with Korean literacy participated. Overall, participants showed high levels of Korean proficiency in all three…

  9. Predictors and Outcomes of Early vs. Later English Language Proficiency Among English Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halle, Tamara; Hair, Elizabeth; Wandner, Laura; McNamara, Michelle; Chien, Nina

    2011-01-01

    The development of English language learners (ELLs) was explored from kindergarten through eighth grade within a nationally representative sample of first-time kindergartners (N = 19,890). Growth curve analyses indicated that, compared to native English speakers, ELLs were rated by teachers more favorably on approaches to learning, self control, and externalizing behaviors in kindergarten and generally continued to grow in a positive direction on these social/behavioral outcomes at a steeper rate compared to their native English-speaking peers, holding other factors constant. Differences in reading and math achievement between ELLs and native English speakers varied based on the grade at which English proficiency is attained. Specifically, ELLs who were proficient in English by kindergarten entry kept pace with native English speakers in both reading and math initially and over time; ELLs who were proficient by first grade had modest gaps in reading and math achievement compared to native English speakers that closed narrowly or persisted over time; and ELLs who were not proficient by first grade had the largest initial gaps in reading and math achievement compared to native speakers but the gap narrowed over time in reading and grew over time in math. Among those whose home language is not English, acquiring English proficiency by kindergarten entry was associated with better cognitive and behavioral outcomes through eighth grade compared to taking longer to achieve proficiency. Multinomial regression analyses indicated that child, family, and school characteristics predict achieving English proficiency by kindergarten entry compared to achieving proficiency later. Results are discussed in terms of policies and practices that can support ELL children’s growth and development. PMID:22389551

  10. Multimodal Speaker Diarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noulas, A.; Englebienne, G.; Kröse, B.J.A.

    2012-01-01

    We present a novel probabilistic framework that fuses information coming from the audio and video modality to perform speaker diarization. The proposed framework is a Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) that is an extension of a factorial Hidden Markov Model (fHMM) and models the people appearing in an

  11. Multimodal Speaker Diarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noulas, A; Englebienne, G; Krose, B J A

    2012-01-01

    We present a novel probabilistic framework that fuses information coming from the audio and video modality to perform speaker diarization. The proposed framework is a Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) that is an extension of a factorial Hidden Markov Model (fHMM) and models the people appearing in an audiovisual recording as multimodal entities that generate observations in the audio stream, the video stream, and the joint audiovisual space. The framework is very robust to different contexts, makes no assumptions about the location of the recording equipment, and does not require labeled training data as it acquires the model parameters using the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm. We apply the proposed model to two meeting videos and a news broadcast video, all of which come from publicly available data sets. The results acquired in speaker diarization are in favor of the proposed multimodal framework, which outperforms the single modality analysis results and improves over the state-of-the-art audio-based speaker diarization.

  12. Production of lexical stress in non-native speakers of American English: kinematic correlates of stress and transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Rahul; Goffman, Lisa

    2011-06-01

    To assess the influence of second language (L2) proficiency on production characteristics of rhythmic sequences in the L1 (Bengali) and L2 (English), with emphasis on linguistic transfer. One goal was to examine, using kinematic evidence, how L2 proficiency influences the production of iambic and trochaic words, focusing on temporal and spatial aspects of prosody. A second goal was to assess whether prosodic structure influences judgment of foreign accent. Twenty Bengali-English bilingual individuals, 10 with low proficiency in English and 10 with high proficiency in English, and 10 monolingual English speakers, participated. Lip and jaw movements were recorded while the bilingual participants produced Bengali and English words embedded in sentences. Lower lip movement amplitude and duration were measured in trochaic and iambic words. Six native English listeners judged the nativeness of the bilingual speakers. Evidence of L1-L2 transfer was observed through duration but not amplitude cues. More proficient L2 speakers varied duration to mark iambic stress. Perceptually, the high-proficiency group received relatively higher native-like accent ratings. Trochees were judged as more native than iambs. Even in the face of L1-L2 lexical stress transfer, nonnative speakers demonstrated knowledge of prosodic contrasts. Movement duration appears to be more amenable than amplitude to modifications.

  13. Linguistic skills of adult native speakers, as a function of age and level of education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, K.; Hulstijn, J.H.

    2011-01-01

    This study assessed, in a sample of 98 adult native speakers of Dutch, how their lexical skills and their speaking proficiency varied as a function of their age and level of education and profession (EP). Participants, categorized in terms of their age (18-35, 36-50, and 51-76 years old) and the

  14. Processing advantage for emotional words in bilingual speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponari, Marta; Rodríguez-Cuadrado, Sara; Vinson, David; Fox, Neil; Costa, Albert; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2015-10-01

    Effects of emotion on word processing are well established in monolingual speakers. However, studies that have assessed whether affective features of words undergo the same processing in a native and nonnative language have provided mixed results: Studies that have found differences between native language (L1) and second language (L2) processing attributed the difference to the fact that L2 learned late in life would not be processed affectively, because affective associations are established during childhood. Other studies suggest that adult learners show similar effects of emotional features in L1 and L2. Differences in affective processing of L2 words can be linked to age and context of learning, proficiency, language dominance, and degree of similarity between L2 and L1. Here, in a lexical decision task on tightly matched negative, positive, and neutral words, highly proficient English speakers from typologically different L1s showed the same facilitation in processing emotionally valenced words as native English speakers, regardless of their L1, the age of English acquisition, or the frequency and context of English use. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Functional activity and white matter microstructure reveal the independent effects of age of acquisition and proficiency on second-language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Emily S; Joanisse, Marc F

    2016-12-01

    Two key factors govern how bilingual speakers neurally maintain two languages: the speakers' second language age of acquisition (AoA) and their subsequent proficiency. However, the relative roles of these two factors have been difficult to disentangle given that the two can be closely correlated, and most prior studies have examined the two factors in isolation. Here, we combine functional magnetic resonance imaging with diffusion tensor imaging to identify specific brain areas that are independently modulated by AoA and proficiency in second language speakers. First-language Mandarin Chinese speakers who are second language speakers of English were scanned as they performed a picture-word matching task in either language. In the same session we also acquired diffusion-weighted scans to assess white matter microstructure, along with behavioural measures of language proficiency prior to entering the scanner. Results reveal gray- and white-matter networks involving both the left and right hemisphere that independently vary as a function of a second-language speaker's AoA and proficiency, focused on the superior temporal gyrus, middle and inferior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, and the basal ganglia. These results indicate that proficiency and AoA explain separate functional and structural networks in the bilingual brain, which we interpret as suggesting distinct types of plasticity for age-dependent effects (i.e., AoA) versus experience and/or predisposition (i.e., proficiency). Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Aptitude, Phonological Memory, and Second Language Proficiency in Nonnovice Adult Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Kirsten M.

    2009-01-01

    This study explores the relationship between aptitude, phonological memory (PM), and second language (L2) proficiency in nonnovice adult learners of English as an L2. Native speakers of French (N = 77) enrolled in a university Teaching English as a Second Language program were the participants in the study. Exploratory factor analysis revealed…

  17. Verb-Noun Collocation Proficiency and Academic Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Ebrahimi-Bazzaz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Generally vocabulary and collocations in particular have significant roles in language proficiency. A collocation includes two words that are frequently joined concurrently in the memory of native speakers. There have been many linguistic studies trying to define, to describe, and to categorise English collocations. It contains grammatical collocations and lexical collocations which include nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverb. In the context of a foreign language environment such as Iran, collocational proficiency can be useful because it helps the students improve their language proficiency. This paper investigates the possible relationship between verb-noun collocation proficiency among students from one academic year to the next. To reach this goal, a test of verb-noun collocations was administered to Iranian learners. The participants in the study were 212 Iranian students in an Iranian university. They were selected from the second term of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. The students’ age ranged from 18 to 35.The results of ANOVA showed there was variability in the verb-noun collocations proficiency within each academic year and between the four academic years. The results of a post hoc multiple comparison tests demonstrated that the means are significantly different between the first year and the third and fourth years, and between the third and the fourth academic year; however, students require at least two years to show significant development in verb-noun collocation proficiency. These findings provided a vital implication that lexical collocations are learnt and developed through four academic years of university, but requires at least two years showing significant development in the language proficiency.

  18. The speaker's formant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bele, Irene Velsvik

    2006-12-01

    The current study concerns speaking voice quality in two groups of professional voice users, teachers (n = 35) and actors (n = 36), representing trained and untrained voices. The voice quality of text reading at two intensity levels was acoustically analyzed. The central concept was the speaker's formant (SPF), related to the perceptual characteristics "better normal voice quality" (BNQ) and "worse normal voice quality" (WNQ). The purpose of the current study was to get closer to the origin of the phenomenon of the SPF, and to discover the differences in spectral and formant characteristics between the two professional groups and the two voice quality groups. The acoustic analyses were long-term average spectrum (LTAS) and spectrographical measurements of formant frequencies. At very high intensities, the spectral slope was rather quandrangular without a clear SPF peak. The trained voices had a higher energy level in the SPF region compared with the untrained, significantly so in loud phonation. The SPF seemed to be related to both sufficiently strong overtones and a glottal setting, allowing for a lowering of F4 and a closeness of F3 and F4. However, the existence of SPF also in LTAS of the WNQ voices implies that more research is warranted concerning the formation of SPF, and concerning the acoustic correlates of the BNQ voices.

  19. Analyzing the Influence of Language Proficiency on Interactive Book Search Behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bogers, Toine; Gäde, Maria; Hall, Mark M.

    2016-01-01

    English content still dominates in many online domains and information systems, despite native English speakers being a minority of its users. However, we know little about how language proficiency influences search behavior in these systems. In this paper, we describe preliminary results from an...... language constraints, a preliminary analysis of native and non-native English speakers indicate little to no meaningful differences in their search behavior.......English content still dominates in many online domains and information systems, despite native English speakers being a minority of its users. However, we know little about how language proficiency influences search behavior in these systems. In this paper, we describe preliminary results from...... an interactive IR experiment with book search behavior and examine how language skills affect this behavior. A total of 97 users from 21 different countries participated in this experiment, resulting in a rich data set including usage data as well as questionnaire feedback. Although participants reported feeling...

  20. Arctic Visiting Speakers Series (AVS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, S. E.; Griswold, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic Visiting Speakers (AVS) Series funds researchers and other arctic experts to travel and share their knowledge in communities where they might not otherwise connect. Speakers cover a wide range of arctic research topics and can address a variety of audiences including K-12 students, graduate and undergraduate students, and the general public. Host applications are accepted on an on-going basis, depending on funding availability. Applications need to be submitted at least 1 month prior to the expected tour dates. Interested hosts can choose speakers from an online Speakers Bureau or invite a speaker of their choice. Preference is given to individuals and organizations to host speakers that reach a broad audience and the general public. AVS tours are encouraged to span several days, allowing ample time for interactions with faculty, students, local media, and community members. Applications for both domestic and international visits will be considered. Applications for international visits should involve participation of more than one host organization and must include either a US-based speaker or a US-based organization. This is a small but important program that educates the public about Arctic issues. There have been 27 tours since 2007 that have impacted communities across the globe including: Gatineau, Quebec Canada; St. Petersburg, Russia; Piscataway, New Jersey; Cordova, Alaska; Nuuk, Greenland; Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; Oslo, Norway; Inari, Finland; Borgarnes, Iceland; San Francisco, California and Wolcott, Vermont to name a few. Tours have included lectures to K-12 schools, college and university students, tribal organizations, Boy Scout troops, science center and museum patrons, and the general public. There are approximately 300 attendees enjoying each AVS tour, roughly 4100 people have been reached since 2007. The expectations for each tour are extremely manageable. Hosts must submit a schedule of events and a tour summary to be posted online

  1. The relationship between spoken English proficiency and participation in higher education, employment and income from two Australian censuses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Helen L; Mcleod, Sharynne; Verdon, Sarah; Fuller, Gail

    2018-04-01

    Proficiency in the language of the country of residence has implications for an individual's level of education, employability, income and social integration. This paper explores the relationship between the spoken English proficiency of residents of Australia on census day and their educational level, employment and income to provide insight into multilingual speakers' ability to participate in Australia as an English-dominant society. Data presented are derived from two Australian censuses i.e. 2006 and 2011 of over 19 million people. The proportion of Australians who reported speaking a language other than English at home was 21.5% in the 2006 census and 23.2% in the 2011 census. Multilingual speakers who also spoke English very well were more likely to have post-graduate qualifications, full-time employment and high income than monolingual English-speaking Australians. However, multilingual speakers who reported speaking English not well were much less likely to have post-graduate qualifications or full-time employment than monolingual English-speaking Australians. These findings provide insight into the socioeconomic and educational profiles of multilingual speakers, which will inform the understanding of people such as speech-language pathologists who provide them with support. The results indicate spoken English proficiency may impact participation in Australian society. These findings challenge the "monolingual mindset" by demonstrating that outcomes for multilingual speakers in education, employment and income are higher than for monolingual speakers.

  2. Southeast Asian Languages Proficiency Examinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, James Dean; And Others

    The design, administration, revision, and validation of the Southeast Asian Summer Studies Institute proficiency examinations are reported. The examinations were created as parallel language proficiency tests in each of five languages: Indonesian, Khmer, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese. Four tests were developed in each language: multiple-choice…

  3. Clinical Wisdom among Proficient Nurses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uhrenfeldt, Lisbeth; Hall, Elisabeth

    2007-01-01

    This paperexamines clinical wisdom which has emerged from a broader study anout nurse managers´influence on proficient registered nurse turnover and retention. The purpose of the study was to increase understanding of proficient nurses´experience and clinical practice by giving voice to the nurses...

  4. Pitch perception and production in congenital amusia: Evidence from Cantonese speakers

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Fang; Chan, Alice H. D.; Ciocca, Valter; Roquet, Catherine; Peretz, Isabelle; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by ...

  5. An Exploration of the Relationship between Vietnamese Students' Knowledge of L1 Grammar and Their English Grammar Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Tammie M.

    2010-01-01

    The problem. This research study explores an important issue in the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and second language acquisition (SLA). Its purpose is to examine the relationship between Vietnamese students' L1 grammar knowledge and their English grammar proficiency. Furthermore, it investigates the extent to…

  6. National radon measurement-proficiency program: Individual proficiency report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-05-01

    In February 1986, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Radon Measurement Proficiency (RMP) Program to assist the public in identifying organizations capable of providing reliable radon measurement services. In December 1991, EPA announced the new individual proficiency listing category in the RMP Program. Individuals applying for this new listing status must demonstrate knowledge of radon measurement fundamentals by passing a written proficiency examination, maintain affiliation with an RMP listed organization, and meet other program requirements. This report lists those individuals who have met the requirements of the RMP Program as of April 30, 1992. These requirements are designed to provide minimum proficiency criteria for individuals who provide radon measurement services on-site in a residential environment

  7. National Radon Contractor Proficiency Program. Proficiency report: Supplement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-02-01

    The report, a supplement to the RCP Proficiency Report, will further assist governmental officials in providing advice to the public on the selection of proficient radon mitigation contractors. These reports list 1,123 contractors who have met the requirements of the RCP Program as of December 15, 1990. The Proficiency Report provides information on each contractor's name, RCP identification number, company name, address, phone number, and geographic service area. The report provides two additional tables, indexed by company name and by RCP identification number. The report is intended to help users quickly identify a proficient contractor if only the company name is known, or to verify which contractor is associated with a particular ID number

  8. National Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) Program. Proficiency report, June 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-06-01

    The primary objective of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to address the indoor radon problem is to reduce radon levels in buildings throughout the country. Achieving the objective requires a nationwide supply of capable radon mitigation contractors. In the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988, Congress authorized EPA to establish a program to evaluate radon mitigation contractors and to provide the information to the public in cooperation with the States. The Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) Program was developed to assist States, EPA Regions, local government officials, and the public in selecting contractors who have demonstrated their proficiency in reducing indoor radon levels. The program is managed by the EPA Office of Radiation Programs' Radon Division. Under the voluntary program, radon contractors demonstrate their proficiency by meeting specific Program requirements. Individual contractors who meet these requirements are then listed in periodic RCP Proficiency Reports

  9. Segmentation and accuracy-based scores for the automatic assessment of oral proficiency for proficient L2 speakers

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Wet, Febe

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available stream_source_info DeWet_2011.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 6 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name DeWet_2011.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 ...

  10. Segmentation and accuracy-based scores for the automatic assessment of oral proficiency for proficient L2 speakers

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Wet, Febe

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available stream_source_info deWet_2010.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 109 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name deWet_2010.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 /var...

  11. Testing Proficiency in Interpersonal Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Burton H.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses several hypotheses about the measurement of speech-communication proficiency which are being tested at the University of Hawaii and a testing instrument entitled Dy Comm'' (dyadic communication) which emerged from this research. (DD)

  12. Proficiency testing for radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faanhof, A.; Kotze, O.; Louw, I.

    2010-01-01

    Proficiency testing in general is only useful when it suites a certain purpose. With regards to radionuclides basically three fields of interest can be identified: (I)Foodstuffs-Introduced in the early 1960's to monitor the fall-out of nuclear tests and eventually the pathway to foodstuffs fit for human consumption. The demand for analysis increased substantially after the Chernobyl accident. (II) Natural radioactivity-Associated with mining and mineral processing of uranium and thorium baring mineral resources throughout the world where the radionuclides from the natural uranium and thorium decay series are found to pose concern for professional and public exposure. (III) Artificial radioactivity-This category covers mostly the long-lived nuclides generated by nuclear fission of the fuel used in nuclear power plants, research reactors and nuclear bomb tests. All three categories require a specific approach for laboratories to test their ability to analyze specific radio nuclides of interest in a variety of matrices. In this lecture I will give a compiled overview of the required radioanalytical skills, analysis sensitivity needed and radionuclides of interest, with more specific emphasis on QAQC of water sources and the recommended monitoring approach. And provide information on available reference materials and organizations/institutes that provide regular exercises for participating laboratories. I will also briefly communicate on the advantages and disadvantages of ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for test laboratories, which is these days a prerequisite in national and international trade especially where foodstuffs and mineral products are concerned.

  13. The 2016 NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-08-20

    impact on system performance. Index Terms: NIST evaluation, NIST SRE, speaker detection, speaker recognition, speaker verification 1. Introduction NIST... self -reported. Second, there were two training conditions in SRE16, namely fixed and open. In the fixed training condition, par- ticipants were only

  14. Computer proficiency questionnaire: assessing low and high computer proficient seniors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boot, Walter R; Charness, Neil; Czaja, Sara J; Sharit, Joseph; Rogers, Wendy A; Fisk, Arthur D; Mitzner, Tracy; Lee, Chin Chin; Nair, Sankaran

    2015-06-01

    Computers and the Internet have the potential to enrich the lives of seniors and aid in the performance of important tasks required for independent living. A prerequisite for reaping these benefits is having the skills needed to use these systems, which is highly dependent on proper training. One prerequisite for efficient and effective training is being able to gauge current levels of proficiency. We developed a new measure (the Computer Proficiency Questionnaire, or CPQ) to measure computer proficiency in the domains of computer basics, printing, communication, Internet, calendaring software, and multimedia use. Our aim was to develop a measure appropriate for individuals with a wide range of proficiencies from noncomputer users to extremely skilled users. To assess the reliability and validity of the CPQ, a diverse sample of older adults, including 276 older adults with no or minimal computer experience, was recruited and asked to complete the CPQ. The CPQ demonstrated excellent reliability (Cronbach's α = .98), with subscale reliabilities ranging from .86 to .97. Age, computer use, and general technology use all predicted CPQ scores. Factor analysis revealed three main factors of proficiency related to Internet and e-mail use; communication and calendaring; and computer basics. Based on our findings, we also developed a short-form CPQ (CPQ-12) with similar properties but 21 fewer questions. The CPQ and CPQ-12 are useful tools to gauge computer proficiency for training and research purposes, even among low computer proficient older adults. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Similar speaker recognition using nonlinear analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seo, J.P.; Kim, M.S.; Baek, I.C.; Kwon, Y.H.; Lee, K.S.; Chang, S.W.; Yang, S.I.

    2004-01-01

    Speech features of the conventional speaker identification system, are usually obtained by linear methods in spectral space. However, these methods have the drawback that speakers with similar voices cannot be distinguished, because the characteristics of their voices are also similar in spectral space. To overcome the difficulty in linear methods, we propose to use the correlation exponent in the nonlinear space as a new feature vector for speaker identification among persons with similar voices. We show that our proposed method surprisingly reduces the error rate of speaker identification system to speakers with similar voices

  16. Hybrid Speaker Recognition Using Universal Acoustic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Jun; Kuroda, Tadahiro

    We propose a novel speaker recognition approach using a speaker-independent universal acoustic model (UAM) for sensornet applications. In sensornet applications such as “Business Microscope”, interactions among knowledge workers in an organization can be visualized by sensing face-to-face communication using wearable sensor nodes. In conventional studies, speakers are detected by comparing energy of input speech signals among the nodes. However, there are often synchronization errors among the nodes which degrade the speaker recognition performance. By focusing on property of the speaker's acoustic channel, UAM can provide robustness against the synchronization error. The overall speaker recognition accuracy is improved by combining UAM with the energy-based approach. For 0.1s speech inputs and 4 subjects, speaker recognition accuracy of 94% is achieved at the synchronization error less than 100ms.

  17. National Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) program. Proficiency report, September 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-09-01

    The primary objective of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to address the indoor radon problem is to reduce radon levels in buildings throughout the country. Achieving this objective requires a nationwide supply of capable radon mitigation contractors. In the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988, Congress authorized EPA to establish a program to evaluate radon mitigation contractors and to provide this information to the public in cooperation with the States. The Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) Program was developed to assist States, EPA Regions, local government officials, and the public in selecting contractors who have demonstrated their proficiency in reducing indoor radon levels. The program is managed by the EPA Office of Radiation Programs' Radon Division. Under this voluntary program, radon contractors demonstrate their proficiency by meeting specific Program requirements. Individual contractors who meet these requirements are then listed in the Report

  18. National Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) Program. Proficiency report, January 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The primary objective of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to address the indoor radon problem is to reduce radon levels in buildings throughout the country. Achieving the objective requires a nationwide supply of capable radon mitigation contractors. In the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988, Congress authorized EPA to establish a program to evaluate radon mitigation contractors and to provide the information to the public in cooperation with the States. The Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) Program was developed to assist States, EPA Regions, local government officials, and the public in selecting contractors who have demonstrated their proficiency in reducing indoor radon levels. The program is managed by the EPA Office of Radiation Programs' Radon Division. Under the voluntary program, radon contractors demonstrate their proficiency by meeting specific Program requirements. Individual contractors who meet these requirements are then listed in the Report

  19. The Influence of Orthography on the Production of Alphabetic, Second-Language Allophones by Speakers of a Non-alphabetic Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jeong-Im; Kim, Joo-Yeon

    2017-08-01

    This study investigated the influence of orthographic information on the production of allophones in a second language (L2). Two proficiency levels of native Mandarin speakers learned novel Korean words with potential variants of /h/ based on auditory stimuli, and then they were provided various types of spellings for the variants, including the letters for [[Formula: see text

  20. Language proficiency and nursing registration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Amanda

    2016-02-01

    This discussion paper focuses on English proficiency standards for nursing registration in Australia, how Australia has dealt with the issue of language proficiency, and the factors which have led to the establishment of the current language standards. Also, this paper will provide a comparison of the two language tests that are currently accepted in Australia (OET and IELTS), including the appropriateness of these tests and the minimum standards used. The paper will also examine the use of educational background as an indicator of language proficiency. Finally, communication-based complaints in the post-registration environment will be explored, and some discussion will be provided about why pre-registration measures might have failed to prevent such problematic situations from occurring. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. What makes a charismatic speaker?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niebuhr, Oliver; Voße, Jana; Brem, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was one of the most charismatic speakers of the past decades. However, there is, as yet, no detailed quantitative profile of his way of speaking. We used state-of-the-art computer techniques to acoustically analyze his speech behavior and relate it to reference...... samples. Our paper provides the first-ever acoustic profile of Steve Jobs, based on about 4000 syllables and 12,000 individual speech sounds from his two most outstanding and well-known product presentations: the introductions of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2. Our results show that Steve Jobs stands out...

  2. National Radon Contractor Proficiency Program. Proficiency report, October 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-10-01

    The report lists those individual contractors in the United States who have met the requirements of the Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) Program as of August 18, 1990. These requirements are designed to provide minimum proficiency criteria for individuals who design and supervise the installation of radon mitigation systems in buildings. (Some States have more stringent requirements as part of their radon certification programs. The States should be consulted directly for details on their programs; see Section 5 for a list of State radon contacts). The RCP Program measures the proficiency of an individual contractor, not their company. Therefore, users of the report who select a mitigation firm should ensure that the services are provided by the listed contractor. The National RCP Program does not accredit mitigation contractors, nor does it certify, recommend, or endorse participating companies. Only the listed contractor, not their company of affilation, are deemed proficient. The inclusion of a contractor in the report should not be interpreted as a certification or accreditation of the individual or affiliated company

  3. Learning Strategies in Proficient and Less Proficient Readers in Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemati, Majid; Nodoushan, Mohammad Ali Salmani; Ashrafzadeh, Anis

    2010-01-01

    The current study aimed to diagnose the probable significant differences in the use of language learning strategies among medical-text readers of opposite sex from different levels of proficiency. 120 (N = 120) participants were randomly selected from Azad Medical University of Mashhad: 60 medical students (age range 23-25; 30 = male and 30 =…

  4. Discrepancies between perceptions of English proficiency and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    multilingual awareness pedagogy” embedded in Dörnyei's (2009) L2 Motivational Self System theory. Key words: self-reported perceptions, language proficiency, English proficiency, multilingualism, pedagogy, resilience, L2 Motivational Self System ...

  5. Speaker Segmentation and Clustering Using Gender Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-02-01

    used in the first stages of segmentation forder information in the clustering of the opposite-gender speaker diarization of news broadcasts. files, the...AFRL-HE-WP-TP-2006-0026 AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY Speaker Segmentation and Clustering Using Gender Information Brian M. Ore General Dynamics...COVERED (From - To) February 2006 ProceedinLgs 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Speaker Segmentation and Clustering Using Gender Information 5b

  6. An Accounting Writing Proficiency Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firch, Tim; Campbell, Annhenrie; Filling, Steven; Lindsay, David H.

    2011-01-01

    Although there has been much discussion about improving college student writing with college-level courses, little is known about how accounting programs, in particular, are addressing the writing proficiency challenge. This study surveys the 852 accounting programs in the United States to identify the frequency and types of accounting writing…

  7. Supervised and Unsupervised Speaker Adaptation in the NIST 2005 Speaker Recognition Evaluation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hansen, Eric G; Slyh, Raymond E; Anderson, Timothy R

    2006-01-01

    Starting in 2004, the annual NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation (SRE) has added an optional unsupervised speaker adaptation track where test files are processed sequentially and one may update the target model...

  8. Speaker's presentations. Energy supply security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierret, Ch.

    2000-01-01

    This document is a collection of most of the papers used by the speakers of the European Seminar on Energy Supply Security organised in Paris (at the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry) on 24 November 2000 by the General Direction of Energy and Raw Materials, in co-operation with the European Commission and the French Planning Office. About 250 attendees were present, including a lot of high level Civil Servants from the 15 European State members, and their questions have allowed to create a rich debate. It took place five days before the publication, on 29 November 2000, by the European Commission, of the Green Paper 'Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply'. This French initiative, which took place within the framework of the European Presidency of the European Union, during the second half-year 2000. will bring a first impetus to the brainstorming launched by the Commission. (author)

  9. Factors Affecting Grammatical and Lexical Complexity of Long-Term L2 Speakers' Oral Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahmann, Cornelia; Steinkrauss, Rasmus; Schmid, Monika S.

    2016-01-01

    There remains considerable disagreement about which factors drive second language (L2) ultimate attainment. Age of onset (AO) appears to be a robust factor, lending support to theories of maturational constraints on L2 acquisition. The present study is an investigation of factors that influence grammatical and lexical complexity at the stage of L2…

  10. Speaker-specific variability of phoneme durations

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The durations of phonemes varies for different speakers. To this end, the correlations between phonemes across different speakers are studied and a novel approach to predict unknown phoneme durations from the values of known phoneme durations for a...

  11. A New Database for Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Ling; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2005-01-01

    In this paper we discuss properties of speech databases used for speaker recognition research and evaluation, and we characterize some popular standard databases. The paper presents a new database called ELSDSR dedicated to speaker recognition applications. The main characteristics of this database...

  12. Phoneme Error Pattern by Heritage Speakers of Spanish on an English Word Recognition Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lu-Feng

    2017-04-01

    Heritage speakers acquire their native language from home use in their early childhood. As the native language is typically a minority language in the society, these individuals receive their formal education in the majority language and eventually develop greater competency with the majority than their native language. To date, there have not been specific research attempts to understand word recognition by heritage speakers. It is not clear if and to what degree we may infer from evidence based on bilingual listeners in general. This preliminary study investigated how heritage speakers of Spanish perform on an English word recognition test and analyzed their phoneme errors. A prospective, cross-sectional, observational design was employed. Twelve normal-hearing adult Spanish heritage speakers (four men, eight women, 20-38 yr old) participated in the study. Their language background was obtained through the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire. Nine English monolingual listeners (three men, six women, 20-41 yr old) were also included for comparison purposes. Listeners were presented with 200 Northwestern University Auditory Test No. 6 words in quiet. They repeated each word orally and in writing. Their responses were scored by word, word-initial consonant, vowel, and word-final consonant. Performance was compared between groups with Student's t test or analysis of variance. Group-specific error patterns were primarily descriptive, but intergroup comparisons were made using 95% or 99% confidence intervals for proportional data. The two groups of listeners yielded comparable scores when their responses were examined by word, vowel, and final consonant. However, heritage speakers of Spanish misidentified significantly more word-initial consonants and had significantly more difficulty with initial /p, b, h/ than their monolingual peers. The two groups yielded similar patterns for vowel and word-final consonants, but heritage speakers made significantly

  13. Only Cheap Talk after All? New Experimental Psychological Findings on the Role of Verbal Proficiency in Mate Choice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lange Benjamin P.

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent evolutionary experimental psychological research found that high verbal proficiency (VP increased the perceived attractiveness of individuals (more so for males than females, especially in the context of a long-term relationship. Our study had the objective of replicating and extending this research. Similar to previous studies, audio files in which speakers performed scripted self-presentations that had equal content but varied on VP were used as stimuli for opposite-sex participants. VP was found to increase attractiveness ratings. The effects were mostly small for numerous variables relating to short-term mating, whereas they were moderate to large for long-term mating. Our participants attributed more future income, but not more total number of mates to speakers with higher VP. Female menstrual cycle effects on attractiveness ratings were not found. Contrary to former research, being more verbally proficient was not found to be more beneficial for one sex over the other.

  14. Utterance Verification for Text-Dependent Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Tomi; Sahidullah, Md; Kukanov, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Text-dependent automatic speaker verification naturally calls for the simultaneous verification of speaker identity and spoken content. These two tasks can be achieved with automatic speaker verification (ASV) and utterance verification (UV) technologies. While both have been addressed previously...

  15. Apology Strategy in English By Native Speaker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mezia Kemala Sari

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This research discussed apology strategies in English by native speaker. This descriptive study was presented within the framework of Pragmatics based on the forms of strategies due to the coding manual as found in CCSARP (Cross-Cultural Speech Acts Realization Project.The goals of this study were to describe the apology strategies in English by native speaker and identify the influencing factors of it. Data were collected through the use of the questionnaire in the form of Discourse Completion Test, which was distributed to 30 native speakers. Data were classified based on the degree of familiarity and the social distance between speaker and hearer and then the data of native will be separated and classified by the type of strategies in coding manual. The results of this study are the pattern of apology strategies of native speaker brief with the pattern that potentially occurs IFID plus Offer of repair plus Taking on responsibility. While Alerters, Explanation and Downgrading appear with less number of percentage. Then, the factors that influence the apology utterance by native speakers are the social situation, the degree of familiarity and degree of the offence which more complicated the mistake tend to produce the most complex utterances by the speaker.

  16. Robust speaker recognition in noisy environments

    CERN Document Server

    Rao, K Sreenivasa

    2014-01-01

    This book discusses speaker recognition methods to deal with realistic variable noisy environments. The text covers authentication systems for; robust noisy background environments, functions in real time and incorporated in mobile devices. The book focuses on different approaches to enhance the accuracy of speaker recognition in presence of varying background environments. The authors examine: (a) Feature compensation using multiple background models, (b) Feature mapping using data-driven stochastic models, (c) Design of super vector- based GMM-SVM framework for robust speaker recognition, (d) Total variability modeling (i-vectors) in a discriminative framework and (e) Boosting method to fuse evidences from multiple SVM models.

  17. Robustness-related issues in speaker recognition

    CERN Document Server

    Zheng, Thomas Fang

    2017-01-01

    This book presents an overview of speaker recognition technologies with an emphasis on dealing with robustness issues. Firstly, the book gives an overview of speaker recognition, such as the basic system framework, categories under different criteria, performance evaluation and its development history. Secondly, with regard to robustness issues, the book presents three categories, including environment-related issues, speaker-related issues and application-oriented issues. For each category, the book describes the current hot topics, existing technologies, and potential research focuses in the future. The book is a useful reference book and self-learning guide for early researchers working in the field of robust speech recognition.

  18. Language proficiency among immigrants and the establishment of interethnic relations: a comparative analysis of Bilbao, Lisbon and Rotterdam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Esteves

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite the increasing interest in exploring language proficiency among immigrants as a quintessential element for their economic integration in the host country, less attention has been devoted to the social impacts that destination-language proficiency may have on enhancing interethnic contacts between immigrants and the native population. This research aims to shed light on this latter topic, discussing if being a native-speaker immigrant in the host country or, for those immigrants who are non-native speakers, having a stronger command of the destination-language may increase their likelihood of interacting with the native population. Moreover, we question if there are significant differences in the interaction patterns between these two groups and the natives, presenting the cities of Bilbao, Lisbon and Rotterdam as a territorial frame. The analysis is based on data gathered through the GEITONIES survey. The results obtained indicate that native-speaker immigrants generally tend to show more interaction with the natives. Nevertheless, for immigrants not sharing such cultural similarity, those with a higher level of second-language proficiency clearly show stronger bonds with the native population; in both cases this can also be related to individual, group or place related variables.

  19. Knowledge Management and Organizational Proficiency with NPP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marler, M.

    2016-01-01

    Full text: The pace of new NPP construction, startup, and operation is straining the supply of proficient operators, technicians, and engineers. This technical brief explains an approach implemented by a US nuclear utility to capture and transfer knowledge possessed by proficient workers to new workers using the VISION learning content management system. This approach could also be used to accelerate worker proficiency in new NPP organizations. (author

  20. On the optimization of a mixed speaker array in an enclosed space using the virtual-speaker weighting method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Bo; Zheng, Sifa; Liao, Xiangning; Lian, Xiaomin

    2018-03-01

    In order to achieve sound field reproduction in a wide frequency band, multiple-type speakers are used. The reproduction accuracy is not only affected by the signals sent to the speakers, but also depends on the position and the number of each type of speaker. The method of optimizing a mixed speaker array is investigated in this paper. A virtual-speaker weighting method is proposed to optimize both the position and the number of each type of speaker. In this method, a virtual-speaker model is proposed to quantify the increment of controllability of the speaker array when the speaker number increases. While optimizing a mixed speaker array, the gain of the virtual-speaker transfer function is used to determine the priority orders of the candidate speaker positions, which optimizes the position of each type of speaker. Then the relative gain of the virtual-speaker transfer function is used to determine whether the speakers are redundant, which optimizes the number of each type of speaker. Finally the virtual-speaker weighting method is verified by reproduction experiments of the interior sound field in a passenger car. The results validate that the optimum mixed speaker array can be obtained using the proposed method.

  1. Data requirements for speaker independent acoustic models

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Badenhorst, JAC

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available When developing speech recognition systems in resource-constrained environments, careful design of the training corpus can play an important role in compensating for data scarcity. One of the factors to consider relates to the speaker composition...

  2. Role of Speaker Cues in Attention Inference

    OpenAIRE

    Jin Joo Lee; Cynthia Breazeal; David DeSteno

    2017-01-01

    Current state-of-the-art approaches to emotion recognition primarily focus on modeling the nonverbal expressions of the sole individual without reference to contextual elements such as the co-presence of the partner. In this paper, we demonstrate that the accurate inference of listeners’ social-emotional state of attention depends on accounting for the nonverbal behaviors of their storytelling partner, namely their speaker cues. To gain a deeper understanding of the role of speaker cues in at...

  3. Maintenance proficiency evaluation test bank

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maier, Loran

    2003-01-01

    The Maintenance Proficiency Evaluation Test Bank (MPETB) is an Electric Power Research Institute- (EPRJ-) operated, utility-sponsored means of developing, maintaining, and disseminating secure, high-quality written and performance maintenance proficiency tests. EPRTs charter is to ensure that all tests and test items that go into the Test Bank have been validated, screened for reliability, and evaluated to high standards of psychometric excellence. Proficiency tests of maintenance personnel.(mechanics, electricians, and instrumentation and control [I and C] technicians) are most often used to determine if an experienced employee is capable of performing maintenance tasks without further training. Such tests provide objective evidence for decisions to exempt an employee from what, for the employee, is unnecessary training. This leads to considerable savings in training costs and increased productivity because supervisors can assign personnel to tasks at which their competence is proven. The ultimate objective of proficiency evaluation is to ensure that qualified maintenance personnel are available to meet the maintenance requirements of the plant Numerous task-specific MPE tests (both written and performance) have been developed and validated using the EPRI MPE methodology by the utilities participating in the MPETB project A task-specific MPE consists of a multiple-choice written examination and a multi-step performance evaluation that can be used to assess an individual's present knowledge and skill level for a given maintenance task. The MPETB contains MPEs and test items for the mechanical, electrical, and I and C classifications that are readily available to participating utilities. Presently, utilities are placing emphasis on developing MPEs to evaluate outage-related maintenance tasks that demonstrate the competency and qualifications of plant and contractor personnel before the start of outage work. Utilities are also using the MPE methodology and process to

  4. Pitch Correlogram Clustering for Fast Speaker Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitin Jhanwar

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Gaussian mixture models (GMMs are commonly used in text-independent speaker identification systems. However, for large speaker databases, their high computational run-time limits their use in online or real-time speaker identification situations. Two-stage identification systems, in which the database is partitioned into clusters based on some proximity criteria and only a single-cluster GMM is run in every test, have been suggested in literature to speed up the identification process. However, most clustering algorithms used have shown limited success, apparently because the clustering and GMM feature spaces used are derived from similar speech characteristics. This paper presents a new clustering approach based on the concept of a pitch correlogram that captures frame-to-frame pitch variations of a speaker rather than short-time spectral characteristics like cepstral coefficient, spectral slopes, and so forth. The effectiveness of this two-stage identification process is demonstrated on the IVIE corpus of 110 speakers. The overall system achieves a run-time advantage of 500% as well as a 10% reduction of error in overall speaker identification.

  5. Speakers' choice of frame in binary choice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc van Buiten

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available A distinction is proposed between extit{recommending for} preferred choice options and extit{recommending against} non-preferred choice options. In binary choice, both recommendation modes are logically, though not psychologically, equivalent. We report empirical evidence showing that speakers recommending for preferred options predominantly select positive frames, which are less common when speakers recommend against non-preferred options. In addition, option attractiveness is shown to affect speakers' choice of frame, and adoption of recommendation mode. The results are interpreted in terms of three compatibility effects, (i extit{recommendation mode---valence framing compatibility}: speakers' preference for positive framing is enhanced under extit{recommending for} and diminished under extit{recommending against} instructions, (ii extit{option attractiveness---valence framing compatibility}: speakers' preference for positive framing is more pronounced for attractive than for unattractive options, and (iii extit{recommendation mode---option attractiveness compatibility}: speakers are more likely to adopt a extit{recommending for} approach for attractive than for unattractive binary choice pairs.

  6. Audiovisual perceptual learning with multiple speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchel, Aaron D; Gerfen, Chip; Weiss, Daniel J

    2016-05-01

    One challenge for speech perception is between-speaker variability in the acoustic parameters of speech. For example, the same phoneme (e.g. the vowel in "cat") may have substantially different acoustic properties when produced by two different speakers and yet the listener must be able to interpret these disparate stimuli as equivalent. Perceptual tuning, the use of contextual information to adjust phonemic representations, may be one mechanism that helps listeners overcome obstacles they face due to this variability during speech perception. Here we test whether visual contextual cues to speaker identity may facilitate the formation and maintenance of distributional representations for individual speakers, allowing listeners to adjust phoneme boundaries in a speaker-specific manner. We familiarized participants to an audiovisual continuum between /aba/ and /ada/. During familiarization, the "b-face" mouthed /aba/ when an ambiguous token was played, while the "D-face" mouthed /ada/. At test, the same ambiguous token was more likely to be identified as /aba/ when paired with a stilled image of the "b-face" than with an image of the "D-face." This was not the case in the control condition when the two faces were paired equally with the ambiguous token. Together, these results suggest that listeners may form speaker-specific phonemic representations using facial identity cues.

  7. [Laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwa, Katsuhiko

    2003-05-01

    ISO/TC 212 covering clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems will issue the international standard for medical laboratory quality and competence requirements, ISO 15189. This standard is based on the ISO/IEC 17025, general requirements for competence of testing and calibration laboratories and ISO 9001, quality management systems-requirements. Clinical laboratory services are essential to patient care and therefore should be available to meet the needs of all patients and clinical personnel responsible for human health care. If a laboratory seeks accreditation, it should select an accreditation body that operates according to this international standard and in a manner which takes into account the particular requirements of clinical laboratories. Proficiency testing should be available to evaluate the calibration laboratories and reference measurement laboratories in clinical medicine. Reference measurement procedures should be of precise and the analytical principle of measurement applied should ensure reliability. We should be prepared to establish a quality management system and proficiency testing in clinical laboratories.

  8. Motor Proficiency in Young Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fotini Venetsanou

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to examine motor proficiency in young children, focusing on potential gender differences. For that purpose, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency–Long Form (BOTMP-LF was administered to 540 children (272 boys, 4½ to 6 years old. First, the 2 (sex × 4 (age groups ANOVA computed on children’s total BOTMP-LF scores showed that age had a statistically significant effect, whereas gender did not. Second, the one-way MANCOVA applied on subtest scores, with age as covariate, revealed statistical significant gender differences; however, η2 values were found to be small or moderate. Finally, the MANCOVA applied on items where significant gender differences have been reported showed a significant effect of gender. Nonetheless, η2 values exceeded the limit of practical significance only on two items (“standing on preferred leg on floor”, “throwing a ball at a target with preferred hand” that are associated with gender-stereotyped activities. It can be concluded that (a besides statistical significance, effect sizes should be examined for the results of a study to be adequately interpreted; (b young boys’ and girls’ motor proficiency is similar rather than different. Gender differences in specific skills should be used for movement programs to be individualized.

  9. Proficiency test for aflatoxin in pig feed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbers, I.J.W.; Nijs, de W.C.M.

    2015-01-01

    Proficiency testing is conducted to provide laboratories with a powerful tool to evaluate and demonstrate the reliability of the data that are produced. Next to validation and accreditation, proficiency testing is an important requirement of the EU Additional Measures Directive 93/99/EEC [1] and is

  10. Proficiency study for quinolones in egg

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berendsen, B.J.A.; Stolker, A.A.M.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this proficiency study was to give laboratories the possibility to evaluate or demonstrate their competence for the analysis of quinolones in egg. Furthermore the specificity of the applied methods is evaluated by including possibly interfering compounds in the proficiency study. This

  11. Measuring receptive collocational competence across proficiency ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present study investigates (i) English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners' receptive collocational knowledge growth in relation to their linguistic proficiency level; (ii) how much receptive collocational knowledge is acquired as linguistic proficiency develops; and (iii) the extent to which receptive knowledge of ...

  12. Proficiency test for allergens in food 2014

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bremer, M.G.E.G.; Alamenou, P.; Elbers, I.J.W.

    2015-01-01

    In the autumn of 2014 a proficiency test for allergens in baby cereal was organized by RIKILT, Wageningen UR. This PT-test enabled laboratories to evaluate their competence for the analysis of allergens in baby cereal. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were accepted. The proficiency test was

  13. A Contextualized Approach to Describing Oral Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalhoub-Deville, Micheline

    1995-01-01

    Studies learners' second-language (L2) oral proficiency, incorporating an interview, a narration, and a read-aloud. Results show that the nature of the L2 oral construct is not constant. The article concludes that proficiency researchers should use dimensions empirically derived according to the specific elicitation task and audience. (53…

  14. Language Learning Strategy Use across Proficiency Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarei, Abbas, Ali; Baharestani, Nooshin

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the use of language learning strategies (LLS) by Iranian EFL learners across proficiency levels, a total of 180 Iranian adult female EFL learners were selected and divided into three different proficiency level groups. To collect data, Oxford's (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) was used. One-way ANOVA procedures…

  15. Lexical access in a bilingual speaker with dementia: Changes over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Marianne; Simonsen, Hanne Gram; Ribu, Ingeborg Sophie Bjønness; Svendsen, Bente Ailin; Svennevig, Jan; de Bot, Kees

    2018-01-01

    In this article, we explore the naming skills of a bilingual English-Norwegian speaker diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, in each of his languages across three different speech contexts: confrontation naming, semi-spontaneous narrative (picture description), and conversation, and at two points in time: 12 and 30 months post diagnosis, respectively. The results are discussed in light of two main theories of lexical retrieval in healthy, elderly speakers: the Transmission Deficit Hypothesis and the Inhibitory Deficit Theory. Our data show that, consistent with the participant's premorbid use of and proficiency in the two languages, his performance in his L2 is lower than in his L1, but this difference diminishes as the disease progresses. This is the case across the three speech contexts; however, the difference is smaller in the narrative task, where his performance is very low in both languages already at the first measurement point. Despite his word finding problems, he is able to take active part in conversation, particularly in his L1 and more so at the first measurement point. In addition to the task effect, we find effects of word class, frequency, and cognateness on his naming skills. His performance seems to support the Transmission Deficit Hypothesis. By combining different tools and methods of analysis, we get a more comprehensive picture of the impact of the dementia on the speaker's languages from an intra-individual as well as an inter-individual perspective, which may be useful in research as well as in clinical practice.

  16. Role of Speaker Cues in Attention Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Joo Lee

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Current state-of-the-art approaches to emotion recognition primarily focus on modeling the nonverbal expressions of the sole individual without reference to contextual elements such as the co-presence of the partner. In this paper, we demonstrate that the accurate inference of listeners’ social-emotional state of attention depends on accounting for the nonverbal behaviors of their storytelling partner, namely their speaker cues. To gain a deeper understanding of the role of speaker cues in attention inference, we conduct investigations into real-world interactions of children (5–6 years old storytelling with their peers. Through in-depth analysis of human–human interaction data, we first identify nonverbal speaker cues (i.e., backchannel-inviting cues and listener responses (i.e., backchannel feedback. We then demonstrate how speaker cues can modify the interpretation of attention-related backchannels as well as serve as a means to regulate the responsiveness of listeners. We discuss the design implications of our findings toward our primary goal of developing attention recognition models for storytelling robots, and we argue that social robots can proactively use speaker cues to form more accurate inferences about the attentive state of their human partners.

  17. Automatic Speaker Recognition for Mobile Forensic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Algabri

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Presently, lawyers, law enforcement agencies, and judges in courts use speech and other biometric features to recognize suspects. In general, speaker recognition is used for discriminating people based on their voices. The process of determining, if a suspected speaker is the source of trace, is called forensic speaker recognition. In such applications, the voice samples are most probably noisy, the recording sessions might mismatch each other, the sessions might not contain sufficient recording for recognition purposes, and the suspect voices are recorded through mobile channel. The identification of a person through his voice within a forensic quality context is challenging. In this paper, we propose a method for forensic speaker recognition for the Arabic language; the King Saud University Arabic Speech Database is used for obtaining experimental results. The advantage of this database is that each speaker’s voice is recorded in both clean and noisy environments, through a microphone and a mobile channel. This diversity facilitates its usage in forensic experimentations. Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients are used for feature extraction and the Gaussian mixture model-universal background model is used for speaker modeling. Our approach has shown low equal error rates (EER, within noisy environments and with very short test samples.

  18. Measuring receptive collocational competence across proficiency levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Déogratias Nizonkiza

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigates, (i English as Foreign Language (EFL learners’ receptive collocational knowledge growth in relation to their linguistic proficiency level; (ii how much receptive collocational knowledge is acquired as proficiency develops; and (iii the extent to which receptive knowledge of collocations of EFL learners varies across word frequency bands. A proficiency measure and a collocation test were administered to English majors at the University of Burundi. Results of the study suggest that receptive collocational competence develops alongside EFL learners’ linguistic proficiency; which lends empirical support to Gyllstad (2007, 2009 and Author (2011 among others, who reported similar findings. Furthermore, EFL learners’ collocations growth seems to be quantifiable wherein both linguistic proficiency level and word frequency occupy a crucial role. While more gains in terms of collocations that EFL learners could potentially add as a result of change in proficiency are found at lower levels of proficiency; collocations of words from more frequent word bands seem to be mastered first, and more gains are found at more frequent word bands. These results confirm earlier findings on the non-linearity nature of vocabulary growth (cf. Meara 1996 and the fundamental role played by frequency in word knowledge for vocabulary in general (Nation 1983, 1990, Nation and Beglar 2007, which are extended here to collocations knowledge.

  19. Gricean Semantics and Vague Speaker-Meaning

    OpenAIRE

    Schiffer, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Presentations of Gricean semantics, including Stephen Neale’s in “Silent Reference,” totally ignore vagueness, even though virtually every utterance is vague. I ask how Gricean semantics might be adjusted to accommodate vague speaker-meaning. My answer is that it can’t accommodate it: the Gricean program collapses in the face of vague speaker-meaning. The Gricean might, however, fi nd some solace in knowing that every other extant meta-semantic and semantic program is in the same boat.

  20. A New Tool for Assessing Mobile Device Proficiency in Older Adults: The Mobile Device Proficiency Questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, Nelson A; Boot, Walter R

    2018-02-01

    Mobile device proficiency is increasingly required to participate in society. Unfortunately, there still exists a digital divide between younger and older adults, especially with respect to mobile devices (i.e., tablet computers and smartphones). Training is an important goal to ensure that older adults can reap the benefits of these devices. However, efficient/effective training depends on the ability to gauge current proficiency levels. We developed a new scale to accurately assess the mobile device proficiency of older adults: the Mobile Device Proficiency Questionnaire (MDPQ). We present and validate the MDPQ and a short 16-question version of the MDPQ (MDPQ-16). The MDPQ, its subscales, and the MDPQ-16 were found to be highly reliable and valid measures of mobile device proficiency in a large sample. We conclude that the MDPQ and MDPQ-16 may serve as useful tools for facilitating mobile device training of older adults and measuring mobile device proficiency for research purposes.

  1. Speaker Prediction based on Head Orientations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rienks, R.J.; Poppe, Ronald Walter; van Otterlo, M.; Poel, Mannes; Poel, M.; Nijholt, A.; Nijholt, Antinus

    2005-01-01

    To gain insight into gaze behavior in meetings, this paper compares the results from a Naive Bayes classifier, Neural Networks and humans on speaker prediction in four-person meetings given solely the azimuth head angles. The Naive Bayes classifier scored 69.4% correctly, Neural Networks 62.3% and

  2. Study of audio speakers containing ferrofluid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosensweig, R E [34 Gloucester Road, Summit, NJ 07901 (United States); Hirota, Y; Tsuda, S [Ferrotec, 1-4-14 Kyobashi, chuo-Ku, Tokyo 104-0031 (Japan); Raj, K [Ferrotec, 33 Constitution Drive, Bedford, NH 03110 (United States)

    2008-05-21

    This work validates a method for increasing the radial restoring force on the voice coil in audio speakers containing ferrofluid. In addition, a study is made of factors influencing splash loss of the ferrofluid due to shock. Ferrohydrodynamic analysis is employed throughout to model behavior, and predictions are compared to experimental data.

  3. B Anand | Speakers | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    However, the mechanism by which this protospacer fragment gets integrated in a directional fashion into the leader proximal end is elusive. The speakers group identified that the leader region abutting the first CRISPR repeat localizes Integration Host Factor (IHF) and Cas1-2 complex in Escherichia coli. IHF binding to the ...

  4. Using timing information in speaker verification

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an analysis of temporal information as a feature for use in speaker verification systems. The relevance of temporal information in a speaker’s utterances is investigated, both with regard to improving the robustness of modern...

  5. Developing Adaptive Proficiency in Special Forces Officers

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    White, Susan S; Mueller-Hanson, Rose A; Dorsey, David W; Pulakos, Elaine D; Wisecarver, Michelle M; Deagle, Edwin A., III; Mendini, Kip G

    2005-01-01

    Adaptive proficiency is critical for operating in the dynamic Special Forces (SF) mission environment and a recent focus on this requirement has resulted in a greater emphasis on adaptability in current training for SF...

  6. Speaker recognition through NLP and CWT modeling.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown-VanHoozer, A.; Kercel, S. W.; Tucker, R. W.

    1999-06-23

    The objective of this research is to develop a system capable of identifying speakers on wiretaps from a large database (>500 speakers) with a short search time duration (<30 seconds), and with better than 90% accuracy. Much previous research in speaker recognition has led to algorithms that produced encouraging preliminary results, but were overwhelmed when applied to populations of more than a dozen or so different speakers. The authors are investigating a solution to the ''huge population'' problem by seeking two completely different kinds of characterizing features. These features are extracted using the techniques of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and the continuous wavelet transform (CWT). NLP extracts precise neurological, verbal and non-verbal information, and assimilates the information into useful patterns. These patterns are based on specific cues demonstrated by each individual, and provide ways of determining congruency between verbal and non-verbal cues. The primary NLP modalities are characterized through word spotting (or verbal predicates cues, e.g., see, sound, feel, etc.) while the secondary modalities would be characterized through the speech transcription used by the individual. This has the practical effect of reducing the size of the search space, and greatly speeding up the process of identifying an unknown speaker. The wavelet-based line of investigation concentrates on using vowel phonemes and non-verbal cues, such as tempo. The rationale for concentrating on vowels is there are a limited number of vowels phonemes, and at least one of them usually appears in even the shortest of speech segments. Using the fast, CWT algorithm, the details of both the formant frequency and the glottal excitation characteristics can be easily extracted from voice waveforms. The differences in the glottal excitation waveforms as well as the formant frequency are evident in the CWT output. More significantly, the CWT reveals significant

  7. When speaker identity is unavoidable: Neural processing of speaker identity cues in natural speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuninetti, Alba; Chládková, Kateřina; Peter, Varghese; Schiller, Niels O; Escudero, Paola

    2017-11-01

    Speech sound acoustic properties vary largely across speakers and accents. When perceiving speech, adult listeners normally disregard non-linguistic variation caused by speaker or accent differences, in order to comprehend the linguistic message, e.g. to correctly identify a speech sound or a word. Here we tested whether the process of normalizing speaker and accent differences, facilitating the recognition of linguistic information, is found at the level of neural processing, and whether it is modulated by the listeners' native language. In a multi-deviant oddball paradigm, native and nonnative speakers of Dutch were exposed to naturally-produced Dutch vowels varying in speaker, sex, accent, and phoneme identity. Unexpectedly, the analysis of mismatch negativity (MMN) amplitudes elicited by each type of change shows a large degree of early perceptual sensitivity to non-linguistic cues. This finding on perception of naturally-produced stimuli contrasts with previous studies examining the perception of synthetic stimuli wherein adult listeners automatically disregard acoustic cues to speaker identity. The present finding bears relevance to speech normalization theories, suggesting that at an unattended level of processing, listeners are indeed sensitive to changes in fundamental frequency in natural speech tokens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Unsupervised Speaker Change Detection for Broadcast News Segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kasper Winther; Mølgaard, Lasse Lohilahti; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents a speaker change detection system for news broadcast segmentation based on a vector quantization (VQ) approach. The system does not make any assumption about the number of speakers or speaker identity. The system uses mel frequency cepstral coefficients and change detection...

  9. Accent Attribution in Speakers with Foreign Accent Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, Jo; De Pauw, Guy; Pettinato, Michele; Hirson, Allen; Van Borsel, John; Marien, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The main aim of this experiment was to investigate the perception of Foreign Accent Syndrome in comparison to speakers with an authentic foreign accent. Method: Three groups of listeners attributed accents to conversational speech samples of 5 FAS speakers which were embedded amongst those of 5 speakers with a real foreign accent and 5…

  10. Young Children's Sensitivity to Speaker Gender When Learning from Others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lili; Woolley, Jacqueline D.

    2013-01-01

    This research explores whether young children are sensitive to speaker gender when learning novel information from others. Four- and 6-year-olds ("N" = 144) chose between conflicting statements from a male versus a female speaker (Studies 1 and 3) or decided which speaker (male or female) they would ask (Study 2) when learning about the functions…

  11. Speaker Reliability Guides Children's Inductive Inferences about Novel Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sunae; Kalish, Charles W.; Harris, Paul L.

    2012-01-01

    Prior work shows that children can make inductive inferences about objects based on their labels rather than their appearance (Gelman, 2003). A separate line of research shows that children's trust in a speaker's label is selective. Children accept labels from a reliable speaker over an unreliable speaker (e.g., Koenig & Harris, 2005). In the…

  12. Unique Contributions of Maternal Reading Proficiency to Predicting Children's Preschool Receptive Vocabulary and Reading Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Linda M.; Norris, Stephen P.; Hayward, Denyse V.; Lovell, Meridith A.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated whether mothers' measured reading proficiency and their educational level predict, over and above each other, their children's receptive vocabulary and reading proficiency when confounding factors of speaking a minority language, ethnicity, number of children in the family, and marital and employment status are controlled.…

  13. Assessment of Preschoolers' Gross Motor Proficiency: Revisiting Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Hazel Mei Yung

    2011-01-01

    Literature reveals that there are very few validated motor proficiency tests for young children. According to Gallahue and Ozmun, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency is a valid test. However, manipulative skills, which are classified as gross motor skills by most motor development specialists, are only tested in the Upper Limb…

  14. Vocal caricatures reveal signatures of speaker identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Sabrina; Riera, Pablo; Assaneo, María Florencia; Eguía, Manuel; Sigman, Mariano; Trevisan, Marcos A.

    2013-12-01

    What are the features that impersonators select to elicit a speaker's identity? We built a voice database of public figures (targets) and imitations produced by professional impersonators. They produced one imitation based on their memory of the target (caricature) and another one after listening to the target audio (replica). A set of naive participants then judged identity and similarity of pairs of voices. Identity was better evoked by the caricatures and replicas were perceived to be closer to the targets in terms of voice similarity. We used this data to map relevant acoustic dimensions for each task. Our results indicate that speaker identity is mainly associated with vocal tract features, while perception of voice similarity is related to vocal folds parameters. We therefore show the way in which acoustic caricatures emphasize identity features at the cost of loosing similarity, which allows drawing an analogy with caricatures in the visual space.

  15. Methods of Speakers\\' Effects on the Audience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    فریبا حسینی

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Methods of Speakers' Effects on the Audience    Nasrollah Shameli *   Fariba Hosayni **     Abstract   This article is focused on four issues. The first issue is related to the speaker's external appearance including the beauty of face, the power of his voice, moves and signals by hand, the stick and eyebrow as well as the height. Such characteristics could have an important effect on the audience. The second issue is related to internal features of the speaker. These include the ethics of the preacher , his/her piety and intention on the speakers based on their personalities, habits and emotions, knowledge and culture, and speed of learning. The third issue is concerned with the appearance of the lecture. Words should be clear enough as well as being mixed with Quranic verses, poetry and proverbs. The final issue is related to the content. It is argued that the subject of the talk should be in accordance with the level of understanding of listeners as well as being new and interesting for them.   3 - A phenomenon rhetoric: It was noted in this section How to give words and phrases so that these words and phrases are clear, correct, mixed in parables, governance and Quranic verses, and appropriate their meaning.   4 - the content of Oratory : It was noted in this section to the topic of Oratory and say that the Oratory should be the theme commensurate with the minds of audiences and also should mean that agree with the case may be, then I say: that the rhetoric if the theme was innovative and new is affecting more and more on the audience.     Key words : Oratory , Preacher , Audience, Influence of speech     * Associate Professor, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Isfahan E-mail: Dr-Nasrolla Shameli@Yahoo.com   * * M.A. in Arabic Language and Literature from Isfahan University E-mail: faribahosayni@yahoo.com

  16. Physiological responses at short distances from a parametric speaker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Soomin

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In recent years, parametric speakers have been used in various circumstances. In our previous studies, we verified that the physiological burden of the sound of parametric speaker set at 2.6 m from the subjects was lower than that of the general speaker. However, nothing has yet been demonstrated about the effects of the sound of a parametric speaker at the shorter distance between parametric speakers the human body. Therefore, we studied this effect on physiological functions and task performance. Nine male subjects participated in this study. They completed three consecutive sessions: a 20-minute quiet period as a baseline, a 30-minute mental task period with general speakers or parametric speakers, and a 20-minute recovery period. We measured electrocardiogram (ECG photoplethysmogram (PTG, electroencephalogram (EEG, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Four experiments, one with a speaker condition (general speaker and parametric speaker, the other with a distance condition (0.3 m and 1.0 m, were conducted respectively at the same time of day on separate days. To examine the effects of the speaker and distance, three-way repeated measures ANOVA (speaker factor x distance factor x time factor were conducted. In conclusion, we found that the physiological responses were not significantly different between the speaker condition and the distance condition. Meanwhile, it was shown that the physiological burdens increased with progress in time independently of speaker condition and distance condition. In summary, the effects of the parametric speaker at the 2.6 m distance were not obtained at the distance of 1 m or less.

  17. English Speakers Attend More Strongly than Spanish Speakers to Manner of Motion when Classifying Novel Objects and Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersten, Alan W.; Meissner, Christian A.; Lechuga, Julia; Schwartz, Bennett L.; Albrechtsen, Justin S.; Iglesias, Adam

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments provide evidence that the conceptualization of moving objects and events is influenced by one's native language, consistent with linguistic relativity theory. Monolingual English speakers and bilingual Spanish/English speakers tested in an English-speaking context performed better than monolingual Spanish speakers and bilingual…

  18. Grammatical Planning Units during Real-Time Sentence Production in Speakers with Agrammatic Aphasia and Healthy Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jiyeon; Yoshida, Masaya; Thompson, Cynthia K.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Grammatical encoding (GE) is impaired in agrammatic aphasia; however, the nature of such deficits remains unclear. We examined grammatical planning units during real-time sentence production in speakers with agrammatic aphasia and control speakers, testing two competing models of GE. We queried whether speakers with agrammatic aphasia…

  19. A system of automatic speaker recognition on a minicomputer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Chafei, Cherif

    1978-01-01

    This study describes a system of automatic speaker recognition using the pitch of the voice. The pre-treatment consists in the extraction of the speakers' discriminating characteristics taken from the pitch. The programme of recognition gives, firstly, a preselection and then calculates the distance between the speaker's characteristics to be recognized and those of the speakers already recorded. An experience of recognition has been realized. It has been undertaken with 15 speakers and included 566 tests spread over an intermittent period of four months. The discriminating characteristics used offer several interesting qualities. The algorithms concerning the measure of the characteristics on one hand, the speakers' classification on the other hand, are simple. The results obtained in real time with a minicomputer are satisfactory. Furthermore they probably could be improved if we considered other speaker's discriminating characteristics but this was unfortunately not in our possibilities. (author) [fr

  20. Pitch perception and production in congenital amusia: Evidence from Cantonese speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fang; Chan, Alice H D; Ciocca, Valter; Roquet, Catherine; Peretz, Isabelle; Wong, Patrick C M

    2016-07-01

    This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by independent listeners, and subjected to acoustic analyses. Relative to controls, amusics showed impaired discrimination of lexical tones in both speech and non-speech conditions. They also received lower ratings for singing proficiency, producing larger pitch interval deviations and making more pitch interval errors compared to controls. Demonstrating higher pitch direction identification thresholds than controls for both speech syllables and piano tones, amusics nevertheless produced native lexical tones with comparable pitch trajectories and intelligibility as controls. Significant correlations were found between pitch threshold and lexical tone perception, music perception and production, but not between lexical tone perception and production for amusics. These findings provide further evidence that congenital amusia is a domain-general language-independent pitch-processing deficit that is associated with severely impaired music perception and production, mildly impaired speech perception, and largely intact speech production.

  1. Beyond English Proficiency: Rethinking Immigrant Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akresh, Ilana Redstone; Massey, Douglas S.; Frank, Reanne

    2014-01-01

    We develop and test a conceptual model of English language acquisition and the strength of the latter in predicting social and cultural assimilation. We present evidence that the path to English proficiency begins with exposure to English in the home country and on prior U.S. trips. English proficiency, then, has direct links to the intermediate migration outcomes of occupational status in the U.S., the amount of time in the U.S. since the most recent trip, and the co-ethnic residential context in the U.S. In turn, pre-migration characteristics and the intermediate characteristics work in tandem with English proficiency to determine social assimilation in the U.S., while cultural assimilation is primarily determined by pre-migration habits. A shift in focus to English use is desirable in studies of immigrant integration. PMID:24576636

  2. Learners' Perspectives on Networked Collaborative Interaction With Native Speakers of Spanish in the US

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Lee

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I discuss a network-based collaborative project that focused on the learning conditions non-native speakers (NNSs of Spanish perceived to be necessary to satisfactoraly communicate with native speakers (NSs. Data from online discussions, end-of-semester surveys, and final oral interviews are presented and discussed. The results of this study demonstrated that the NNS and NS online collaboration promoted the scaffolding by which the NSs assisted the NNSs in composing meaning (ideas and form (grammar. In addition, the NNSs praised the unique learning condition of being exposed to a wide range of functional language discourse produced by the NSs. Students perceived that open-ended questions for two-way exchange were meaningful for them because they were encouraged to use specific vocabulary and structures during the discussions. In spite of the positive conditions and benefits created by networked collaborative interaction (NCI, it was found that there were some major issues that are crucial for NCI. This study demonstrates that learners' language proficiency, computer skills, and age differences are important factors to be considered when incorporating institutional NCI as these may linguistically and socially affect the quality of online negotiation and students' motivation toward NCI. Practical ideas for further research are suggested.

  3. Barriers beyond words: cancer, culture, and translation in a community of Russian speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohan, Daniel; Levintova, Marya

    2007-11-01

    Language and culture relate in complex ways. Addressing this complexity in the context of language translation is a challenge when caring for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). To examine processes of care related to language, culture and translation in an LEP population is the objective of this study. We used community based participatory research to examine the experiences of Russian-speaking cancer patients in San Francisco, California. A Russian Cancer Information Taskforce (RCIT), including community-based organizations, local government, and clinics, participated in all phases of the study. A purposeful sample of 74 individuals were the participants of the study. The RCIT shaped research themes and facilitated access to participants. Methods were focus groups, individual interviews, and participant observation. RCIT reviewed data and provided guidance in interpreting results. Four themes emerged. (1) Local Russian-language resources were seen as inadequate and relatively unavailable compared to other non-English languages; (2) a taboo about the word "cancer" led to language "games" surrounding disclosure; (3) this taboo, and other dynamics of care, reflected expectations that Russian speakers derived from experiences in their countries of origin; (4) using interpreters as cultural brokers or establishing support groups for Russian speakers could help address barriers. The language barriers experienced by this LEP population reflect cultural and linguistic issues. Providers should consider partnering with trained interpreters to address the intertwining of language and culture.

  4. A Cardiovascular Health Intervention for Spanish Speakers: The Health Literacy and ESL Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto Mas, Francisco; Schmitt, Cheryl L; Jacobson, Holly E; Myers, Orrin B

    2018-02-10

    Spanish speakers in the United States are in need of effective interventions that address both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and health literacy. However, the literature lacks interventions that have used and evaluated a strategies that focus on both, particularly at the community level. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of a health literacy curriculum on cardiovascular health behavior among Spanish speaking adults. It used a randomized controlled pre-posttest design. Participants included Hispanic adults with a low-to-intermediate level of English proficiency. The intervention group received the health literacy and English as a second language (ESL) Curriculum with CVD specific content, while the control group received a conventional ESL curriculum. Tools included the Spanish Cardiovascular Health Questionnaire (CSC), the test of functional health literacy in adults (TOFHLA), and the Combined English Language Skills Assessment. Analysis of change scores included independent sample t test and multiple linear regression. A total of 155 participants completed the study. There was a significant greater improvement for the intervention group in change of CSC score from pretest to posttest (P = 0.049) compared to controls. The study also found significantly improved TOFHLA (P = 0.011), however it did not find a relationship between changes in CVD behavior and health literacy or English proficiency. The Health Literacy and ESL Curriculum constitutes a valuable resource for addressing the cardiovascular health, literacy, and language needs of Spanish-speaking adults. Interventions that take a multilevel education and health approach may be more effective in addressing the needs of immigrants. Research should further explore the interactions between CVD behavior, health literacy, and English proficiency.

  5. Speaker-dependent Dictionary-based Speech Enhancement for Text-Dependent Speaker Verification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Nicolai Bæk; Thomsen, Dennis Alexander Lehmann; Tan, Zheng-Hua

    2016-01-01

    not perform well in this setting. In this work we compare the performance of different noise reduction methods under different noise conditions in terms of speaker verification when the text is known and the system is trained on clean data (mis-matched conditions). We furthermore propose a new approach based......The problem of text-dependent speaker verification under noisy conditions is becoming ever more relevant, due to increased usage for authentication in real-world applications. Classical methods for noise reduction such as spectral subtraction and Wiener filtering introduce distortion and do...... on dictionary-based noise reduction and compare it to the baseline methods....

  6. Speaker's voice as a memory cue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campeanu, Sandra; Craik, Fergus I M; Alain, Claude

    2015-02-01

    Speaker's voice occupies a central role as the cornerstone of auditory social interaction. Here, we review the evidence suggesting that speaker's voice constitutes an integral context cue in auditory memory. Investigation into the nature of voice representation as a memory cue is essential to understanding auditory memory and the neural correlates which underlie it. Evidence from behavioral and electrophysiological studies suggest that while specific voice reinstatement (i.e., same speaker) often appears to facilitate word memory even without attention to voice at study, the presence of a partial benefit of similar voices between study and test is less clear. In terms of explicit memory experiments utilizing unfamiliar voices, encoding methods appear to play a pivotal role. Voice congruency effects have been found when voice is specifically attended at study (i.e., when relatively shallow, perceptual encoding takes place). These behavioral findings coincide with neural indices of memory performance such as the parietal old/new recollection effect and the late right frontal effect. The former distinguishes between correctly identified old words and correctly identified new words, and reflects voice congruency only when voice is attended at study. Characterization of the latter likely depends upon voice memory, rather than word memory. There is also evidence to suggest that voice effects can be found in implicit memory paradigms. However, the presence of voice effects appears to depend greatly on the task employed. Using a word identification task, perceptual similarity between study and test conditions is, like for explicit memory tests, crucial. In addition, the type of noise employed appears to have a differential effect. While voice effects have been observed when white noise is used at both study and test, using multi-talker babble does not confer the same results. In terms of neuroimaging research modulations, characterization of an implicit memory effect

  7. Speaker diarization system using HXLPS and deep neural network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Subba Ramaiah

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In general, speaker diarization is defined as the process of segmenting the input speech signal and grouped the homogenous regions with regard to the speaker identity. The main idea behind this system is that it is able to discriminate the speaker signal by assigning the label of the each speaker signal. Due to rapid growth of broadcasting and meeting, the speaker diarization is burdensome to enhance the readability of the speech transcription. In order to solve this issue, Holoentropy with the eXtended Linear Prediction using autocorrelation Snapshot (HXLPS and deep neural network (DNN is proposed for the speaker diarization system. The HXLPS extraction method is newly developed by incorporating the Holoentropy with the XLPS. Once we attain the features, the speech and non-speech signals are detected by the Voice Activity Detection (VAD method. Then, i-vector representation of every segmented signal is obtained using Universal Background Model (UBM model. Consequently, DNN is utilized to assign the label for the speaker signal which is then clustered according to the speaker label. The performance is analysed using the evaluation metrics, such as tracking distance, false alarm rate and diarization error rate. The outcome of the proposed method ensures the better diarization performance by achieving the lower DER of 1.36% based on lambda value and DER of 2.23% depends on the frame length. Keywords: Speaker diarization, HXLPS feature extraction, Voice activity detection, Deep neural network, Speaker clustering, Diarization Error Rate (DER

  8. The correlation between motor proficiency and physical activity in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lizl-Louise van Niekerk

    eOseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2 (BOT-2) for motor proficiency, and the International. Physical Activity ... Pienaar, 2007; Malina, 2012). ..... sults of Hardy, Reinten-Reynolds, Espinel, Zask, and Okely .... Journal of Psychiatric and Mental.

  9. Communication Interface for Mexican Spanish Dysarthric Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladys Bonilla-Enriquez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available La disartria es una discapacidad motora del habla caracterizada por debilidad o poca coordinación de los músculos del habla. Esta condición puede ser causada por un infarto, parálisis cerebral, o por una lesión severa en el cerebro. Para mexicanos con esta condición hay muy pocas, si es que hay alguna, tecnologías de asistencia para mejorar sus habilidades sociales de interacción. En este artículo presentamos nuestros avances hacia el desarrollo de una interfazde comunicación para hablantes con disartria cuya lengua materna sea el español mexicano. La metodología propuesta depende de (1 diseño especial de un corpus de entrenamiento con voz normal y recursos limitados, (2 adaptación de usuario estándar, y (3 control de la perplejidad del modelo de lenguaje para lograr alta precisión en el Reconocimiento Automático del Habla (RAH. La interfaz permite al usuario y terapéuta el realizar actividades como adaptación dinámica de usuario, adaptación de vocabulario, y síntesis de texto a voz. Pruebas en vivo fueron realizadas con un usuario con disartria leve, logrando precisiones de 93%-95% para habla espontánea.Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder due to weakness or poor coordination of the speechmuscles. This condition can be caused by a stroke, cerebral palsy, or by a traumatic braininjury. For Mexican people with this condition there are few, if any, assistive technologies to improve their social interaction skills. In this paper we present our advances towards the development of a communication interface for dysarthric speakers whose native language is Mexican Spanish. We propose a methodology that relies on (1 special design of a training normal-speech corpus with limited resources, (2 standard speaker adaptation, and (3 control of language model perplexity, to achieve high Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR accuracy. The interface allows the user and therapist to perform tasks such as dynamic speaker adaptation, vocabulary

  10. From Universal Access to Universal Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Anne C.

    2003-01-01

    Panel of five education experts--Elliot Eisner, John Goodlad, Patricia Graham, Phillip Schlechty, and Warren Simons--answer questions related to recent school reform efforts, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, aimed at achieving universal educational proficiency. (PKP)

  11. Measuring receptive collocational competence across proficiency ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kate H

    frequency bands. A proficiency measure and a collocation test were administered to English ... battery may negatively impact the test-takers' performance. ..... examples. The major finding is that raising learners' awareness constitutes the best way forward ..... Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Green, R.

  12. Proficiency test for paracitides in salmon muscle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbers, I.J.W.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this proficiency study was to give laboratories the possibility to evaluate or demonstrate their competence for the analysis of parasiticides in salmon muscle. This study also provided an evaluation of the methods applied for the quantitative analysis of parasiticides in salmon muscle.

  13. Proficiency Testing in Nondestructive Testing (NDT)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amry Amin Abbas; Suhairy Sani; Mohamad Pauzi Ismail; Abd Nassir Ibrahim

    2014-01-01

    Department of Standard Malaysia (DSM) launched myPTP programme on 31 December 2013 in accordance to ISO/IC 17043. The standard states the requirements for Proficiency Testing. The provider of these services is called Proficiency Testing Provider (PTP). The role of PTP is to compare the proficiency level between inspection bodies or laboratories. With the assistance of expert panel, the PTP will determine the assigned value as reference to be compared to the values obtained from the inspection bodies or laboratories. Quality wise, this services is important as participation will improve wuality of the inspection quality continuously and increase confidence level of client and improve safety level. Requirement of PT in NDT is mentioned in SC1.5- Specific Criteria for Accreditation of Mechanical Testing and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) for MS ISO/IEC17025 and MTR2- MIBAS Technical Requirements for Accreditation of NDT. This paper explains and discusses the result of this proficiency test done on a number of NDT companies that participated. (author)

  14. It Really Works: Cultural Communication Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Ruth, Ed.

    This paper describes the cultural communication proficiency method of indigenous language instruction, developed at Humboldt State University's Center for Indian Community Development (California), and demonstrates the method with five Hupa lesson plans. The method is based on three principles: that Native American students learn by doing, learn…

  15. The Oral Proficiency Interview: A Research Agenda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalhoub-Deville, Micheline; Fulcher, Glenn

    2003-01-01

    Many researchers and practitioners maintain that ACTFL's efforts to improve instructional practices and promote proficiency assessments tied to descriptors of what learners can do in real life have contributed significantly to second language teaching and testing. Similar endeavors in the area of research, however, are critically needed. Focusing…

  16. 14 CFR 61.98 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight proficiency. 61.98 Section 61.98 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIRMEN...) Navigation; (viii) Slow flight and stalls; (ix) Emergency operations; and (x) Postflight procedures. (2) For...

  17. 14 CFR 61.107 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight proficiency. 61.107 Section 61.107 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIRMEN... reference maneuvers; (vii) Navigation; (viii) Slow flight and stalls; (ix) Basic instrument maneuvers; (x...

  18. 14 CFR 61.127 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight proficiency. 61.127 Section 61.127 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIRMEN...; (x) High-altitude operations; and (xi) Postflight procedures. (2) For an airplane category rating...

  19. 34 CFR 300.27 - Limited English proficient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Limited English proficient. 300.27 Section 300.27... CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES General Definitions Used in This Part § 300.27 Limited English proficient. Limited English proficient has the meaning given the term in section 9101(25) of the ESEA. (Authority: 20...

  20. A Validation Study of the Student Oral Proficiency Assessment (SOPA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Lynn E.; Kenyon, Dorry M.; Rhodes, Nancy C.

    This study validated the Student Oral Proficiency Assessment (SOPA), an oral proficiency instrument designed for students in elementary foreign language programs. Elementary students who were tested with the SOPA were also administered other instruments designed to measure proficiency. These instruments included the Stanford Foreign Language Oral…

  1. Proverb Comprehension as a Function of Reading Proficiency in Preadolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nippold, Marilyn A.; Allen, Melissa M.; Kirsch, Dixon I.

    2001-01-01

    Proverb comprehension through reading was examined in 42 preadolescent students, 24 of whom were identified as "proficient readers," and 18 as "less proficient readers." Comprehension on both unfamiliar concrete and abstract proverbs was associated with reading proficiency, word knowledge, and analogical reasoning. (Contains references.)…

  2. Improving Speaker Recognition by Biometric Voice Deconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Miguel eMazaira-Fernández

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Person identification, especially in critical environments, has always been a subject of great interest. However, it has gained a new dimension in a world threatened by a new kind of terrorism that uses social networks (e.g. YouTube to broadcast its message. In this new scenario, classical identification methods (such fingerprints or face recognition have been forcedly replaced by alternative biometric characteristics such as voice, as sometimes this is the only feature available. Through the present paper, a new methodology to characterize speakers will be shown. This methodology is benefiting from the advances achieved during the last years in understanding and modelling voice production. The paper hypothesizes that a gender dependent characterization of speakers combined with the use of a new set of biometric parameters extracted from the components resulting from the deconstruction of the voice into its glottal source and vocal tract estimates, will enhance recognition rates when compared to classical approaches. A general description about the main hypothesis and the methodology followed to extract gender-dependent extended biometric parameters are given. Experimental validation is carried out both on a highly controlled acoustic condition database, and on a mobile phone network recorded under non-controlled acoustic conditions.

  3. Real Time Recognition Of Speakers From Internet Audio Stream

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weychan Radoslaw

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present an automatic speaker recognition technique with the use of the Internet radio lossy (encoded speech signal streams. We show an influence of the audio encoder (e.g., bitrate on the speaker model quality. The model of each speaker was calculated with the use of the Gaussian mixture model (GMM approach. Both the speaker recognition and the further analysis were realized with the use of short utterances to facilitate real time processing. The neighborhoods of the speaker models were analyzed with the use of the ISOMAP algorithm. The experiments were based on four 1-hour public debates with 7–8 speakers (including the moderator, acquired from the Polish radio Internet services. The presented software was developed with the MATLAB environment.

  4. Effect of lisping on audience evaluation of male speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowrer, D E; Wahl, P; Doolan, S J

    1978-05-01

    The social consequences of adult listeners' first impression of lisping were evaluated in two studies. Five adult speakers were rated by adult listeners with regard to speaking ability, intelligence, education, masculinity, and friendship. Results from both studies indicate that listeners rate adult speakers who demonstrate frontal lisping lower than nonlispers in all five categories investigated. Efforts to correct frontal lisping are justifiable on the basis of the poor impression lisping speakers make on the listener.

  5. The Speaker Gender Gap at Critical Care Conferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Sangeeta; Rose, Louise; Cook, Deborah; Herridge, Margaret; Owais, Sawayra; Metaxa, Victoria

    2018-06-01

    To review women's participation as faculty at five critical care conferences over 7 years. Retrospective analysis of five scientific programs to identify the proportion of females and each speaker's profession based on conference conveners, program documents, or internet research. Three international (European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, Society of Critical Care Medicine) and two national (Critical Care Canada Forum, U.K. Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting) annual critical care conferences held between 2010 and 2016. Female faculty speakers. None. Male speakers outnumbered female speakers at all five conferences, in all 7 years. Overall, women represented 5-31% of speakers, and female physicians represented 5-26% of speakers. Nursing and allied health professional faculty represented 0-25% of speakers; in general, more than 50% of allied health professionals were women. Over the 7 years, Society of Critical Care Medicine had the highest representation of female (27% overall) and nursing/allied health professional (16-25%) speakers; notably, male physicians substantially outnumbered female physicians in all years (62-70% vs 10-19%, respectively). Women's representation on conference program committees ranged from 0% to 40%, with Society of Critical Care Medicine having the highest representation of women (26-40%). The female proportions of speakers, physician speakers, and program committee members increased significantly over time at the Society of Critical Care Medicine and U.K. Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting conferences (p gap at critical care conferences, with male faculty outnumbering female faculty. This gap is more marked among physician speakers than those speakers representing nursing and allied health professionals. Several organizational strategies can address this gender gap.

  6. On the improvement of speaker diarization by detecting overlapped speech

    OpenAIRE

    Hernando Pericás, Francisco Javier; Hernando Pericás, Francisco Javier

    2010-01-01

    Simultaneous speech in meeting environment is responsible for a certain amount of errors caused by standard speaker diarization systems. We are presenting an overlap detection system for far-field data based on spectral and spatial features, where the spatial features obtained on different microphone pairs are fused by means of principal component analysis. Detected overlap segments are applied for speaker diarization in order to increase the purity of speaker clusters an...

  7. Speaker-dependent Multipitch Tracking Using Deep Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    sentences spoken by each of 34 speakers (18 male, 16 female). Two male and two female speakers (No. 1, 2, 18, 20, same as [30]), denoted as MA1, MA2 ...Engineering Technical Report #12, 2015 Speaker Pairs MA1- MA2 MA1-FE1 MA1-FE2 MA2 -FE1 MA2 -FE2 FE1-FE2 E T ot al 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Jin and Wang Hu and...Pitch 1 Estimated Pitch 2 (d) Figure 6: Multipitch tracking results on a test mixture (pbbv6n and priv3n) for the MA1- MA2 speaker pair. (a) Groundtruth

  8. Learning speaker-specific characteristics with a deep neural architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ke; Salman, Ahmad

    2011-11-01

    Speech signals convey various yet mixed information ranging from linguistic to speaker-specific information. However, most of acoustic representations characterize all different kinds of information as whole, which could hinder either a speech or a speaker recognition (SR) system from producing a better performance. In this paper, we propose a novel deep neural architecture (DNA) especially for learning speaker-specific characteristics from mel-frequency cepstral coefficients, an acoustic representation commonly used in both speech recognition and SR, which results in a speaker-specific overcomplete representation. In order to learn intrinsic speaker-specific characteristics, we come up with an objective function consisting of contrastive losses in terms of speaker similarity/dissimilarity and data reconstruction losses used as regularization to normalize the interference of non-speaker-related information. Moreover, we employ a hybrid learning strategy for learning parameters of the deep neural networks: i.e., local yet greedy layerwise unsupervised pretraining for initialization and global supervised learning for the ultimate discriminative goal. With four Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) benchmarks and two non-English corpora, we demonstrate that our overcomplete representation is robust in characterizing various speakers, no matter whether their utterances have been used in training our DNA, and highly insensitive to text and languages spoken. Extensive comparative studies suggest that our approach yields favorite results in speaker verification and segmentation. Finally, we discuss several issues concerning our proposed approach.

  9. Comparison of Diarization Tools for Building Speaker Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Kiktova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper compares open source diarization toolkits (LIUM, DiarTK, ALIZE-Lia_Ral, which were designed for extraction of speaker identity from audio records without any prior information about the analysed data. The comparative study of used diarization tools was performed for three different types of analysed data (broadcast news - BN and TV shows. Corresponding values of achieved DER measure are presented here. The automatic speaker diarization system developed by LIUM was able to identified speech segments belonging to speakers at very good level. Its segmentation outputs can be used to build a speaker database.

  10. Speaker Clustering for a Mixture of Singing and Reading (Preprint)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-01

    diarization [2, 3] which answers the ques- tion of ”who spoke when?” is a combination of speaker segmentation and clustering. Although it is possible to...focuses on speaker clustering, the techniques developed here can be applied to speaker diarization . For the remainder of this paper, the term ”speech...and retrieval,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 88, 2000. [2] S. Tranter and D. Reynolds, “An overview of automatic speaker diarization systems,” IEEE

  11. An ERP study of second language learning after childhood: effects of proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojima, Shiro; Nakata, Hiroki; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2005-08-01

    Whether there is an absolute critical period for acquiring language is a matter of continuous debate. One approach to address this issue is to compare the processes of second language (L2) learning after childhood and those of first language (L1) learning during childhood. To study the cortical process of postchildhood L2 learning, we compared event-related brain potentials recorded from two groups of adult Japanese speakers who attained either high or intermediate proficiency in English after childhood (J-High and J-Low), and adult native English speakers (ENG). Semantic anomalies embedded in English sentences evoked a clear N400 component in all three groups, with only the time course of the brain activation varying among the groups. Syntactic violations elicited a left-lateralized negativity similar to the left anterior negativity in ENG and J-High, but not in J-Low. In ENG, a P600 component was additionally found. These results suggest that semantic processing is robust from early on in L2 learning, whereas the development of syntactic processing is more dependent on proficiency as evidenced by the lack of the left-lateralized negativity in J-Low. Because early maturation and stability of semantic processing as opposed to syntactic processing are also a feature of L1 processing, postchildhood L2 learning may be governed by the same brain properties as those which govern childhood L1 learning. We argue that these processes are qualitatively similar in many respects, with only restricted domains of language processing being subject to absolute critical period effects.

  12. Encouraging Students to Engage with Native Speakers during Study Abroad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadd, Marc

    2012-01-01

    Students, their parents, and educators trust that a study-abroad experience is the best way to increase linguistic proficiency. The professional literature, however, shows a much more complex picture. Gains in linguistic proficiency appear to depend on variables such as whether the students experience a homestay or dormitory, the length of time…

  13. Affective processing in bilingual speakers: disembodied cognition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlenko, Aneta

    2012-01-01

    A recent study by Keysar, Hayakawa, and An (2012) suggests that "thinking in a foreign language" may reduce decision biases because a foreign language provides a greater emotional distance than a native tongue. The possibility of such "disembodied" cognition is of great interest for theories of affect and cognition and for many other areas of psychological theory and practice, from clinical and forensic psychology to marketing, but first this claim needs to be properly evaluated. The purpose of this review is to examine the findings of clinical, introspective, cognitive, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging studies of affective processing in bilingual speakers in order to identify converging patterns of results, to evaluate the claim about "disembodied cognition," and to outline directions for future inquiry. The findings to date reveal two interrelated processing effects. First-language (L1) advantage refers to increased automaticity of affective processing in the L1 and heightened electrodermal reactivity to L1 emotion-laden words. Second-language (L2) advantage refers to decreased automaticity of affective processing in the L2, which reduces interference effects and lowers electrodermal reactivity to negative emotional stimuli. The differences in L1 and L2 affective processing suggest that in some bilingual speakers, in particular late bilinguals and foreign language users, respective languages may be differentially embodied, with the later learned language processed semantically but not affectively. This difference accounts for the reduction of framing biases in L2 processing in the study by Keysar et al. (2012). The follow-up discussion identifies the limits of the findings to date in terms of participant populations, levels of processing, and types of stimuli, puts forth alternative explanations of the documented effects, and articulates predictions to be tested in future research.

  14. Differences in Sickness Allowance Receipt between Swedish Speakers and Finnish Speakers in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaarina S. Reini

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous research has documented lower disability retirement and mortality rates of Swedish speakers as compared with Finnish speakers in Finland. This paper is the first to compare the two language groups with regard to the receipt of sickness allowance, which is an objective health measure that reflects a less severe poor health condition. Register-based data covering the years 1988-2011 are used. We estimate logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations to account for repeated observations at the individual level. We find that Swedish-speaking men have approximately 30 percent lower odds of receiving sickness allowance than Finnish-speaking men, whereas the difference in women is about 15 percent. In correspondence with previous research on all-cause mortality at working ages, we find no language-group difference in sickness allowance receipt in the socially most successful subgroup of the population.

  15. Evaluation of Mycology Laboratory Proficiency Testing

    OpenAIRE

    Reilly, Andrew A.; Salkin, Ira F.; McGinnis, Michael R.; Gromadzki, Sally; Pasarell, Lester; Kemna, Maggi; Higgins, Nancy; Salfinger, Max

    1999-01-01

    Changes over the last decade in overt proficiency testing (OPT) regulations have been ostensibly directed at improving laboratory performance on patient samples. However, the overt (unblinded) format of the tests and regulatory penalties associated with incorrect values allow and encourage laboratorians to take extra precautions with OPT analytes. As a result OPT may measure optimal laboratory performance instead of the intended target of typical performance attained during routine patient te...

  16. The Status of Native Speaker Intuitions in a Polylectal Grammar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debose, Charles E.

    A study of one speaker's intuitions about and performance in Black English is presented with relation to Saussure's "langue-parole" dichotomy. Native speakers of a language have intuitions about the static synchronic entities although the data of their speaking is variable and panchronic. These entities are in a diglossic relationship to each…

  17. Optimization of multilayer neural network parameters for speaker recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tovarek, Jaromir; Partila, Pavol; Rozhon, Jan; Voznak, Miroslav; Skapa, Jan; Uhrin, Dominik; Chmelikova, Zdenka

    2016-05-01

    This article discusses the impact of multilayer neural network parameters for speaker identification. The main task of speaker identification is to find a specific person in the known set of speakers. It means that the voice of an unknown speaker (wanted person) belongs to a group of reference speakers from the voice database. One of the requests was to develop the text-independent system, which means to classify wanted person regardless of content and language. Multilayer neural network has been used for speaker identification in this research. Artificial neural network (ANN) needs to set parameters like activation function of neurons, steepness of activation functions, learning rate, the maximum number of iterations and a number of neurons in the hidden and output layers. ANN accuracy and validation time are directly influenced by the parameter settings. Different roles require different settings. Identification accuracy and ANN validation time were evaluated with the same input data but different parameter settings. The goal was to find parameters for the neural network with the highest precision and shortest validation time. Input data of neural networks are a Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCC). These parameters describe the properties of the vocal tract. Audio samples were recorded for all speakers in a laboratory environment. Training, testing and validation data set were split into 70, 15 and 15 %. The result of the research described in this article is different parameter setting for the multilayer neural network for four speakers.

  18. Speaker and Observer Perceptions of Physical Tension during Stuttering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tichenor, Seth; Leslie, Paula; Shaiman, Susan; Yaruss, J Scott

    2017-01-01

    Speech-language pathologists routinely assess physical tension during evaluation of those who stutter. If speakers experience tension that is not visible to clinicians, then judgments of severity may be inaccurate. This study addressed this potential discrepancy by comparing judgments of tension by people who stutter and expert clinicians to determine if clinicians could accurately identify the speakers' experience of physical tension. Ten adults who stutter were audio-video recorded in two speaking samples. Two board-certified specialists in fluency evaluated the samples using the Stuttering Severity Instrument-4 and a checklist adapted for this study. Speakers rated their tension using the same forms, and then discussed their experiences in a qualitative interview so that themes related to physical tension could be identified. The degree of tension reported by speakers was higher than that observed by specialists. Tension in parts of the body that were less visible to the observer (chest, abdomen, throat) was reported more by speakers than by specialists. The thematic analysis revealed that speakers' experience of tension changes over time and that these changes may be related to speakers' acceptance of stuttering. The lack of agreement between speaker and specialist perceptions of tension suggests that using self-reports is a necessary component for supporting the accurate diagnosis of tension in stuttering. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Request Strategies in Everyday Interactions of Persian and English Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiler Yazdanfar

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Cross-cultural studies of speech acts in different linguistic contexts might have interesting implications for language researchers and practitioners. Drawing on the Speech Act Theory, the present study aimed at conducting a comparative study of request speech act in Persian and English. Specifically, the study endeavored to explore the request strategies used in daily interactions of Persian and English speakers based on directness level and supportive moves. To this end, English and Persian TV series were observed and requestive utterances were transcribed. The utterances were then categorized based on Blum-Kulka and Olshtain’s Cross-Cultural Study of Speech Act Realization Pattern (CCSARP for directness level and internal and external mitigation devises. According to the results, although speakers of both languages opted for the direct level as their most frequently used strategy in their daily interactions, the English speakers used more conventionally indirect strategies than the Persian speakers did, and the Persian speakers used more non-conventionally indirect strategies than the English speakers did. Furthermore, the analyzed data revealed the fact that American English speakers use more mitigation devices in their daily interactions with friends and family members than Persian speakers.

  20. Visual speaker gender affects vowel identification in Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Charlotte; Tøndering, John

    2013-01-01

    The experiment examined the effect of visual speaker gender on the vowel perception of 20 native Danish-speaking subjects. Auditory stimuli consisting of a continuum between /muːlə/ ‘muzzle’ and /moːlə/ ‘pier’ generated using TANDEM-STRAIGHT matched with video clips of a female and a male speaker...

  1. Dysprosody and Stimulus Effects in Cantonese Speakers with Parkinson's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Joan K.-Y.; Whitehill, Tara; Cheung, Katherine S.-K.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Dysprosody is a common feature in speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria. However, speech prosody varies across different types of speech materials. This raises the question of what is the most appropriate speech material for the evaluation of dysprosody. Aims: To characterize the prosodic impairment in Cantonese speakers with…

  2. Teaching Portuguese to Spanish Speakers: A Case for Trilingualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Ana M.; Freire, Juliana Luna; da Silva, Antonio J. B.

    2010-01-01

    Portuguese is the sixth-most-spoken native language in the world, with approximately 240,000,000 speakers. Within the United States, there is a growing demand for K-12 language programs to engage the community of Portuguese heritage speakers. According to the 2000 U.S. census, 85,000 school-age children speak Portuguese at home. As a result, more…

  3. Profiles of an Acquisition Generation: Nontraditional Heritage Speakers of Spanish

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFeo, Dayna Jean

    2018-01-01

    Though definitions vary, the literature on heritage speakers of Spanish identifies two primary attributes: a linguistic and cultural connection to the language. This article profiles four Anglo college students who grew up in bilingual or Spanish-dominant communities in the Southwest who self-identified as Spanish heritage speakers, citing…

  4. Progress in the AMIDA speaker diarization system for meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van; Konečný, M.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we describe the AMIDA speaker dizarization system as it was submitted to the NIST Rich Transcription evaluation 2007 for conference room data. This is done in the context of the history of this system and other speaker diarization systems. One of the goals of our system is to have as

  5. A hybrid generative-discriminative approach to speaker diarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noulas, A.K.; van Kasteren, T.; Kröse, B.J.A.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we present a sound probabilistic approach to speaker diarization. We use a hybrid framework where a distribution over the number of speakers at each point of a multimodal stream is estimated with a discriminative model. The output of this process is used as input in a generative model

  6. Guest Speakers in School-Based Sexuality Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    McRee, Annie-Laurie; Madsen, Nikki; Eisenberg, Marla E.

    2014-01-01

    This study, using data from a statewide survey (n = 332), examined teachers' practices regarding the inclusion of guest speakers to cover sexuality content. More than half of teachers (58%) included guest speakers. In multivariate analyses, teachers who taught high school, had professional preparation in health education, or who received…

  7. Internal request modification by first and second language speakers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study focuses on the question of whether Luganda English speakers would negatively transfer into their English speech the use of syntactic and lexical down graders resulting in pragmatic failure. Data were collected from Luganda and Luganda English speakers by means of a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) ...

  8. (En)countering native-speakerism global perspectives

    CERN Document Server

    Holliday, Adrian; Swan, Anne

    2015-01-01

    The book addresses the issue of native-speakerism, an ideology based on the assumption that 'native speakers' of English have a special claim to the language itself, through critical qualitative studies of the lived experiences of practising teachers and students in a range of scenarios.

  9. Who spoke when? Audio-based speaker location estimation for diarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dadvar, M.

    2011-01-01

    Speaker diarization is the process which detects active speakers and groups those speech signals which has been uttered by the same speaker. Generally we can find two main applications for speaker diarization. Automatic Speech Recognition systems make use of the speaker homogeneous clusters to adapt

  10. The Communication of Public Speaking Anxiety: Perceptions of Asian and American Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Marianne; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Finds that U.S. audiences perceive Asian speakers to have more speech anxiety than U.S. speakers, even though Asian speakers do not self-report higher anxiety levels. Confirms that speech state anxiety is not communicated effectively between speakers and audiences for Asian or U.S. speakers. (SR)

  11. More Proficient vs. Less Proficient EFL Learners’ Perceptions of Teachers ‘Motivation Raising Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasrin Yousefi

    2022-09-01

    Full Text Available Motivation raising strategies are frequently used in English as a Foreign Language (EFL classes; nevertheless, learners’ perceptions of such strategies used by language teachers have not sufficiently been explored. Also, there are not enough studies on differences and similarities between more and less proficient EFL learners regarding this issue. To scrutinize this topic, a groups of more (No=50 and less proficient EFL learners (No=50 participated in this study by completing to a validated, researcher-made questionnaire with a five-point Likert type format. Non-parametric Mann-Whiteny U test was run in the SPSS ver. 23 to check the differences between the two groups. The results of the study verified that, regardless of each individual scale in the utilized questionnaire, overall, the more proficient ones manifested significantly less perceptions on teachers’ motivation raising strategies based on the total estimated mean ranks compared with the less proficient learners.  However, within the surveyed scales, only in the classroom atmosphere scale, the results showed that the less proficient learners were more mindful of teacher strategies for motivation raising. The findings from this study have implications for motivation raising strategy instructions for a language classroom.

  12. Data-Model Relationship in Text-Independent Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stapert Robert

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Text-independent speaker recognition systems such as those based on Gaussian mixture models (GMMs do not include time sequence information (TSI within the model itself. The level of importance of TSI in speaker recognition is an interesting question and one addressed in this paper. Recent works has shown that the utilisation of higher-level information such as idiolect, pronunciation, and prosodics can be useful in reducing speaker recognition error rates. In accordance with these developments, the aim of this paper is to show that as more data becomes available, the basic GMM can be enhanced by utilising TSI, even in a text-independent mode. This paper presents experimental work incorporating TSI into the conventional GMM. The resulting system, known as the segmental mixture model (SMM, embeds dynamic time warping (DTW into a GMM framework. Results are presented on the 2000-speaker SpeechDat Welsh database which show improved speaker recognition performance with the SMM.

  13. Speakers of different languages process the visual world differently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabal, Sarah; Marian, Viorica

    2015-06-01

    Language and vision are highly interactive. Here we show that people activate language when they perceive the visual world, and that this language information impacts how speakers of different languages focus their attention. For example, when searching for an item (e.g., clock) in the same visual display, English and Spanish speakers look at different objects. Whereas English speakers searching for the clock also look at a cloud, Spanish speakers searching for the clock also look at a gift, because the Spanish names for gift (regalo) and clock (reloj) overlap phonologically. These different looking patterns emerge despite an absence of direct language input, showing that linguistic information is automatically activated by visual scene processing. We conclude that the varying linguistic information available to speakers of different languages affects visual perception, leading to differences in how the visual world is processed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Studies on inter-speaker variability in speech and its application in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tic representation of vowel realizations by different speakers. ... in regional background, education level and gender of speaker. A more ...... formal maps such as bilinear transform and its generalizations for speaker normalization. Since.

  15. Improving Speaker Recognition by Biometric Voice Deconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazaira-Fernandez, Luis Miguel; Álvarez-Marquina, Agustín; Gómez-Vilda, Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Person identification, especially in critical environments, has always been a subject of great interest. However, it has gained a new dimension in a world threatened by a new kind of terrorism that uses social networks (e.g., YouTube) to broadcast its message. In this new scenario, classical identification methods (such as fingerprints or face recognition) have been forcedly replaced by alternative biometric characteristics such as voice, as sometimes this is the only feature available. The present study benefits from the advances achieved during last years in understanding and modeling voice production. The paper hypothesizes that a gender-dependent characterization of speakers combined with the use of a set of features derived from the components, resulting from the deconstruction of the voice into its glottal source and vocal tract estimates, will enhance recognition rates when compared to classical approaches. A general description about the main hypothesis and the methodology followed to extract the gender-dependent extended biometric parameters is given. Experimental validation is carried out both on a highly controlled acoustic condition database, and on a mobile phone network recorded under non-controlled acoustic conditions. PMID:26442245

  16. Human and automatic speaker recognition over telecommunication channels

    CERN Document Server

    Fernández Gallardo, Laura

    2016-01-01

    This work addresses the evaluation of the human and the automatic speaker recognition performances under different channel distortions caused by bandwidth limitation, codecs, and electro-acoustic user interfaces, among other impairments. Its main contribution is the demonstration of the benefits of communication channels of extended bandwidth, together with an insight into how speaker-specific characteristics of speech are preserved through different transmissions. It provides sufficient motivation for considering speaker recognition as a criterion for the migration from narrowband to enhanced bandwidths, such as wideband and super-wideband.

  17. What Is Lexical Proficiency? Some Answers from Computational Models of Speech Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Scott A.; Salsbury, Tom; McNamara, Danielle S.; Jarvis, Scott

    2011-01-01

    Lexical proficiency, as a cognitive construct, is poorly understood. However, lexical proficiency is an important element of language proficiency and fluency, especially for second language (L2) learners. Lexical proficiency is also an important attribute of L2 academic achievement. Generally speaking, lexical proficiency comprises breadth of…

  18. Differences in Less Proficient and More Proficient ESL College Writing in the Philippine Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustilo, Leah E.

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed at characterizing what skilled or more proficient ESL college writing is in the Philippine setting through a contrastive analysis of three groups of variables identified from previous studies: resources, processes, and performance of ESL writers. Based on Chenoweth and Hayes' (2001; 2003) framework, the resource level…

  19. Developing English Writing Proficiency in Limited English Proficient College Students through Cooperative Learning Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooden-Jones, Epsey M.; Carrasquillo, Angela L.

    A study followed ten limited-English-proficient (LEP) community college students who were taught English largely using a cooperative learning approach. For four months, the students worked together using brainstorming techniques and collaborative reading and writing tasks. Task emphasis was on development of thinking skills through collaboration…

  20. The Influence of Language Proficiency on Book Search Behaviour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, Mette; Bogers, Toine

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we describe our participation in the Interactive Social Book Search task at CLEF 2015. We focus our analysis on differences in search behaviour between native and non-native speakers of English. The analysis is based on both questionnaire and log data. 49 participants out of the 192...... total participants are native speakers and the remaining 143 participants are nonnative speakers. In general results show surprisingly few differences in search behaviour between native and non-native speakers. Non-native speakers spent more time on both the focused and the open task than the native...... speakers, but no significant differences were found in relation to number of queries, query length, depth of results inspection, number of books added to the book-bag, or length of notes explaining why a book was added to the book-bag....

  1. Fundamental frequency characteristics of Jordanian Arabic speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natour, Yaser S; Wingate, Judith M

    2009-09-01

    This study is the first in a series of investigations designed to test the acoustic characteristics of the normal Arabic voice. The subjects were three hundred normal Jordanian Arabic speakers (100 adult males, 100 adult females, and 100 children). The subjects produced a sustained phonation of the vowel /a:/ and stated their complete names (i.e. first, second, third and surname) using a carrier phrase. The samples were analyzed using the Multi Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP). Fundamental frequency (F0) from the /a:/ and speaking fundamental frequency (SF0) from the sentence were analyzed. Results revealed a significant difference of both F0 and SF0 values among adult Jordanian Arabic-speaking males (F0=131.34Hz +/- 18.65, SF0=137.45 +/- 18.93), females (F0=231.13Hz +/- 20.86, SF0=230.84 +/- 16.50) and children (F0=270.93Hz +/- 20.01, SF0=278.04 +/- 32.07). Comparison with other ethnicities indicated that F0 values of adult Jordanian Arabic-speaking males and females are generally consistent with adult Caucasian and African-American values. However, for Jordanian Arabic-speaking children, a higher trend in F0 values was present than their Western counterparts. SF0 values for adult Jordanian Arabic-speaking males are generally consistent with the adult Caucasian male SF0 values. However, SF0 values of adult Jordanian-speaking females and children were relatively higher than the reported Western values. It is recommended that speech-language pathologists in Arabic-speaking countries, Jordan in specific, utilize the new data provided (F0 and SF0) when evaluating and/or treating Arabic-speaking patients. Due to its cross-linguistic variability, SF0 emerged as a preferred measurement when conducting cross-cultural comparisons of voice features.

  2. Cost-Sensitive Learning for Emotion Robust Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongdong Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In the field of information security, voice is one of the most important parts in biometrics. Especially, with the development of voice communication through the Internet or telephone system, huge voice data resources are accessed. In speaker recognition, voiceprint can be applied as the unique password for the user to prove his/her identity. However, speech with various emotions can cause an unacceptably high error rate and aggravate the performance of speaker recognition system. This paper deals with this problem by introducing a cost-sensitive learning technology to reweight the probability of test affective utterances in the pitch envelop level, which can enhance the robustness in emotion-dependent speaker recognition effectively. Based on that technology, a new architecture of recognition system as well as its components is proposed in this paper. The experiment conducted on the Mandarin Affective Speech Corpus shows that an improvement of 8% identification rate over the traditional speaker recognition is achieved.

  3. Cost-sensitive learning for emotion robust speaker recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dongdong; Yang, Yingchun; Dai, Weihui

    2014-01-01

    In the field of information security, voice is one of the most important parts in biometrics. Especially, with the development of voice communication through the Internet or telephone system, huge voice data resources are accessed. In speaker recognition, voiceprint can be applied as the unique password for the user to prove his/her identity. However, speech with various emotions can cause an unacceptably high error rate and aggravate the performance of speaker recognition system. This paper deals with this problem by introducing a cost-sensitive learning technology to reweight the probability of test affective utterances in the pitch envelop level, which can enhance the robustness in emotion-dependent speaker recognition effectively. Based on that technology, a new architecture of recognition system as well as its components is proposed in this paper. The experiment conducted on the Mandarin Affective Speech Corpus shows that an improvement of 8% identification rate over the traditional speaker recognition is achieved.

  4. Joint Single-Channel Speech Separation and Speaker Identification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mowlaee, Pejman; Saeidi, Rahim; Tan, Zheng-Hua

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a closed loop system to improve the performance of single-channel speech separation in a speaker independent scenario. The system is composed of two interconnected blocks: a separation block and a speaker identiſcation block. The improvement is accomplished by incorporat......In this paper, we propose a closed loop system to improve the performance of single-channel speech separation in a speaker independent scenario. The system is composed of two interconnected blocks: a separation block and a speaker identiſcation block. The improvement is accomplished...... enhances the quality of the separated output signals. To assess the improvements, the results are reported in terms of PESQ for both target and masked signals....

  5. a sociophonetic study of young nigerian english speakers

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Oladipupo

    between male and female speakers in boundary consonant deletion, (F(1, .... speech perception (Foulkes 2006, Clopper & Pisoni, 2005, Thomas 2002). ... in Nigeria, and had had the privilege of travelling to Europe and the Americas for the.

  6. Forensic Speaker Recognition Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism

    CERN Document Server

    Patil, Hemant

    2012-01-01

    Forensic Speaker Recognition: Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism is an anthology of the research findings of 35 speaker recognition experts from around the world. The volume provides a multidimensional view of the complex science involved in determining whether a suspect’s voice truly matches forensic speech samples, collected by law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, that are associated with the commission of a terrorist act or other crimes. While addressing such topics as the challenges of forensic case work, handling speech signal degradation, analyzing features of speaker recognition to optimize voice verification system performance, and designing voice applications that meet the practical needs of law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, this material all sounds a common theme: how the rigors of forensic utility are demanding new levels of excellence in all aspects of speaker recognition. The contributors are among the most eminent scientists in speech engineering and signal process...

  7. Evaluation of Mycology Laboratory Proficiency Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Andrew A.; Salkin, Ira F.; McGinnis, Michael R.; Gromadzki, Sally; Pasarell, Lester; Kemna, Maggi; Higgins, Nancy; Salfinger, Max

    1999-01-01

    Changes over the last decade in overt proficiency testing (OPT) regulations have been ostensibly directed at improving laboratory performance on patient samples. However, the overt (unblinded) format of the tests and regulatory penalties associated with incorrect values allow and encourage laboratorians to take extra precautions with OPT analytes. As a result OPT may measure optimal laboratory performance instead of the intended target of typical performance attained during routine patient testing. This study addresses this issue by evaluating medical mycology OPT and comparing its fungal specimen identification error rates to those obtained in a covert (blinded) proficiency testing (CPT) program. Identifications from 188 laboratories participating in the New York State mycology OPT from 1982 to 1994 were compared with the identifications of the same fungi recovered from patient specimens in 1989 and 1994 as part of the routine procedures of 88 of these laboratories. The consistency in the identification of OPT specimens was sufficient to make accurate predictions of OPT error rates. However, while the error rates in OPT and CPT were similar for Candida albicans, significantly higher error rates were found in CPT for Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, and other common pathogenic fungi. These differences may, in part, be due to OPT’s use of ideal organism representatives cultured under optimum growth conditions. This difference, as well as the organism-dependent error rate differences, reflects the limitations of OPT as a means of assessing the quality of routine laboratory performance in medical mycology. PMID:10364601

  8. Proficiency test in the accreditation system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Legarda, F.; Herranz, M.; Idoeta, R.

    2008-01-01

    In the accreditation process of a radioactivity measurements laboratory, according to ISO standard 17025, proficiency tests play a fundamental role. These PTs constitute an irreplaceable tool for the validation of measuring methods. In the case of Spain, ENAC, which is the Spanish accreditation national body, requires that the laboratory has to take part in a PT for each one of the accredited measuring methods in the period of time between two reassessments of the accreditation, what happens every 4-5 years. In specific areas of determination procedures, among which radioactive measurements could be included, the number of methods which can be accredited is very large. The purpose of the present work is to establish a classification into families of the different radioactivity measurement procedures, as well as to establish complementary actions that guarantee that carrying out periodically proficiency-tests on any of the included procedures in each family, every measurement procedure include in that family is controlled, complying with the criteria established by ENAC

  9. Case Study on Persuasiveness of Argument Texts Written by Proficient and Less Proficient Malaysian Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ting, Su-Hie; Raslie, Humaira; Jee, Leong-Jin

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Research has shown that university students, particularly non-native speakers of English, encounter difficulties with various academic text-types and often lack the ability to organise the information in a structure considered effective by the discourse community or to use the significant language features of the text-type effectively to…

  10. Speaker Linking and Applications using Non-Parametric Hashing Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-08

    nonparametric estimate of a multivariate density function,” The Annals of Math- ematical Statistics , vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 1049–1051, 1965. [9] E. A. Patrick...Speaker Linking and Applications using Non-Parametric Hashing Methods† Douglas Sturim and William M. Campbell MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA...with many approaches [1, 2]. For this paper, we focus on using i-vectors [2], but the methods apply to any embedding. For the task of speaker QBE and

  11. Electrophysiology of subject-verb agreement mediated by speakers' gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanulíková, Adriana; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    An important property of speech is that it explicitly conveys features of a speaker's identity such as age or gender. This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the effects of social information provided by a speaker's gender, i.e., the conceptual representation of gender, on subject-verb agreement. Despite numerous studies on agreement, little is known about syntactic computations generated by speaker characteristics extracted from the acoustic signal. Slovak is well suited to investigate this issue because it is a morphologically rich language in which agreement involves features for number, case, and gender. Grammaticality of a sentence can be evaluated by checking a speaker's gender as conveyed by his/her voice. We examined how conceptual information about speaker gender, which is not syntactic but rather social and pragmatic in nature, is interpreted for the computation of agreement patterns. ERP responses to verbs disagreeing with the speaker's gender (e.g., a sentence including a masculine verbal inflection spoken by a female person 'the neighbors were upset because I (∗)stoleMASC plums') elicited a larger early posterior negativity compared to correct sentences. When the agreement was purely syntactic and did not depend on the speaker's gender, a disagreement between a formally marked subject and the verb inflection (e.g., the womanFEM (∗)stoleMASC plums) resulted in a larger P600 preceded by a larger anterior negativity compared to the control sentences. This result is in line with proposals according to which the recruitment of non-syntactic information such as the gender of the speaker results in N400-like effects, while formally marked syntactic features lead to structural integration as reflected in a LAN/P600 complex.

  12. FPGA Implementation for GMM-Based Speaker Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phaklen EhKan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In today's society, highly accurate personal identification systems are required. Passwords or pin numbers can be forgotten or forged and are no longer considered to offer a high level of security. The use of biological features, biometrics, is becoming widely accepted as the next level for security systems. Biometric-based speaker identification is a method of identifying persons from their voice. Speaker-specific characteristics exist in speech signals due to different speakers having different resonances of the vocal tract. These differences can be exploited by extracting feature vectors such as Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCCs from the speech signal. A well-known statistical modelling process, the Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM, then models the distribution of each speaker's MFCCs in a multidimensional acoustic space. The GMM-based speaker identification system has features that make it promising for hardware acceleration. This paper describes the hardware implementation for classification of a text-independent GMM-based speaker identification system. The aim was to produce a system that can perform simultaneous identification of large numbers of voice streams in real time. This has important potential applications in security and in automated call centre applications. A speedup factor of ninety was achieved compared to a software implementation on a standard PC.

  13. Understanding speaker attitudes from prosody by adults with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monetta, Laura; Cheang, Henry S; Pell, Marc D

    2008-09-01

    The ability to interpret vocal (prosodic) cues during social interactions can be disrupted by Parkinson's disease, with notable effects on how emotions are understood from speech. This study investigated whether PD patients who have emotional prosody deficits exhibit further difficulties decoding the attitude of a speaker from prosody. Vocally inflected but semantically nonsensical 'pseudo-utterances' were presented to listener groups with and without PD in two separate rating tasks. Task I required participants to rate how confident a speaker sounded from their voice and Task 2 required listeners to rate how polite the speaker sounded for a comparable set of pseudo-utterances. The results showed that PD patients were significantly less able than HC participants to use prosodic cues to differentiate intended levels of speaker confidence in speech, although the patients could accurately detect the politelimpolite attitude of the speaker from prosody in most cases. Our data suggest that many PD patients fail to use vocal cues to effectively infer a speaker's emotions as well as certain attitudes in speech such as confidence, consistent with the idea that the basal ganglia play a role in the meaningful processing of prosodic sequences in spoken language (Pell & Leonard, 2003).

  14. A fundamental residue pitch perception bias for tone language speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petitti, Elizabeth

    A complex tone composed of only higher-order harmonics typically elicits a pitch percept equivalent to the tone's missing fundamental frequency (f0). When judging the direction of residue pitch change between two such tones, however, listeners may have completely opposite perceptual experiences depending on whether they are biased to perceive changes based on the overall spectrum or the missing f0 (harmonic spacing). Individual differences in residue pitch change judgments are reliable and have been associated with musical experience and functional neuroanatomy. Tone languages put greater pitch processing demands on their speakers than non-tone languages, and we investigated whether these lifelong differences in linguistic pitch processing affect listeners' bias for residue pitch. We asked native tone language speakers and native English speakers to perform a pitch judgment task for two tones with missing fundamental frequencies. Given tone pairs with ambiguous pitch changes, listeners were asked to judge the direction of pitch change, where the direction of their response indicated whether they attended to the overall spectrum (exhibiting a spectral bias) or the missing f0 (exhibiting a fundamental bias). We found that tone language speakers are significantly more likely to perceive pitch changes based on the missing f0 than English speakers. These results suggest that tone-language speakers' privileged experience with linguistic pitch fundamentally tunes their basic auditory processing.

  15. 76 FR 81958 - Notice of Submission of Proposed Information Collection to OMB; Limited English Proficiency...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-29

    ... Proposed Information Collection to OMB; Limited English Proficiency Initiative (LEPI) Program AGENCY... that support the assistance of persons with limited English proficiency in utilizing the services...: Limited English Proficiency Initiative (LEPI) Program. OMB Approval Number: 2529-0051. Form Numbers...

  16. Teaching English through English: Proficiency, Pedagogy and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Jack C.

    2017-01-01

    Most of the world's English language teachers speak English as a second or third language rather than as their first language. For many, their level of proficiency in English may not reach benchmarks established by their employers, raising the issue that is the focus of this article, namely, what kind of proficiency in English is necessary to be…

  17. The Nevada Proficiency Examination Program: Evaluating the Writing Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Edward H.

    Writing tests are part of the mandated statewide proficiency examination in Nevada. The ninth-grade screening test and the eleventh-grade diploma-certifying test require that a student write a paragraph and a business letter, each on an assigned topic and each at an acceptable level of proficiency. Pilot tests, extended discussion, and statistical…

  18. Reconnecting Proficiency, Literacy, and Culture: From Theory to Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warford, Mark K.; White, William L.

    2012-01-01

    What does it mean to capably communicate across languages? This article introduces two theoretical models and a lesson plan format designed to facilitate the integration of proficiency, literacy, and culture teaching in foreign language teaching. The Second Symbolic Competencies Model configures proficiency and literacy as subordinate clusters of…

  19. 5 CFR 9901.364 - Foreign language proficiency pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Foreign language proficiency pay. 9901... NATIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL SYSTEM (NSPS) Pay and Pay Administration Premium Pay § 9901.364 Foreign language proficiency pay. (a) General provisions. (1) This section applies to employees who may be paid...

  20. Proficiency testing for sensory profile panels : measuring panel performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mcewan, J.A.; Hunter, E.A.; Gemert, L.J. van; Lea, P.

    2002-01-01

    Proficiency testing in sensory analysis is an important step towards demonstrating that results from one sensory panel are consistent with the results of other sensory panels. The uniqueness of sensory analysis poses some specific problems for measuring the proficiency of the human instrument

  1. English Proficiency and Participation in Online Discussion for Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Steve

    2013-01-01

    Does English proficiency affect participation in online discussion? This study polled 14 students from a postgraduate online course that require online discussion. The students are divided into groups according to their home language spoken and self-assessed English proficiency, and measure against their participation level in the required…

  2. Proficiency test for tropane alkaloids in food en feed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereboom-de Fauw, D.P.K.H.; Elbers, I.J.W.; Mulder, P.P.J.; Nijs, de W.C.M.

    2014-01-01

    Proficiency testing is conducted to provide laboratories with a powerful tool to evaluate and demonstrate the reliability of the data that are produced. Next to validation and accreditation, proficiency testing is an important requirement of the EU Additional Measures Directive 93/99/EEC [1] and is

  3. The correlation between motor proficiency and physical activity in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: One of the risks associated with low physical activity levels is the insufficient development of motor proficiency, which in turn has an impact on participation in physical activity and sport during adolescence. Objectives: To determine the relationship between motor proficiency and physical activity levels in ...

  4. Proficiency test for heavy metals in compound feed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereboom, D.P.K.H.; Elbers, I.J.W.; Jong, de J.; Lee, van der M.K.; Nijs, de W.C.M.

    2016-01-01

    The here described proficiency test for heavy metals in compound feed was organised by RIKILT, Wageningen UR in accordance with ISO 17043. RIKILT Wageningen UR has an ISO/IEC 17043 accreditation for proficiency tests of residues in products of animal origin. However, this specific test is not part

  5. An introduction to application-independent evaluation of speaker recognition systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van; Brümmer, N.

    2007-01-01

    In the evaluation of speaker recognition systems - an important part of speaker classification [1], the trade-off between missed speakers and false alarms has always been an important diagnostic tool. NIST has defined the task of speaker detection with the associated Detection Cost Function (DCF) to

  6. The Rating of Direct and Semi-Direct Oral Proficiency Interviews: Comparing Performance at Lower Proficiency Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Dorry M.; Tschirner, Erwin

    2000-01-01

    Reports on a study comparing student performances and test reliabilities for the German Speaking Test, a semi-direct tape-mediated oral proficiency test (GST) developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interviews. (Author/VWL)

  7. Proficiency-based cervical cancer brachytherapy training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Sherry; Francis, Louise; Todor, Dorin; Fields, Emma C

    2018-04-25

    Although brachytherapy increases the local control rate for cervical cancer, there has been a progressive decline in its use. Furthermore, the training among residency programs for gynecologic brachytherapy varies considerably, with some residents receiving little to no training. This trend is especially concerning given the association between poor applicator placement and decline in local control. Considering the success of proficiency-based training in other procedural specialties, we developed and implemented a proficiency-based cervical brachytherapy training curriculum for our residents. Each resident placed tandem and ovoid applicators with attending guidance and again alone 2 weeks later using a pelvic model that was modified to allow for cervical brachytherapy. Plain films were taken of the pelvic model, and applicator placement quality was evaluated. Other evaluated metrics included retention of key procedural details, the time taken for each procedure and presession and postsession surveys to assess confidence. During the initial session, residents on average met 4.5 of 5 placement criteria, which improved to 5 the second session. On average, residents were able to remember 7.6 of the 8 key procedural steps. Execution time decreased by an average of 10.5%. Resident confidence with the procedure improved dramatically, from 2.6 to 4.6 of 5. Residents who had previously never performed a tandem and ovoid procedure showed greater improvements in these criteria than those who had. All residents strongly agreed that the training was helpful and wanted to participate again the following year. Residents participating in this simulation training had measurable improvements in the time to perform the procedure, applicator placement quality, and confidence. This curriculum is easy to implement and is of great value for training residents, and would be particularly beneficial in programs with low volume of cervical brachytherapy cases. Simulation programs could

  8. Aberrant PO2 values in proficiency testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonzi, C E; Clausen, J L; Mahoney, J

    1993-03-01

    We prospectively determined the frequency of aberrant vials of fluorocarbon/buffer used for proficiency testing of measurements of pH, PCO2, and PO2, using 20 duplicate vials from 12 lots of fluorocarbon/buffer and two arterial blood gas analyzers in eight reference laboratories. We defined aberrant vials as vials for which both duplicate measurements differed from the mean value of repeated measurements for the specific instrument (for each lot of testing materials) by > 0.04 for pH, > 10% of the mean or 3.0 mm Hg, whichever was greater, for PCO2; or > 10% of the mean or 6 mm Hg, whichever was greater, for PO2. Four of 1620 vials (0.25%) were aberrant, all based on PO2 measurements (range of mean values: pH, 7.181-7.631; PCO2, 12.7-65.9; PO2, 32.5-150.1) were 0.0055 for pH, 0.67 mm Hg for PCO2, and 1.65 mm Hg for PO2. Deliberate contamination of the fluorocarbon emulsion with room air, as might occur during sampling from the vial, indicated that only minor increases in PO2 (e.g., 1.0 mm Hg at PO2 of 56 mm Hg) occur when samples are aspirated. Larger increases in PO2 (mean 7.1 mm Hg at a PO2 of 66 mm Hg) occurred when the syringe samples were contaminated with room air. We conclude that isolated aberrant measurements of PO2 in blood gas proficiency testing attributable to vial contents can occur, but the frequency is very low.

  9. Noise Reduction with Microphone Arrays for Speaker Identification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, Z

    2011-12-22

    Reducing acoustic noise in audio recordings is an ongoing problem that plagues many applications. This noise is hard to reduce because of interfering sources and non-stationary behavior of the overall background noise. Many single channel noise reduction algorithms exist but are limited in that the more the noise is reduced; the more the signal of interest is distorted due to the fact that the signal and noise overlap in frequency. Specifically acoustic background noise causes problems in the area of speaker identification. Recording a speaker in the presence of acoustic noise ultimately limits the performance and confidence of speaker identification algorithms. In situations where it is impossible to control the environment where the speech sample is taken, noise reduction filtering algorithms need to be developed to clean the recorded speech of background noise. Because single channel noise reduction algorithms would distort the speech signal, the overall challenge of this project was to see if spatial information provided by microphone arrays could be exploited to aid in speaker identification. The goals are: (1) Test the feasibility of using microphone arrays to reduce background noise in speech recordings; (2) Characterize and compare different multichannel noise reduction algorithms; (3) Provide recommendations for using these multichannel algorithms; and (4) Ultimately answer the question - Can the use of microphone arrays aid in speaker identification?

  10. Fluency profile: comparison between Brazilian and European Portuguese speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Blenda Stephanie Alves e; Martins-Reis, Vanessa de Oliveira; Baptista, Ana Catarina; Celeste, Letícia Correa

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to compare the speech fluency of Brazilian Portuguese speakers with that of European Portuguese speakers. The study participants were 76 individuals of any ethnicity or skin color aged 18-29 years. Of the participants, 38 lived in Brazil and 38 in Portugal. Speech samples from all participants were obtained and analyzed according to the variables of typology and frequency of speech disruptions and speech rate. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed to assess the association between the fluency profile and linguistic variant variables. We found that the speech rate of European Portuguese speakers was higher than the speech rate of Brazilian Portuguese speakers in words per minute (p=0.004). The qualitative distribution of the typology of common dysfluencies (pPortuguese speakers is not available, speech therapists in Portugal can use the same speech fluency assessment as has been used in Brazil to establish a diagnosis of stuttering, especially in regard to typical and stuttering dysfluencies, with care taken when evaluating the speech rate.

  11. THE HUMOROUS SPEAKER: THE CONSTRUCTION OF ETHOS IN COMEDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Flávia Figueiredo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The rhetoric is guided by three dimensions: logos, pathos and ethos. Logos is the speech itself, pathos are the passions that the speaker, through logos, awakens in his audience, and ethos is the image that the speaker creates of himself, also through logos, in front of an audience. The rhetorical genres are three: deliberative (which drives the audience or the judge to think about future events, characterizing them as convenient or harmful, judiciary (the audience thinks about past events in order to classify them as fair or unfair and epidictic (the audience will judge any fact occurred, or even the character of a person as beautiful or not. According to Figueiredo (2014 and based on Eggs (2005, we advocate that ethos is not a mark left by the speaker only in rhetorical genres, but in any textual genre, once the result of human production, the simplest choices in textual construction, are able to reproduce something that is closely linked to speaker, thus, demarcating hir/her ethos. To verify this assumption, we selected a display of a video of the comedian Danilo Gentili, which will be examined in the light of Rhetoric and Textual Linguistics. So, our objective is to find, in the stand-up comedy genre, marks left by the speaker in the speech that characterizes his/her ethos. The analysis results show that ethos, discursive genre and communicational purpose amalgamate in an indissoluble complex in which the success of one of them interdepends on how the other was built.

  12. Direct Speaker Gaze Promotes Trust in Truth-Ambiguous Statements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreysa, Helene; Kessler, Luise; Schweinberger, Stefan R

    2016-01-01

    A speaker's gaze behaviour can provide perceivers with a multitude of cues which are relevant for communication, thus constituting an important non-verbal interaction channel. The present study investigated whether direct eye gaze of a speaker affects the likelihood of listeners believing truth-ambiguous statements. Participants were presented with videos in which a speaker produced such statements with either direct or averted gaze. The statements were selected through a rating study to ensure that participants were unlikely to know a-priori whether they were true or not (e.g., "sniffer dogs cannot smell the difference between identical twins"). Participants indicated in a forced-choice task whether or not they believed each statement. We found that participants were more likely to believe statements by a speaker looking at them directly, compared to a speaker with averted gaze. Moreover, when participants disagreed with a statement, they were slower to do so when the statement was uttered with direct (compared to averted) gaze, suggesting that the process of rejecting a statement as untrue may be inhibited when that statement is accompanied by direct gaze.

  13. Direct Speaker Gaze Promotes Trust in Truth-Ambiguous Statements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helene Kreysa

    Full Text Available A speaker's gaze behaviour can provide perceivers with a multitude of cues which are relevant for communication, thus constituting an important non-verbal interaction channel. The present study investigated whether direct eye gaze of a speaker affects the likelihood of listeners believing truth-ambiguous statements. Participants were presented with videos in which a speaker produced such statements with either direct or averted gaze. The statements were selected through a rating study to ensure that participants were unlikely to know a-priori whether they were true or not (e.g., "sniffer dogs cannot smell the difference between identical twins". Participants indicated in a forced-choice task whether or not they believed each statement. We found that participants were more likely to believe statements by a speaker looking at them directly, compared to a speaker with averted gaze. Moreover, when participants disagreed with a statement, they were slower to do so when the statement was uttered with direct (compared to averted gaze, suggesting that the process of rejecting a statement as untrue may be inhibited when that statement is accompanied by direct gaze.

  14. Utilising Tree-Based Ensemble Learning for Speaker Segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abou-Zleikha, Mohamed; Tan, Zheng-Hua; Christensen, Mads Græsbøll

    2014-01-01

    In audio and speech processing, accurate detection of the changing points between multiple speakers in speech segments is an important stage for several applications such as speaker identification and tracking. Bayesian Information Criteria (BIC)-based approaches are the most traditionally used...... for a certain condition, the model becomes biased to the data used for training limiting the model’s generalisation ability. In this paper, we propose a BIC-based tuning-free approach for speaker segmentation through the use of ensemble-based learning. A forest of segmentation trees is constructed in which each...... tree is trained using a sampled version of the speech segment. During the tree construction process, a set of randomly selected points in the input sequence is examined as potential segmentation points. The point that yields the highest ΔBIC is chosen and the same process is repeated for the resultant...

  15. Robust Digital Speech Watermarking For Online Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Ali Nematollahi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A robust and blind digital speech watermarking technique has been proposed for online speaker recognition systems based on Discrete Wavelet Packet Transform (DWPT and multiplication to embed the watermark in the amplitudes of the wavelet’s subbands. In order to minimize the degradation effect of the watermark, these subbands are selected where less speaker-specific information was available (500 Hz–3500 Hz and 6000 Hz–7000 Hz. Experimental results on Texas Instruments Massachusetts Institute of Technology (TIMIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, and Mobile Biometry (MOBIO show that the degradation for speaker verification and identification is 1.16% and 2.52%, respectively. Furthermore, the proposed watermark technique can provide enough robustness against different signal processing attacks.

  16. Quantile Acoustic Vectors vs. MFCC Applied to Speaker Verification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayorga-Ortiz Pedro

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we describe speaker and command recognition related experiments, through quantile vectors and Gaussian Mixture Modelling (GMM. Over the past several years GMM and MFCC have become two of the dominant approaches for modelling speaker and speech recognition applications. However, memory and computational costs are important drawbacks, because autonomous systems suffer processing and power consumption constraints; thus, having a good trade-off between accuracy and computational requirements is mandatory. We decided to explore another approach (quantile vectors in several tasks and a comparison with MFCC was made. Quantile acoustic vectors are proposed for speaker verification and command recognition tasks and the results showed very good recognition efficiency. This method offered a good trade-off between computation times, characteristics vector complexity and overall achieved efficiency.

  17. Analysis of Feature Extraction Methods for Speaker Dependent Speech Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gurpreet Kaur

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Speech recognition is about what is being said, irrespective of who is saying. Speech recognition is a growing field. Major progress is taking place on the technology of automatic speech recognition (ASR. Still, there are lots of barriers in this field in terms of recognition rate, background noise, speaker variability, speaking rate, accent etc. Speech recognition rate mainly depends on the selection of features and feature extraction methods. This paper outlines the feature extraction techniques for speaker dependent speech recognition for isolated words. A brief survey of different feature extraction techniques like Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC, Linear Predictive Coding Coefficients (LPCC, Perceptual Linear Prediction (PLP, Relative Spectra Perceptual linear Predictive (RASTA-PLP analysis are presented and evaluation is done. Speech recognition has various applications from daily use to commercial use. We have made a speaker dependent system and this system can be useful in many areas like controlling a patient vehicle using simple commands.

  18. Using Avatars for Improving Speaker Identification in Captioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vy, Quoc V.; Fels, Deborah I.

    Captioning is the main method for accessing television and film content by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. One major difficulty consistently identified by the community is that of knowing who is speaking particularly for an off screen narrator. A captioning system was created using a participatory design method to improve speaker identification. The final prototype contained avatars and a coloured border for identifying specific speakers. Evaluation results were very positive; however participants also wanted to customize various components such as caption and avatar location.

  19. THE BANGLADESHI EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: EMPLOYER PERSPECTIVES CONCERNING ENGLISH PROFICIENCY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubina Khan

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This paper presents a brief summary of a study which was carried out to investigate how employers representing major employment sectors in the Bangladeshi Industry view the skills and English proficiency level of the current employees. Opinions were also solicited on what skills are required for fresh recruits. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 employers representing the major employment sectors in Bangladeshi Industry. Results revealed the importance of English as an indispensible means of communication in the Bangladeshi corporate sector and showed that the business enterprises use extensive amounts of English. It also highlighted that the existent English proficiency of the employees was far below the required proficiency level. Recommendations were made to address the gap and prepare the youth to meet the demands of the global market. Keywords: English proficiency, competency, employability skills, global literacy skills

  20. Increased Access to Professional Interpreters in the Hospital Improves Informed Consent for Patients with Limited English Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jonathan S; Pérez-Stable, Eliseo J; Gregorich, Steven E; Crawford, Michael H; Green, Adrienne; Livaudais-Toman, Jennifer; Karliner, Leah S

    2017-08-01

    Language barriers disrupt communication and impede informed consent for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) undergoing healthcare procedures. Effective interventions for this disparity remain unclear. Assess the impact of a bedside interpreter phone system intervention on informed consent for patients with LEP and compare outcomes to those of English speakers. Prospective, pre-post intervention implementation study using propensity analysis. Hospitalized patients undergoing invasive procedures on the cardiovascular, general surgery or orthopedic surgery floors. Installation of dual-handset interpreter phones at every bedside enabling 24-h immediate access to professional interpreters. Primary predictor: pre- vs. post-implementation group; secondary predictor: post-implementation patients with LEP vs. English speakers. Primary outcomes: three central informed consent elements, patient-reported understanding of the (1) reasons for and (2) risks of the procedure and (3) having had all questions answered. We considered consent adequately informed when all three elements were met. We enrolled 152 Chinese- and Spanish-speaking patients with LEP (84 pre- and 68 post-implementation) and 86 English speakers. Post-implementation (vs. pre-implementation) patients with LEP were more likely to meet criteria for adequately informed consent (54% vs. 29%, p = 0.001) and, after propensity score adjustment, had significantly higher odds of adequately informed consent (AOR 2.56; 95% CI, 1.15-5.72) as well as of each consent element individually. However, compared to post-implementation English speakers, post-implementation patients with LEP had significantly lower adjusted odds of adequately informed consent (AOR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16-0.91). A bedside interpreter phone system intervention to increase rapid access to professional interpreters was associated with improvements in patient-reported informed consent and should be considered by hospitals seeking to improve

  1. PROFICIENT CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT THROUGH FOCUSED MATHEMATIC TEACHING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Samuelsson

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A not entirely unusual position among teachers is that they believe that they must first establish a peaceful classroom before they can begin to teach the subject. This research, shows how a proficient mathematics teacher teaches his subject and thereby creates a quiet and focused classroom and exerts effective leadership, just by teaching mathematics. The researchers observed a male mathematics teacher for almost half a year, i.e. one semester. The results of research present several patterns that the researchers saw during the observations of his teaching. The teacher showed an interest in each student’s mathematical thinking and expressed explicitly how students were expected to learn mathematics. He also directed students’ attention to mathematics and established a culture where all solutions were important in the teaching process. In the teaching process, he used multiple representations to motivate students and a lot of supportive expressions that made them feel that they were able to learn mathematics. He worked patiently to establish structures, and there was almost no disruptive behaviour. Students simply did not have time to interfere because they were so engaged in learning mathematics.

  2. Trainee-Associated Factors and Proficiency at Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Mohammad Kazem Aghamir

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL is a complicated procedure for urology trainees. This study was designed to investigate the effect of trainees’ ages and previous experience, as well as the number of operated cases, on proficiency at PNL by using patient outcomes. A cross sectional observational study was designed during a five-year period. Trainees in PNL fellowship programs were included. At the end of the program, the trainees’ performance in PNL was assessed regarding five competencies and scored 1-5. If the overall score was 4 or above, the trainee was considered as proficient. The trainees’ age at the beginning of the program and the years passed from their residency graduation were asked and recorded. Also, the number of PNL cases operated by each trainee was obtained via their logbooks. The age, years passed from graduation, and number of operated cases were compared between two groups of proficient and non-proficient trainees. Univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate the effect of aforementioned variables on the occurrence of the proficiency. Forty-two trainees were included in the study. The mean and standard deviation for the overall score were 3.40 (out of 5 and 0.67, respectively. Eleven trainees (26.2% recognized as proficient in performing PNL. Univariate regression analysis indicated that each of three variables (age, years passed from graduation and number of operated cases had statistically significant effect on proficiency. However, the multivariate regression analysis revealed that just the number of cases had significant effect on achieving proficiency. Although it might be assumed that trainees’ age negatively correlates with their scores, in fact, it is their amount of practice that makes a difference. A certain number of cases is required to be operated by a trainee in order to reach the desired competency in PNL.

  3. Trainee-Associated Factors and Proficiency at Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghamir, Seyed Mohammad Kazem; Behtash, Negar; Hamidi, Morteza; Farahmand, Hasan; Salavati, Alborz; Mortaz Hejri, Sara

    2017-07-01

    Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) is a complicated procedure for urology trainees. This study was designed to investigate the effect of trainees' ages and previous experience, as well as the number of operated cases, on proficiency at PNL by using patient outcomes. A cross sectional observational study was designed during a five-year period. Trainees in PNL fellowship programs were included. At the end of the program, the trainees' performance in PNL was assessed regarding five competencies and scored 1-5. If the overall score was 4 or above, the trainee was considered as proficient. The trainees' age at the beginning of the program and the years passed from their residency graduation were asked and recorded. Also, the number of PNL cases operated by each trainee was obtained via their logbooks. The age, years passed from graduation, and number of operated cases were compared between two groups of proficient and non-proficient trainees. Univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate the effect of aforementioned variables on the occurrence of the proficiency. Forty-two trainees were included in the study. The mean and standard deviation for the overall score were 3.40 (out of 5) and 0.67, respectively. Eleven trainees (26.2%) recognized as proficient in performing PNL. Univariate regression analysis indicated that each of three variables (age, years passed from graduation and number of operated cases) had statistically significant effect on proficiency. However, the multivariate regression analysis revealed that just the number of cases had significant effect on achieving proficiency. Although it might be assumed that trainees' age negatively correlates with their scores, in fact, it is their amount of practice that makes a difference. A certain number of cases is required to be operated by a trainee in order to reach the desired competency in PNL.

  4. Language proficiency and the international postgraduate student experience

    OpenAIRE

    Weaver, M

    2016-01-01

    In an increasingly competitive environment, with reduced government funding, full fee-paying international students are an important source of revenue for higher education institutions (HEIs). Although many previous studies have focused on the role of English language proficiency on academic success, there is little known about the extent to which levels of English language proficiency affect these non-native English speaking students’ overall course experience. There have been a wealth of st...

  5. STRATEGIES OF MAINTAINING PROFICIENCY BY TEACHERS OF ENGLISH IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junaidi Mistar, Alfan Zuhairini

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of the present study are four-fold: (1 to identify the types of strategies to maintain proficiency used by teachers of English in Indonesia, (2 to know the intensity of use of the obtained strategy types, (3 to measure the inter-correlation in the use of the obtained strategy types, and (4 to investigate the effect of proficiency level on the use of maintaining strategies. The subjects were 93 teachers applying for S2 degree in 2010/2011 at the postgraduate program of the Islamic University of Malang. They were given two sets of instrument, a Likert-scale questionnaire of English proficiency maintaining strategies and a TOEFL test. Then, a factor analysis identified nine strategy categories, including language focusing, metacognitive and affective developing, reading and writing activating, language resource utilizing, cognitive processing, culture learning, social communicating, text analyzing, and radio listening strategies. These strategy types explained 63.84% of variances of maintaining strategies and they were used at high level of intensity. Moreover, the use of the nine strategy types were found to be inter-correlated with one another. Finally, no significant effect of proficiency level on strategy use was found, indicating that teachers with different level of proficiency reported using the same strategies of maintaining their proficiency.

  6. Hierarchical levels of representation in language prediction: The influence of first language acquisition in highly proficient bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinaro, Nicola; Giannelli, Francesco; Caffarra, Sendy; Martin, Clara

    2017-07-01

    Language comprehension is largely supported by predictive mechanisms that account for the ease and speed with which communication unfolds. Both native and proficient non-native speakers can efficiently handle contextual cues to generate reliable linguistic expectations. However, the link between the variability of the linguistic background of the speaker and the hierarchical format of the representations predicted is still not clear. We here investigate whether native language exposure to typologically highly diverse languages (Spanish and Basque) affects the way early balanced bilingual speakers carry out language predictions. During Spanish sentence comprehension, participants developed predictions of words the form of which (noun ending) could be either diagnostic of grammatical gender values (transparent) or totally ambiguous (opaque). We measured electrophysiological prediction effects time-locked both to the target word and to its determiner, with the former being expected or unexpected. Event-related (N200-N400) and oscillatory activity in the low beta-band (15-17Hz) frequency channel showed that both Spanish and Basque natives optimally carry out lexical predictions independently of word transparency. Crucially, in contrast to Spanish natives, Basque natives displayed visual word form predictions for transparent words, in consistency with the relevance that noun endings (post-nominal suffixes) play in their native language. We conclude that early language exposure largely shapes prediction mechanisms, so that bilinguals reading in their second language rely on the distributional regularities that are highly relevant in their first language. More importantly, we show that individual linguistic experience hierarchically modulates the format of the predicted representation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The Space-Time Topography of English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duman, Steve

    2016-01-01

    English speakers talk and think about Time in terms of physical space. The past is behind us, and the future is in front of us. In this way, we "map" space onto Time. This dissertation addresses the specificity of this physical space, or its topography. Inspired by languages like Yupno (Nunez, et al., 2012) and Bamileke-Dschang (Hyman,…

  8. Within the School and the Community--A Speaker's Bureau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, Joy H.

    Student interest prompted the formation of a Speaker's Bureau in Seminole Senior High School, Seminole, Florida. First, students compiled a list of community contacts, including civic clubs, churches, retirement villages, newspaper offices, and the County School Administration media center. A letter of introduction was composed and speaking…

  9. Recognition of speaker-dependent continuous speech with KEAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercier, G.; Bigorgne, D.; Miclet, L.; Le Guennec, L.; Querre, M.

    1989-04-01

    A description of the speaker-dependent continuous speech recognition system KEAL is given. An unknown utterance, is recognized by means of the followng procedures: acoustic analysis, phonetic segmentation and identification, word and sentence analysis. The combination of feature-based, speaker-independent coarse phonetic segmentation with speaker-dependent statistical classification techniques is one of the main design features of the acoustic-phonetic decoder. The lexical access component is essentially based on a statistical dynamic programming technique which aims at matching a phonemic lexical entry containing various phonological forms, against a phonetic lattice. Sentence recognition is achieved by use of a context-free grammar and a parsing algorithm derived from Earley's parser. A speaker adaptation module allows some of the system parameters to be adjusted by matching known utterances with their acoustical representation. The task to be performed, described by its vocabulary and its grammar, is given as a parameter of the system. Continuously spoken sentences extracted from a 'pseudo-Logo' language are analyzed and results are presented.

  10. Gesturing by Speakers with Aphasia: How Does It Compare?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mol, Lisette; Krahmer, Emiel; van de Sandt-Koenderman, Mieke

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To study the independence of gesture and verbal language production. The authors assessed whether gesture can be semantically compensatory in cases of verbal language impairment and whether speakers with aphasia and control participants use similar depiction techniques in gesture. Method: The informativeness of gesture was assessed in 3…

  11. Sentence comprehension in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abuom, Tom O.; Shah, Emmah; Bastiaanse, Roelien

    For this study, sentence comprehension was tested in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers. The sentences were controlled for four factors: (1) order of the arguments (base vs. derived); (2) embedding (declarative vs. relative sentences); (3) overt use of the relative pronoun "who"; (4)

  12. Schizophrenia among Sesotho speakers in South Africa | Mosotho ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Results: Core symptoms of schizophrenia among Sesotho speakers do not differ significantly from other cultures. However, the content of psychological symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations is strongly affected by cultural variables. Somatic symptoms such as headaches, palpitations, dizziness and excessive ...

  13. Native Speakers' Perception of Non-Native English Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaber, Maysa; Hussein, Riyad F.

    2011-01-01

    This study is aimed at investigating the rating and intelligibility of different non-native varieties of English, namely French English, Japanese English and Jordanian English by native English speakers and their attitudes towards these foreign accents. To achieve the goals of this study, the researchers used a web-based questionnaire which…

  14. Openings and Closings in Telephone Conversations between Native Spanish Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coronel-Molina, Serafin M.

    1998-01-01

    A study analyzed the opening and closing sequences of 11 dyads of native Spanish-speakers in natural telephone conversations conducted in Spanish. The objective was to determine how closely Hispanic cultural patterns of conduct for telephone conversations follow the sequences outlined in previous research. It is concluded that Spanish…

  15. Why reference to the past is difficult for agrammatic speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaanse, Roelien

    Many studies have shown that verb inflections are difficult to produce for agrammatic aphasic speakers: they are frequently omitted and substituted. The present article gives an overview of our search to understanding why this is the case. The hypothesis is that grammatical morphology referring to

  16. Speaker Recognition from Emotional Speech Using I-vector Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MACKOVÁ Lenka

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years the concept of i-vectors become very popular and successful in the field of the speaker verification. The basic principle of i-vectors is that each utterance is represented by fixed-length feature vector of low-dimension. In the literature for purpose of speaker verification various recordings obtained from telephones or microphones were used. The aim of this experiment was to perform speaker verification using speaker model trained with emotional recordings on i-vector basis. The Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC, log energy, their deltas and acceleration coefficients were used in process of features extraction. As the classification methods of the verification system Mahalanobis distance metric in combination with Eigen Factor Radial normalization was used and in the second approach Cosine Distance Scoring (CSS metric with Within-class Covariance Normalization as a channel compensation was employed. This verification system used emotional recordings of male subjects from freely available German emotional database (Emo-DB.

  17. Teaching the Native English Speaker How to Teach English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odhuu, Kelli

    2014-01-01

    This article speaks to teachers who have been paired with native speakers (NSs) who have never taught before, and the feelings of frustration, discouragement, and nervousness on the teacher's behalf that can occur as a result. In order to effectively tackle this situation, teachers need to work together with the NSs. Teachers in this scenario…

  18. Segmentation of the Speaker's Face Region with Audiovisual Correlation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuyu; Sato, Yoichi

    The ability to find the speaker's face region in a video is useful for various applications. In this work, we develop a novel technique to find this region within different time windows, which is robust against the changes of view, scale, and background. The main thrust of our technique is to integrate audiovisual correlation analysis into a video segmentation framework. We analyze the audiovisual correlation locally by computing quadratic mutual information between our audiovisual features. The computation of quadratic mutual information is based on the probability density functions estimated by kernel density estimation with adaptive kernel bandwidth. The results of this audiovisual correlation analysis are incorporated into graph cut-based video segmentation to resolve a globally optimum extraction of the speaker's face region. The setting of any heuristic threshold in this segmentation is avoided by learning the correlation distributions of speaker and background by expectation maximization. Experimental results demonstrate that our method can detect the speaker's face region accurately and robustly for different views, scales, and backgrounds.

  19. Google Home: smart speaker as environmental control unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, Kenichiro

    2017-08-23

    Environmental Control Units (ECU) are devices or a system that allows a person to control appliances in their home or work environment. Such system can be utilized by clients with physical and/or functional disability to enhance their ability to control their environment, to promote independence and improve their quality of life. Over the last several years, there have been an emergence of several inexpensive, commercially-available, voice activated smart speakers into the market such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. These smart speakers are equipped with far field microphone that supports voice recognition, and allows for complete hand-free operation for various purposes, including for playing music, for information retrieval, and most importantly, for environmental control. Clients with disability could utilize these features to turn the unit into a simple ECU that is completely voice activated and wirelessly connected to appliances. Smart speakers, with their ease of setup, low cost and versatility, may be a more affordable and accessible alternative to the traditional ECU. Implications for Rehabilitation Environmental Control Units (ECU) enable independence for physically and functionally disabled clients, and reduce burden and frequency of demands on carers. Traditional ECU can be costly and may require clients to learn specialized skills to use. Smart speakers have the potential to be used as a new-age ECU by overcoming these barriers, and can be used by a wider range of clients.

  20. Do Speakers and Listeners Observe the Gricean Maxim of Quantity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelhardt, Paul E.; Bailey, Karl G. D.; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2006-01-01

    The Gricean Maxim of Quantity is believed to govern linguistic performance. Speakers are assumed to provide as much information as required for referent identification and no more, and listeners are believed to expect unambiguous but concise descriptions. In three experiments we examined the extent to which naive participants are sensitive to the…

  1. Evidential Uses in the Spanish of Quechua Speakers in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Anna Maria

    1994-01-01

    Analysis of recordings of spontaneous speech of native speakers of Quechua speaking Spanish as a second language reveals that, using verbal morphological resources of Spanish, they have grammaticalized an epistemic marking system resembling that of Quechua. Sources of this process in both Quechua and Spanish are analyzed. (MSE)

  2. Bilingual and Monolingual Children Prefer Native-Accented Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre L. eSouza

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Adults and young children prefer to affiliate with some individuals rather than others. Studies have shown that monolingual children show in-group biases for individuals who speak their native language without a foreign accent (Kinzler, Dupoux, & Spelke, 2007. Some studies have suggested that bilingual children are less influenced than monolinguals by language variety when attributing personality traits to different speakers (Anisfeld & Lambert, 1964, which could indicate that bilinguals have fewer in-group biases and perhaps greater social flexibility. However, no previous studies have compared monolingual and bilingual children’s reactions to speakers with unfamiliar foreign accents. In the present study, we investigated the social preferences of 5-year-old English and French monolinguals and English-French bilinguals. Contrary to our predictions, both monolingual and bilingual preschoolers preferred to be friends with native-accented speakers over speakers who spoke their dominant language with an unfamiliar foreign accent. This result suggests that both monolingual and bilingual children have strong preferences for in-group members who use a familiar language variety, and that bilingualism does not lead to generalized social flexibility.

  3. Umesh V Waghmare | Speakers | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Umesh V Waghmare. Theoretical Sciences Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P.O., Bangalore 560 064, ... These ideas apply quite well to dynamical structure of a crystal, as described by the dispersion of its phonons or vibrational waves. The speakers group has shown an interesting ...

  4. An evidence-based rehabilitation program for tracheoesophageal speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongmans, P.; Rossum, M.; As-Brooks, C.; Hilgers, F.; Pols, L.; Hilgers, F.J.M.; Pols, L.C.W.; van Rossum, M.; van den Brekel, M.W.M.

    2008-01-01

    Objectives: to develop an evidence-based therapy program aimed at improving tracheoesophageal speech intelligibility. The therapy program is based on particular problems found for TE speakers in a previous study as performed by the authors. Patients/Materials and Methods: 9 male laryngectomized

  5. The Blame Game: Performance Analysis of Speaker Diarization System Components

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijbregts, M.A.H.; Wooters, Chuck

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we discuss the performance analysis of a speaker diarization system similar to the system that was submitted by ICSI at the NIST RT06s evaluation benchmark. The analysis that is based on a series of oracle experiments, provides a good understanding of the performance of each system

  6. Bilingual and monolingual children prefer native-accented speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, André L; Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Poulin-Dubois, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Adults and young children prefer to affiliate with some individuals rather than others. Studies have shown that monolingual children show in-group biases for individuals who speak their native language without a foreign accent (Kinzler et al., 2007). Some studies have suggested that bilingual children are less influenced than monolinguals by language variety when attributing personality traits to different speakers (Anisfeld and Lambert, 1964), which could indicate that bilinguals have fewer in-group biases and perhaps greater social flexibility. However, no previous studies have compared monolingual and bilingual children's reactions to speakers with unfamiliar foreign accents. In the present study, we investigated the social preferences of 5-year-old English and French monolinguals and English-French bilinguals. Contrary to our predictions, both monolingual and bilingual preschoolers preferred to be friends with native-accented speakers over speakers who spoke their dominant language with an unfamiliar foreign accent. This result suggests that both monolingual and bilingual children have strong preferences for in-group members who use a familiar language variety, and that bilingualism does not lead to generalized social flexibility.

  7. Perception of English palatal codas by Korean speakers of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeon, Sang-Hee

    2003-04-01

    This study aimed at looking at perception of English palatal codas by Korean speakers of English to determine if perception problems are the source of production problems. In particular, first, this study looked at the possible first language effect on the perception of English palatal codas. Second, a possible perceptual source of vowel epenthesis after English palatal codas was investigated. In addition, individual factors, such as length of residence, TOEFL score, gender and academic status, were compared to determine if those affected the varying degree of the perception accuracy. Eleven adult Korean speakers of English as well as three native speakers of English participated in the study. Three sets of a perception test including identification of minimally different English pseudo- or real words were carried out. The results showed that, first, the Korean speakers perceived the English codas significantly worse than the Americans. Second, the study supported the idea that Koreans perceived an extra /i/ after the final affricates due to final release. Finally, none of the individual factors explained the varying degree of the perceptional accuracy. In particular, TOEFL scores and the perception test scores did not have any statistically significant association.

  8. Evaluating acoustic speaker normalization algorithms: evidence from longitudinal child data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Mary Elizabeth; Farrington, Charlie

    2012-03-01

    Speaker vowel formant normalization, a technique that controls for variation introduced by physical differences between speakers, is necessary in variationist studies to compare speakers of different ages, genders, and physiological makeup in order to understand non-physiological variation patterns within populations. Many algorithms have been established to reduce variation introduced into vocalic data from physiological sources. The lack of real-time studies tracking the effectiveness of these normalization algorithms from childhood through adolescence inhibits exploration of child participation in vowel shifts. This analysis compares normalization techniques applied to data collected from ten African American children across five time points. Linear regressions compare the reduction in variation attributable to age and gender for each speaker for the vowels BEET, BAT, BOT, BUT, and BOAR. A normalization technique is successful if it maintains variation attributable to a reference sociolinguistic variable, while reducing variation attributable to age. Results indicate that normalization techniques which rely on both a measure of central tendency and range of the vowel space perform best at reducing variation attributable to age, although some variation attributable to age persists after normalization for some sections of the vowel space. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America

  9. Reading and Vocabulary Recommendations for Spanish for Native Speakers Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Laura Gutierrez

    1995-01-01

    Focuses on the need for appropriate materials to address the needs of native speakers of Spanish who study Spanish in American universities and high schools. The most important factors influencing the selection of readings should include the practical nature of themes for reading and vocabulary development, level of difficulty, and variety in…

  10. On the Use of Complementary Spectral Features for Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sridhar Krishnan

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The most popular features for speaker recognition are Mel frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs and linear prediction cepstral coefficients (LPCCs. These features are used extensively because they characterize the vocal tract configuration which is known to be highly speaker-dependent. In this work, several features are introduced that can characterize the vocal system in order to complement the traditional features and produce better speaker recognition models. The spectral centroid (SC, spectral bandwidth (SBW, spectral band energy (SBE, spectral crest factor (SCF, spectral flatness measure (SFM, Shannon entropy (SE, and Renyi entropy (RE were utilized for this purpose. This work demonstrates that these features are robust in noisy conditions by simulating some common distortions that are found in the speakers' environment and a typical telephone channel. Babble noise, additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN, and a bandpass channel with 1 dB of ripple were used to simulate these noisy conditions. The results show significant improvements in classification performance for all noise conditions when these features were used to complement the MFCC and ΔMFCC features. In particular, the SC and SCF improved performance in almost all noise conditions within the examined SNR range (10–40 dB. For example, in cases where there was only one source of distortion, classification improvements of up to 8% and 10% were achieved under babble noise and AWGN, respectively, using the SCF feature.

  11. Commutability of food microbiology proficiency testing samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelmassih, M; Polet, M; Goffaux, M-J; Planchon, V; Dierick, K; Mahillon, J

    2014-03-01

    Food microbiology proficiency testing (PT) is a useful tool to assess the analytical performances among laboratories. PT items should be close to routine samples to accurately evaluate the acceptability of the methods. However, most PT providers distribute exclusively artificial samples such as reference materials or irradiated foods. This raises the issue of the suitability of these samples because the equivalence-or 'commutability'-between results obtained on artificial vs. authentic food samples has not been demonstrated. In the clinical field, the use of noncommutable PT samples has led to erroneous evaluation of the performances when different analytical methods were used. This study aimed to provide a first assessment of the commutability of samples distributed in food microbiology PT. REQUASUD and IPH organized 13 food microbiology PTs including 10-28 participants. Three types of PT items were used: genuine food samples, sterile food samples and reference materials. The commutability of the artificial samples (reference material or sterile samples) was assessed by plotting the distribution of the results on natural and artificial PT samples. This comparison highlighted matrix-correlated issues when nonfood matrices, such as reference materials, were used. Artificially inoculated food samples, on the other hand, raised only isolated commutability issues. In the organization of a PT-scheme, authentic or artificially inoculated food samples are necessary to accurately evaluate the analytical performances. Reference materials, used as PT items because of their convenience, may present commutability issues leading to inaccurate penalizing conclusions for methods that would have provided accurate results on food samples. For the first time, the commutability of food microbiology PT samples was investigated. The nature of the samples provided by the organizer turned out to be an important factor because matrix effects can impact on the analytical results. © 2013

  12. Application of Native Speaker Models for Identifying Deviations in Rhetorical Moves in Non-Native Speaker Manuscripts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assef Khalili

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Explicit teaching of generic conventions of a text genre, usually extracted from native-speaker (NS manuscripts, has long been emphasized in the teaching of Academic Writing inEnglish for Specific Purposes (henceforthESP classes, both in theory and practice. While consciousness-raising about rhetorical structure can be instrumental to non-native speakers(NNS, it has to be admitted that most works done in the field of ESP have tended to focus almost exclusively on native-speaker (NS productions, giving scant attention to non-native speaker (NNS manuscripts. That is, having outlined established norms for good writing on the basis of NS productions, few have been inclined to provide a descriptive account of NNS attempts at trying to produce a research article (RA in English. That is what we have tried to do in the present research. Methods: We randomly selected 20 RAs in dentistry and used two well-established models for results and discussion sections to try to describe the move structure of these articles and show the points of divergence from the established norms. Results: The results pointed to significant divergences that could seriously compromise the quality of an RA. Conclusion: It is believed that the insights gained on the deviations in NNS manuscripts could prove very useful in designing syllabi for ESP classes.

  13. English language proficiency and smoking prevalence among California's Asian Americans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hao; Shimizu, Robin; Chen, Moon S

    2005-12-15

    The authors documented California's tobacco control initiatives for Asian Americans and the current tobacco use status among Asian subgroups and provide a discussion of the challenges ahead. The California Tobacco Control Program has employed a comprehensive approach to decrease tobacco use in Asian Americans, including ethnic-specific media campaigns, culturally competent interventions, and technical assistance and training networks. Surveillance of tobacco use among Asian Americans and the interpretation of the results have always been a challenge. Data from the 2001 The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) were analyzed to provide smoking prevalence estimates for all Asian Americans and Asian-American subgroups, including Korean, Filipino, Japanese, South Asian, Chinese, and Vietnamese. Current smoking prevalence was analyzed by gender and by English proficiency level. Cigarette smoking prevalence among Asian males in general was almost three times of that among Asian females. Korean and Vietnamese males had higher cigarette smoking prevalence rates than males in other subgroups. Although Asian females in general had low smoking prevalence rates, significant differences were found among Asian subgroups, from 1.1% (Vietnamese) to 12.7% (Japanese). Asian men who had high English proficiency were less likely to be smokers than men with lower English proficiency. Asian women with high English proficiency were more likely to be smokers than women with lower English proficiency. Smoking prevalence rates among Asian Americans in California differed significantly on the basis of ethnicity, gender, and English proficiency. English proficiency seemed to have the effect of reducing smoking prevalence rates among Asian males but had just the opposite effect among Asian females. Cancer 2005. (c) 2005 American Cancer Society.

  14. Comparative Analysys of Speech Parameters for the Design of Speaker Verification Systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Souza, A

    2001-01-01

    Speaker verification systems are basically composed of three stages: feature extraction, feature processing and comparison of the modified features from speaker voice and from the voice that should be...

  15. Key-note speaker: Predictors of weight loss after preventive Health consultations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lous, Jørgen; Freund, Kirsten S

    2018-01-01

    Invited key-note speaker ved conferencen: Preventive Medicine and Public Health Conference 2018, July 16-17, London.......Invited key-note speaker ved conferencen: Preventive Medicine and Public Health Conference 2018, July 16-17, London....

  16. Race in Conflict with Heritage: "Black" Heritage Language Speaker of Japanese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerr, Neriko Musha; Kumagai, Yuri

    2014-01-01

    "Heritage language speaker" is a relatively new term to denote minority language speakers who grew up in a household where the language was used or those who have a family, ancestral, or racial connection to the minority language. In research on heritage language speakers, overlap between these 2 definitions is often assumed--that is,…

  17. Defining "Native Speaker" in Multilingual Settings: English as a Native Language in Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen Edwards, Jette G.

    2017-01-01

    The current study examines how and why speakers of English from multilingual contexts in Asia are identifying as native speakers of English. Eighteen participants from different contexts in Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, India, Taiwan, and The Philippines, who self-identified as native speakers of English participated in hour-long interviews…

  18. Children's Understanding That Utterances Emanate from Minds: Using Speaker Belief To Aid Interpretation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Peter; Robinson, Elizabeth J.; Thompson, Doreen E.

    1999-01-01

    Three experiments examined 3- to 6-year olds' ability to use a speaker's utterance based on false belief to identify which of several referents was intended. Found that many 4- to 5-year olds performed correctly only when it was unnecessary to consider the speaker's belief. When the speaker gave an ambiguous utterance, many 3- to 6-year olds…

  19. Signal-to-Signal Ratio Independent Speaker Identification for Co-channel Speech Signals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saeidi, Rahim; Mowlaee, Pejman; Kinnunen, Tomi

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we consider speaker identification for the co-channel scenario in which speech mixture from speakers is recorded by one microphone only. The goal is to identify both of the speakers from their mixed signal. High recognition accuracies have already been reported when an accurately...

  20. The (TNO) Speaker Diarization System for NIST Rich Transcription Evaluation 2005 for meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van

    2005-01-01

    Abstract. The TNO speaker speaker diarization system is based on a standard BIC segmentation and clustering algorithm. Since for the NIST Rich Transcription speaker dizarization evaluation measure correct speech detection appears to be essential, we have developed a speech activity detector (SAD) as

  1. The TNO speaker diarization system for NIST RT05s meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van

    2006-01-01

    The TNO speaker speaker diarization system is based on a standard BIC segmentation and clustering algorithm. Since for the NIST Rich Transcription speaker dizarization evaluation measure correct speech detection appears to be essential, we have developed a speech activity detector (SAD) as well.

  2. An acoustic analysis of English vowels produced by speakers of seven different native-language backgrounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuven, van V.J.J.P.; Gooskens, C.

    2017-01-01

    We measured F1, F2 and duration of ten English monophthongs produced by American native speakers and by Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian and Chinese L2 speakers. We hypothesized that (i) L2 speakers would approximate the English vowels more closely as the phonological distance between

  3. Mismatch repair proficiency is not required for radioenhancement by gemcitabine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bree, Chris van; Rodermond, Hans M.; Vos, Judith de; Haveman, Jaap; Franken, Nicolaas

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Mismatch repair (MMR) proficiency has been reported to either increase or decrease radioenhancement by 24-h incubations with gemcitabine. This study aimed to establish the importance of MMR for radioenhancement by gemcitabine after short-exposure, high-dose treatment and long-exposure, low-dose treatment. Methods and Materials: Survival of MMR-deficient HCT116 and MMR-proficient HCT116 + 3 cells was analyzed by clonogenic assays. Mild, equitoxic gemcitabine treatments (4 h, 0.1 μM vs. 24 h, 6 nM) were combined with γ-irradiation to determine the radioenhancement with or without recovery. Gemcitabine metabolism and cell-cycle effects were evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis and bivariate flow cytometry. Results: Radioenhancement after 4 h of 0.1 μM of gemcitabine was similar in both cell lines, but the radioenhancement after 24 h of 6 nM of gemcitabine was reduced in MMR-proficient cells. No significant differences between both cell lines were observed in the gemcitabine metabolism or cell-cycle effects after these treatments. Gemcitabine radioenhancement after recovery was also lower in MMR-proficient cells than in MMR-deficient cells. Conclusion: Mismatch repair proficiency decreases radioenhancement by long incubations of gemcitabine but does not affect radioenhancement by short exposures to a clinically relevant gemcitabine dose. Our data suggest that MMR contributes to the recovery from gemcitabine treatment

  4. The proficiency testing of determination of dioxins in food

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuda, R.; Tsutsumi, T.; Maitani, T. [National Institute of Health Sciences, Tokyo (Japan); Toyoda, M. [Jissen Womens Univ., Hino (Japan)

    2004-09-15

    Food intake is the main route of human dioxin exposure, making the determination of dioxins in food indispensable for risk assessment and risk management of dioxins. The uncertainty of analytical results, however, can be very great because of the low concentration of the analytes and complicated cleanup procedures. The risk assessment of dioxins based on analytical results also suffers from a similar degree of uncertainty. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan has published ''Guideline for the Determination of Dioxins in Food'' to standardize the analytical procedures. The guideline contains the quality assurance procedures to obtain reliable analytical results and recommends participation in the relevant proficiency testing scheme. The proficiency testing provides the fair evaluation of the analytical results. The central science laboratory in England and the food and drug safety center in Japan offer the proficiency testing on food. The National Institute of Health Sciences of Japan (NIHS) also has carried out proficiency testing of dioxins in food since 1998 to assure the quality of analytical results for dioxins. In this presentation we will show the results of 5 rounds of proficiency testing.

  5. Willing Learners yet Unwilling Speakers in ESL Classrooms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuraidah Ali

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available To some of us, speech production in ESL has become so natural and integral that we seem to take it for granted. We often do not even remember how we struggled through the initial process of mastering English. Unfortunately, to students who are still learning English, they seem to face myriad problems that make them appear unwilling or reluctant ESL speakers. This study will investigate this phenomenon which is very common in the ESL classroom. Setting its background on related research findings on this matter, a qualitative study was conducted among foreign students enrolled in the Intensive English Programme (IEP at Institute of Liberal Studies (IKAL, University Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN. The results will show and discuss an extent of truth behind this perplexing phenomenon: willing learners, yet unwilling speakers of ESL, in our effort to provide supportive learning cultures in second language acquisition (SLA to this group of students.

  6. Comparing headphone and speaker effects on simulated driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, T M; Nilsson, T H

    1990-12-01

    Twelve persons drove for three hours in an automobile simulator while listening to music at sound level 63dB over stereo headphones during one session and from a dashboard speaker during another session. They were required to steer a mountain highway, maintain a certain indicated speed, shift gears, and respond to occasional hazards. Steering and speed control were dependent on visual cues. The need to shift and the hazards were indicated by sound and vibration effects. With the headphones, the driver's average reaction time for the most complex task presented--shifting gears--was about one-third second longer than with the speaker. The use of headphones did not delay the development of subjective fatigue.

  7. Variation among heritage speakers: Sequential vs. simultaneous bilinguals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Lee

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the differences in the grammatical knowledge of two types of heritage speakers of Korean. Early simultaneous bilinguals are exposed to both English and the heritage language from birth, whereas early sequential bilinguals are exposed to the heritage language first and then to English upon schooling. A listening comprehension task involving relative clauses was conducted with 51 beginning-level Korean heritage speakers. The results showed that the early sequential bilinguals exhibited much more accurate knowledge than the early simultaneous bilinguals, who lacked rudimentary knowledge of Korean relative clauses. Drawing on the findings of adult and child Korean L1 data on the acquisition of relative clauses, the performance of each group is discussed with respect to attrition and incomplete acquisition of the heritage language.

  8. Facial Expression Generation from Speaker's Emotional States in Daily Conversation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Hiroki; Ohshima, Koh

    A framework for generating facial expressions from emotional states in daily conversation is described. It provides a mapping between emotional states and facial expressions, where the former is represented by vectors with psychologically-defined abstract dimensions, and the latter is coded by the Facial Action Coding System. In order to obtain the mapping, parallel data with rated emotional states and facial expressions were collected for utterances of a female speaker, and a neural network was trained with the data. The effectiveness of proposed method is verified by a subjective evaluation test. As the result, the Mean Opinion Score with respect to the suitability of generated facial expression was 3.86 for the speaker, which was close to that of hand-made facial expressions.

  9. English exposed common mistakes made by Chinese speakers

    CERN Document Server

    Hart, Steve

    2017-01-01

    Having analysed the most common English errors made in over 600 academic papers written by Chinese undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers, Steve Hart has written an essential, practical guide specifically for the native Chinese speaker on how to write good academic English. English Exposed: Common Mistakes Made by Chinese Speakers is divided into three main sections. The first section examines errors made with verbs, nouns, prepositions, and other grammatical classes of words. The second section focuses on problems of word choice. In addition to helping the reader find the right word, it provides instruction for selecting the right style too. The third section covers a variety of other areas essential for the academic writer, such as using punctuation, adding appropriate references, referring to tables and figures, and selecting among various English date and time phrases. Using English Exposed will allow a writer to produce material where content and ideas-not language mistakes-speak the loudest.

  10. Teaching English to speakers of other languages an introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Nunan, David

    2015-01-01

    David Nunan's dynamic learner-centered teaching style has informed and inspired countless TESOL educators around the world. In this fresh, straightforward introduction to teaching English to speakers of other languages he presents teaching techniques and procedures along with the underlying theory and principles. Complex theories and research studies are explained in a clear and comprehensible, yet non-trivial, manner without trivializing them. Practical examples of how to develop teaching materials and tasks from sound principles provide rich illustrations of theoretical constructs.

  11. Neural bases of congenital amusia in tonal language speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Caicai; Peng, Gang; Shao, Jing; Wang, William S-Y

    2017-03-01

    Congenital amusia is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder of fine-grained pitch processing. In this fMRI study, we examined the neural bases of congenial amusia in speakers of a tonal language - Cantonese. Previous studies on non-tonal language speakers suggest that the neural deficits of congenital amusia lie in the music-selective neural circuitry in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, it is unclear whether this finding can generalize to congenital amusics in tonal languages. Tonal language experience has been reported to shape the neural processing of pitch, which raises the question of how tonal language experience affects the neural bases of congenital amusia. To investigate this question, we examined the neural circuitries sub-serving the processing of relative pitch interval in pitch-matched Cantonese level tone and musical stimuli in 11 Cantonese-speaking amusics and 11 musically intact controls. Cantonese-speaking amusics exhibited abnormal brain activities in a widely distributed neural network during the processing of lexical tone and musical stimuli. Whereas the controls exhibited significant activation in the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) in the lexical tone condition and in the cerebellum regardless of the lexical tone and music conditions, no activation was found in the amusics in those regions, which likely reflects a dysfunctional neural mechanism of relative pitch processing in the amusics. Furthermore, the amusics showed abnormally strong activation of the right middle frontal gyrus and precuneus when the pitch stimuli were repeated, which presumably reflect deficits of attending to repeated pitch stimuli or encoding them into working memory. No significant group difference was found in the right IFG in either the whole-brain analysis or region-of-interest analysis. These findings imply that the neural deficits in tonal language speakers might differ from those in non-tonal language speakers, and overlap partly with the

  12. MTGAN: Speaker Verification through Multitasking Triplet Generative Adversarial Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Ding, Wenhao; He, Liang

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an enhanced triplet method that improves the encoding process of embeddings by jointly utilizing generative adversarial mechanism and multitasking optimization. We extend our triplet encoder with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and softmax loss function. GAN is introduced for increasing the generality and diversity of samples, while softmax is for reinforcing features about speakers. For simplification, we term our method Multitasking Triplet Generative Advers...

  13. Speech rate normalization used to improve speaker verification

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available the normalized durations is then compared with the EER using unnormalized durations, and also with the EER when duration information is not employed. 2. Proposed phoneme duration modeling 2.1. Choosing parametric models Since the duration of a phoneme... the known transcription and the speaker-specific acoustic model described above. Only one pronunciation per word was allowed, thus resulting in 49 triphones. To decide which parametric model to use for the duration density func- tions of the triphones...

  14. Speaker Recognition for Mobile User Authentication: An Android Solution

    OpenAIRE

    Brunet , Kevin; Taam , Karim; Cherrier , Estelle; Faye , Ndiaga; Rosenberger , Christophe

    2013-01-01

    National audience; This paper deals with a biometric solution for authentication on mobile devices. Among the possible biometric modalities, speaker recognition seems the most natural choice for a mobile phone. This work lies in the continuation of our previous work \\cite{Biosig2012}, where we evaluated a candidate algorithm in terms of performance and time processing. The proposed solution is implemented here as an Android application. Its performances are evaluated both on a public database...

  15. First year evaluation of EPA's radon contractor proficiency (RCP) program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salmon, G.L.

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a voluntary program to evaluate radon reduction contractors and provide this information to the public, as part of activities mandated by the Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA) of 1988. The Radon Contractor Proficiency Program consists of several elements that collectively help to ensure the proficiency of radon mitigators and give the public greater confidence in their capability. Contractors who participate in the program must pass a written examination, adhere to mitigation guidelines, keep records of work, meet continuing education requirements and pass a re-examination every two years. Upon meeting the program's requirements, mitigators are listed in EPA's National RCP Proficiency Report. The first Report released on May 15, 1990 listed 636 contractors. The second Report, to be release in August, will list 895 contractors, representing an increase of 40 per cent

  16. Physical activity and movement skills proficiency of young Filipino children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capio, Catherine M; Sit, Cindy H P; Eguia, Kathlynne F; Abernethy, Bruce

    2014-08-01

    Recent reports indicate an increasing prevalence of overweight among Filipino children. Considering the known association of physical activity (PA) with obesity, this study reports the findings of an objective monitoring of PA in a sample of Filipino children. The study also explores the relationship of PA with fundamental movement skills (FMS) proficiency. Thirty-two children (6.54 ± 2.45 years old) wore an accelerometer for 7 days of PA monitoring and were assessed on five FMS (throw, catch, kick, run, jump). The children met the World Health Organization's recommendation of 60 min of PA per day, with more active time being accrued during weekdays than weekends. Children with greater FMS proficiency were found to spend more time in PA than those who were less skillful during weekends. Further research is recommended to examine PA and FMS proficiency associations, exploring the role of social interactions on weekends and weekdays. © 2014 Japan Pediatric Society.

  17. Inferring speaker attributes in adductor spasmodic dysphonia: ratings from unfamiliar listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isetti, Derek; Xuereb, Linnea; Eadie, Tanya L

    2014-05-01

    To determine whether unfamiliar listeners' perceptions of speakers with adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD) differ from control speakers on the parameters of relative age, confidence, tearfulness, and vocal effort and are related to speaker-rated vocal effort or voice-specific quality of life. Twenty speakers with ADSD (including 6 speakers with ADSD plus tremor) and 20 age- and sex-matched controls provided speech recordings, completed a voice-specific quality-of-life instrument (Voice Handicap Index; Jacobson et al., 1997), and rated their own vocal effort. Twenty listeners evaluated speech samples for relative age, confidence, tearfulness, and vocal effort using rating scales. Listeners judged speakers with ADSD as sounding significantly older, less confident, more tearful, and more effortful than control speakers (p < .01). Increased vocal effort was strongly associated with decreased speaker confidence (rs = .88-.89) and sounding more tearful (rs = .83-.85). Self-rated speaker effort was moderately related (rs = .45-.52) to listener impressions. Listeners' perceptions of confidence and tearfulness were also moderately associated with higher Voice Handicap Index scores (rs = .65-.70). Unfamiliar listeners judge speakers with ADSD more negatively than control speakers, with judgments extending beyond typical clinical measures. The results have implications for counseling and understanding the psychosocial effects of ADSD.

  18. Consistency between verbal and non-verbal affective cues: a clue to speaker credibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillis, Randall L; Nilsen, Elizabeth S

    2017-06-01

    Listeners are exposed to inconsistencies in communication; for example, when speakers' words (i.e. verbal) are discrepant with their demonstrated emotions (i.e. non-verbal). Such inconsistencies introduce ambiguity, which may render a speaker to be a less credible source of information. Two experiments examined whether children make credibility discriminations based on the consistency of speakers' affect cues. In Experiment 1, school-age children (7- to 8-year-olds) preferred to solicit information from consistent speakers (e.g. those who provided a negative statement with negative affect), over novel speakers, to a greater extent than they preferred to solicit information from inconsistent speakers (e.g. those who provided a negative statement with positive affect) over novel speakers. Preschoolers (4- to 5-year-olds) did not demonstrate this preference. Experiment 2 showed that school-age children's ratings of speakers were influenced by speakers' affect consistency when the attribute being judged was related to information acquisition (speakers' believability, "weird" speech), but not general characteristics (speakers' friendliness, likeability). Together, findings suggest that school-age children are sensitive to, and use, the congruency of affect cues to determine whether individuals are credible sources of information.

  19. Item-level psychometrics and predictors of performance for Spanish/English bilingual speakers on an object and action naming battery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmonds, Lisa A; Donovan, Neila J

    2012-04-01

    There is a pressing need for psychometrically sound naming materials for Spanish/English bilingual adults. To address this need, in this study the authors examined the psychometric properties of An Object and Action Naming Battery (An O&A Battery; Druks & Masterson, 2000) in bilingual speakers. Ninety-one Spanish/English bilinguals named O&A Battery items in English and Spanish. Responses underwent a Rasch analysis. Using correlation and regression analyses, the authors evaluated the effect of psycholinguistic (e.g., imageability) and participant (e.g., proficiency ratings) variables on accuracy. Rasch analysis determined unidimensionality across English and Spanish nouns and verbs and robust item-level psychometric properties, evidence for content validity. Few items did not fit the model, there were no ceiling or floor effects after uninformative and misfit items were removed, and items reflected a range of difficulty. Reliability coefficients were high, and the number of statistically different ability levels provided indices of sensitivity. Regression analyses revealed significant correlations between psycholinguistic variables and accuracy, providing preliminary construct validity. The participant variables that contributed most to accuracy were proficiency ratings and time of language use. Results suggest adequate content and construct validity of O&A items retained in the analysis for Spanish/English bilingual adults and support future efforts to evaluate naming in older bilinguals and persons with bilingual aphasia.

  20. An analysis of topics and vocabulary in Chinese oral narratives by normal speakers and speakers with fluent aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Sam-Po; Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Lai, Christy

    2018-01-01

    This study analysed the topic and vocabulary of Chinese speakers based on language samples of personal recounts in a large spoken Chinese database recently made available in the public domain, i.e. Cantonese AphasiaBank ( http://www.speech.hku.hk/caphbank/search/ ). The goal of the analysis is to offer clinicians a rich source for selecting ecologically valid training materials for rehabilitating Chinese-speaking people with aphasia (PWA) in the design and planning of culturally and linguistically appropriate treatments. Discourse production of 65 Chinese-speaking PWA of fluent types (henceforth, PWFA) and their non-aphasic controls narrating an important event in their life were extracted from Cantonese AphasiaBank. Analyses of topics and vocabularies in terms of part-of-speech, word frequency, lexical semantics, and diversity were conducted. There was significant overlap in topics between the two groups. While the vocabulary was larger for controls than that of PWFA as expected, they were similar in distribution across parts-of-speech, frequency of occurrence, and the ratio of concrete to abstract items in major open word classes. Moreover, proportionately more different verbs than nouns were employed at the individual level for both speaker groups. The findings provide important implications for guiding directions of aphasia rehabilitation not only of fluent but also non-fluent Chinese aphasic speakers.

  1. Revisiting vocal perception in non-human animals: a review of vowel discrimination, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buddhamas eKriengwatana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The extent to which human speech perception evolved by taking advantage of predispositions and pre-existing features of vertebrate auditory and cognitive systems remains a central question in the evolution of speech. This paper reviews asymmetries in vowel perception, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization in non-human animals – topics that have not been thoroughly discussed in relation to the abilities of non-human animals, but are nonetheless important aspects of vocal perception. Throughout this paper we demonstrate that addressing these issues in non-human animals is relevant and worthwhile because many non-human animals must deal with similar issues in their natural environment. That is, they must also discriminate between similar-sounding vocalizations, determine signaler identity from vocalizations, and resolve signaler-dependent variation in vocalizations from conspecifics. Overall, we find that, although plausible, the current evidence is insufficiently strong to conclude that directional asymmetries in vowel perception are specific to humans, or that non-human animals can use voice characteristics to recognize human individuals. However, we do find some indication that non-human animals can normalize speaker differences. Accordingly, we identify avenues for future research that would greatly improve and advance our understanding of these topics.

  2. Coronal View Ultrasound Imaging of Movement in Different Segments of the Tongue during Paced Recital: Findings from Four Normal Speakers and a Speaker with Partial Glossectomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressmann, Tim; Flowers, Heather; Wong, Willy; Irish, Jonathan C.

    2010-01-01

    The goal of this study was to quantitatively describe aspects of coronal tongue movement in different anatomical regions of the tongue. Four normal speakers and a speaker with partial glossectomy read four repetitions of a metronome-paced poem. Their tongue movement was recorded in four coronal planes using two-dimensional B-mode ultrasound…

  3. A Study on Metadiscoursive Interaction in the MA Theses of the Native Speakers of English and the Turkish Speakers of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köroglu, Zehra; Tüm, Gülden

    2017-01-01

    This study has been conducted to evaluate the TM usage in the MA theses written by the native speakers (NSs) of English and the Turkish speakers (TSs) of English. The purpose is to compare the TM usage in the introduction, results and discussion, and conclusion sections by both groups' randomly selected MA theses in the field of ELT between the…

  4. Online Assessment of Oral Proficiency for Intercultural Professional Communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusman, Ellen; Stoyanov, Slavi

    2012-01-01

    Rusman, E., & Stoyanov, S. (2011, 18 May). Online Assessment of Oral Proficiency for Intercultural Professional Communication. Presentation about the CEFcult project (www.cefcult.eu) at the workshop ‘Crossing borders’ organised by the Talenacademie, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open University in the

  5. Cultutal Factors Affecting English Proficiency in Rural Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ler, Ee Chop

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the rural "cultural" problems and to determine their effect on the learning of English. Twenty students from different ethnic backgrounds and English language proficiency in six rural schools in Terengganu, Malaysia were interviewed. In addition the teachers also from different rural schools…

  6. Predicting the Proficiency Level of Language Learners Using Lexical Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Scott A.; Salsbury, Tom; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores how second language (L2) texts written by learners at various proficiency levels can be classified using computational indices that characterize lexical competence. For this study, 100 writing samples taken from 100 L2 learners were analyzed using lexical indices reported by the computational tool Coh-Metrix. The L2 writing…

  7. Pathways from Toddler Information Processing to Adolescent Lexical Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Susan A.; Feldman, Judith F.; Jankowski, Jeffery J.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the relation of 3-year core information-processing abilities to lexical growth and development. The core abilities covered four domains--memory, representational competence (cross-modal transfer), processing speed, and attention. Lexical proficiency was assessed at 3 and 13 years with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)…

  8. Determinants of Second Language Proficiency among Refugees in the Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tubergen, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the language acquisition of refugees in Western countries. This study examines how pre- and post-migration characteristics of refugees are related to their second language proficiency. Data are from a survey of 3,500 refugees, who were born in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, former Yugoslavia and Somalia, and who resided in the…

  9. Proficiency test on incurred and spiked pesticide residues in cereals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Mette Erecius; Christensen, Hanne Bjerre; Herrmann, Susan Strange

    2009-01-01

    A proficiency test on incurred and spiked pesticide residues in wheat was organised in 2008. The test material was grown in 2007 and treated in the field with 14 pesticides formulations containing the active substances, alpha-cypermethrin, bifentrin, carbendazim, chlormequat, chlorpyrifos...

  10. Reading Processing Skills among EFL Learners in Different Proficiency Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhanapala, Kusumi Vasantha; Yamada, Jun

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to understand how EFL learners in different reading proficiency levels comprehend L2 texts, using five-component skills involving measures of (1) vocabulary knowledge, (2) drawing inferences and predictions, (3) knowledge of text structure and discourse organization, (4) identifying the main idea and summarizing skills, and (5)…

  11. Determinants of second language proficiency among refugees in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tubergen, F.A. van

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the language acquisition of refugees in Western countries. This study examines how pre- and post-migration characteristics of refugees are related to their second language proficiency. Data are from a survey of 3,500 refugees, who were born in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, former

  12. A new role of proficiency testing in nuclear analytical work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heydorn, Kaj

    2008-01-01

    The most recent definition of measurement result requires a statement of uncertainty whenever results obtained by nuclear or other quantitative methods of analysis are reported. Proficiency testing (PT) therefore must include the ability of laboratories to present not only unbiased quantity values...

  13. The Effects of Elementary Departmentalization on Mathematics Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor-Buckner, Nicole C.

    2014-01-01

    Mathematics education in the elementary schools has experienced many changes in recent decades. With the curriculum becoming more complex as a result of each modification, immense pressure has been put on schools to increase student proficiency. The Common Core State Standards is the latest example of this. These revisions to the mathematics…

  14. Motor proficiency and physical fitness in active and inactive girls ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In modern day society physical activity levels diminish rapidly among girls and may be a direct consequence of girls experiencing motor difficulties. Therefore the aim of the study was to compare motor proficiency levels and physical fitness levels among active and inactive girls (N=97), aged 12 to 13 years. The BOTMP ...

  15. Beyond Host Language Proficiency: Coping Resources Predicting International Students' Satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Anita S.; Bodycott, Peter; Ramburuth, Prem

    2015-01-01

    As international students navigate in a foreign educational environment, having higher levels of coping or stress-resistance resources--both internal and external--could be related to increased satisfaction with personal and university life. The internal coping resources examined in this study were host language proficiency, self-esteem,…

  16. Developing Autonomous Learning for Oral Proficiency Using Digital Storytelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, SoHee

    2014-01-01

    Since online educational technology can support a ubiquitous language learning environment, there are many ways to develop English learners' autonomy through self-access learning. This study investigates whether English as a second language (ESL) learners can improve their oral proficiency through independent study by using online self-study…

  17. Advisory Working Alliance, Perceived English Proficiency, and Acculturative Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Meifen; Tsai, Pei-Chun; Chao, Ruth Chu-Lien; Du, Yi; Lin, Shu-Ping

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the moderators of (a) general or cross-cultural advisory working alliances and (b) perceived English proficiency on the association between acculturative stress and psychological distress. A total of 143 East Asian international students completed an online survey. Results from a hierarchical regression…

  18. The Education Consequences of Language Proficiency for Young Children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Yuxin; Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan

    2016-01-01

    This paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5-6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys' language test scores. In

  19. The educational consequences of language proficiency for young children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Yuxin; Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Our paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5–6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys’ language test scores. In

  20. Naming Abilities in Low-Proficiency Second Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodkin, Katy; Faust, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    Difficulties in second language (L2) learning are often associated with recognizable learning difficulties in native language (L1), such as in dyslexia. However, some individuals have low L2 proficiency but intact L1 reading skills. These L2 learners experience frequent tip-of-the-tongue states while naming in L1, which indicates that they have a…

  1. Differential Effects of Learning Games on Mathematics Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Mido; Evans, Michael A.; Kim, Sunha; Norton, Anderson; Samur, Yavuz

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the effects of a learning game, [The Math App] on the mathematics proficiency of middle school students. For the study, researchers recruited 306 students, Grades 6-8, from two schools in rural southwest Virginia. Over a nine-week period, [The Math App] was deployed as an intervention for investigation. Students were assigned…

  2. Listening and Reading Proficiency Levels of College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirner, Erwin

    2016-01-01

    This article examines listening and reading proficiency levels of U.S. college foreign language students at major milestones throughout their undergraduate career. Data were collected from more than 3,000 participants studying seven languages at 21 universities and colleges across the United States. The results show that while listening…

  3. Impact of English Proficiency on Academic Performance of International Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martirosyan, Nara M.; Hwang, Eunjin; Wanjohi, Reubenson

    2015-01-01

    Using an ex-post facto, non-experimental approach, this research examined the impact of English language proficiency and multilingualism on the academic performance of international students enrolled in a four-year university located in north central Louisiana in the United States. Data were collected through a self-reported questionnaire from 59…

  4. Linguistic Proficiency and Strategies on Reading Performance in English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talebi, Seyed Hassan

    2015-01-01

    General English (L2) proficiency and reading strategies are believed to be highly effective in successful reading performance. However, available studies rarely investigated the combined effects of these two variables on successful reading. To fill this gap, 78 university students were divided into four groups of different degrees of these two…

  5. Music Teachers in Turkey: Their Proficiency, Working Environments and Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otacioglu, Sena Gursen

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was the collection of data concerning Turkish music teachers' proficiency and their place in the primary and secondary education system. In addition, information was collected regarding the teachers' working environment and professional complications. A total of 200 music teachers' opinions were compiled for the determination…

  6. Planes, Politics and Oral Proficiency: Testing International Air Traffic Controllers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moder, Carol Lynn; Halleck, Gene B.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigates the variation in oral proficiency demonstrated by 14 Air Traffic Controllers across two types of testing tasks: work-related radio telephony-based tasks and non-specific English tasks on aviation topics. Their performance was compared statistically in terms of level ratings on the International Civil Aviation Organization…

  7. Foreign Language Teachers' Language Proficiency and Their Language Teaching Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Heather; Conway, Clare; Roskvist, Annelies; Harvey, Sharon

    2013-01-01

    Teachers' subject knowledge is recognized as an essential component of effective teaching. In the foreign language context, teachers' subject knowledge includes language proficiency. In New Zealand high schools, foreign languages (e.g. Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish) have recently been offered to learners earlier in their schooling,…

  8. Rater Judgment and English Language Speaking Proficiency. Research Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalhoub-Deville, Micheline; Wigglesworth, Gillian

    2005-01-01

    The paper investigates whether there is a shared perception of speaking proficiency among raters from different English speaking countries. More specifically, this study examines whether there is a significant difference among English language learning (ELL) teachers, residing in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA when rating speech samples of…

  9. The Minnesota Articulation Project and Its Proficiency-Based Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalhoub-Deville, Micheline

    1997-01-01

    Reports on the Minnesota Articulation Project, providing an overview of the projects' three principal working groups: political action, curriculum, and assessment. The article then outlines the theoretical underpinnings of the proficiency-based assessment instruments developed in French, German, and Spanish and describes in detail the content and…

  10. P-2 Years Targeted to Achieve Grade 3 Reading Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gewertz, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    In a bid to help more students read proficiently in 3rd grade--a skill considered critical to their future educational success--new laws and initiatives springing up around the country require educators to step up their efforts to identify and help struggling readers even before they enter kindergarten. It's not unusual for states or school…

  11. Trends in Teacher Certification: Equipping Teachers to Prepare Proficient Readers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Ensuring that students are reading proficiently by third grade is a key component of keeping students on track to graduate high school and pursue college and careers. Because of the magnitude of this academic milestone, states typically pursue policies that promote early identification and intervention for struggling readers. However, teachers are…

  12. Statistical analysis of nematode counts from interlaboratory proficiency tests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den W.; Hartsema, O.; Nijs, Den J.M.F.

    2014-01-01

    A series of proficiency tests on potato cyst nematode (PCN; n=29) and free-living stages of Meloidogyne and Pratylenchus (n=23) were investigated to determine the accuracy and precision of the nematode counts and to gain insights into possible trends and potential improvements. In each test, each

  13. A retrospective evaluation of proficiency testing, and rapid HIV test ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Proficiency testing (PT) has been implemented as a form of External Quality Assurance (EQA) by the National HIV Reference Laboratory in Kenya since 2007 in order to monitor and improve on the quality of HIV testing and counselling HTC services. Objective: To compare concordance between National HIV ...

  14. Predicting Lexical Proficiency in Language Learner Texts Using Computational Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Scott A.; Salsbury, Tom; McNamara, Danielle S.; Jarvis, Scott

    2011-01-01

    The authors present a model of lexical proficiency based on lexical indices related to vocabulary size, depth of lexical knowledge, and accessibility to core lexical items. The lexical indices used in this study come from the computational tool Coh-Metrix and include word length scores, lexical diversity values, word frequency counts, hypernymy…

  15. 76 FR 66318 - Announcement of Funding Awards; Limited English Proficiency Initiative Program (LEPI), Fiscal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-26

    ... limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP... Awards; Limited English Proficiency Initiative Program (LEPI), Fiscal Year 2010/2011 AGENCY: Office of... (NOFA) for the Limited English Proficiency Initiative (LEPI) Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010/2011...

  16. Comparing Examinee Attitudes Toward Computer-Assisted and Other Oral Proficiency Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Dorry M.; Malabonga, Valerie

    2001-01-01

    Examined attitudes toward taking different formats of oral proficiency assessments across three languages: Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese. Students were administered both the tape-mediated Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) and a new Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI). Questionnaire responses showed examinees, particularly…

  17. Measures for Determining English Language Proficiency and the Resulting Implications for Instructional Provision and Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Craig A.; Kenyon, Dorry M.; Boals, Timothy J.

    2009-01-01

    Although numerous English language proficiency (ELP) measures currently exist, many were developed prior to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). These pre-NCLB measures typically focused on social language proficiency, whereas post-NCLB measures are linked to ELP standards and focus on academic language proficiency (ALP). ELP measures are…

  18. "I May Be a Native Speaker but I'm Not Monolingual": Reimagining "All" Teachers' Linguistic Identities in TESOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Elizabeth M.

    2016-01-01

    Teacher linguistic identity has so far mainly been researched in terms of whether a teacher identifies (or is identified by others) as a native speaker (NEST) or nonnative speaker (NNEST) (Moussu & Llurda, 2008; Reis, 2011). Native speakers are presumed to be monolingual, and nonnative speakers, although by definition bilingual, tend to be…

  19. Proficiency training on a virtual reality robotic surgical skills curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bric, Justin; Connolly, Michael; Kastenmeier, Andrew; Goldblatt, Matthew; Gould, Jon C

    2014-12-01

    The clinical application of robotic surgery is increasing. The skills necessary to perform robotic surgery are unique from those required in open and laparoscopic surgery. A validated laparoscopic surgical skills curriculum (Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery or FLS™) has transformed the way surgeons acquire laparoscopic skills. There is a need for a similar skills training and assessment tool for robotic surgery. Our research group previously developed and validated a robotic training curriculum in a virtual reality (VR) simulator. We hypothesized that novice robotic surgeons could achieve proficiency levels defined by more experienced robotic surgeons on the VR robotic curriculum, and that this would result in improved performance on the actual daVinci Surgical System™. 25 medical students with no prior robotic surgery experience were recruited. Prior to VR training, subjects performed 2 FLS tasks 3 times each (Peg Transfer, Intracorporeal Knot Tying) using the daVinci Surgical System™ docked to a video trainer box. Task performance for the FLS tasks was scored objectively. Subjects then practiced on the VR simulator (daVinci Skills Simulator) until proficiency levels on all 5 tasks were achieved before completing a post-training assessment of the 2 FLS tasks on the daVinci Surgical System™ in the video trainer box. All subjects to complete the study (1 dropped out) reached proficiency levels on all VR tasks in an average of 71 (± 21.7) attempts, accumulating 164.3 (± 55.7) minutes of console training time. There was a significant improvement in performance on the robotic FLS tasks following completion of the VR training curriculum. Novice robotic surgeons are able to attain proficiency levels on a VR simulator. This leads to improved performance in the daVinci surgical platform on simulated tasks. Training to proficiency on a VR robotic surgery simulator is an efficient and viable method for acquiring robotic surgical skills.

  20. Shhh… I Need Quiet! Children's Understanding of American, British, and Japanese-accented English Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bent, Tessa; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2018-02-01

    Children's ability to understand speakers with a wide range of dialects and accents is essential for efficient language development and communication in a global society. Here, the impact of regional dialect and foreign-accent variability on children's speech understanding was evaluated in both quiet and noisy conditions. Five- to seven-year-old children ( n = 90) and adults ( n = 96) repeated sentences produced by three speakers with different accents-American English, British English, and Japanese-accented English-in quiet or noisy conditions. Adults had no difficulty understanding any speaker in quiet conditions. Their performance declined for the nonnative speaker with a moderate amount of noise; their performance only substantially declined for the British English speaker (i.e., below 93% correct) when their understanding of the American English speaker was also impeded. In contrast, although children showed accurate word recognition for the American and British English speakers in quiet conditions, they had difficulty understanding the nonnative speaker even under ideal listening conditions. With a moderate amount of noise, their perception of British English speech declined substantially and their ability to understand the nonnative speaker was particularly poor. These results suggest that although school-aged children can understand unfamiliar native dialects under ideal listening conditions, their ability to recognize words in these dialects may be highly susceptible to the influence of environmental degradation. Fully adult-like word identification for speakers with unfamiliar accents and dialects may exhibit a protracted developmental trajectory.

  1. Speaker emotion recognition: from classical classifiers to deep neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezghani, Eya; Charfeddine, Maha; Nicolas, Henri; Ben Amar, Chokri

    2018-04-01

    Speaker emotion recognition is considered among the most challenging tasks in recent years. In fact, automatic systems for security, medicine or education can be improved when considering the speech affective state. In this paper, a twofold approach for speech emotion classification is proposed. At the first side, a relevant set of features is adopted, and then at the second one, numerous supervised training techniques, involving classic methods as well as deep learning, are experimented. Experimental results indicate that deep architecture can improve classification performance on two affective databases, the Berlin Dataset of Emotional Speech and the SAVEE Dataset Surrey Audio-Visual Expressed Emotion.

  2. Developing a Speaker Identification System for the DARPA RATS Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plchot, O; Matsoukas, S; Matejka, P

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the speaker identification (SID) system developed by the Patrol team for the first phase of the DARPA RATS (Robust Automatic Transcription of Speech) program, which seeks to advance state of the art detection capabilities on audio from highly degraded communication channels. ...... such as CFCCs out-perform MFCC front-ends on noisy audio, and (c) fusion of multiple systems provides 24% relative improvement in EER compared to the single best system when using a novel SVM-based fusion algorithm that uses side information such as gender, language, and channel id....

  3. Speaker comfort and increase of voice level in lecture rooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunskog, Jonas; Gade, Anders Christian; Bellester, G P

    2008-01-01

    Teachers often suffer health problems or tension related to their voice. These problems may be related to there working environment, including room acoustics of the lecture rooms which forces them to stress their voices. The present paper describes a first effort in finding relationships between...... were also measured in the rooms and subjective impressions from about 20 persons who had experience talking in these rooms were collected as well. Analysis of the data revealed significant differences in the sound power produced by the speaker in the different rooms. It was also found...

  4. Gender Identification of the Speaker Using VQ Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasif V. Nabiyev

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Speaking is the easiest and natural form of communication between people. Intensive studies are made in order to provide this communication via computers between people. The systems using voice biometric technology are attracting attention especially in the angle of cost and usage. When compared with the other biometic systems the application is much more practical. For example by using a microphone placed in the environment voice record can be obtained even without notifying the user and the system can be applied. Moreover the remote access facility is one of the other advantages of voice biometry. In this study, it is aimed to automatically determine the gender of the speaker through the speech waves which include personal information. If the speaker gender can be determined while composing models according to the gender information, the success of voice recognition systems can be increased in an important degree. Generally all the speaker recognition systems are composed of two parts which are feature extraction and matching. Feature extraction is the procedure in which the least information presenting the speech and the speaker is determined through voice signal. There are different features used in voice applications such as LPC, MFCC and PLP. In this study as a feature vector MFCC is used. Feature mathcing is the procedure in which the features derived from unknown speakers and known speaker group are compared. According to the text used in comparison the system is devided to two parts that are text dependent and text independent. While the same text is used in text dependent systems, different texts are used in indepentent text systems. Nowadays, DTW and HMM are text dependent, VQ and GMM are text indepentent matching methods. In this study due to the high success ratio and simple application features VQ approach is used.In this study a system which determines the speaker gender automatically and text independent is proposed. The proposed

  5. Text-Independent Speaker Identification Using the Histogram Transform Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Zhanyu; Yu, Hong; Tan, Zheng-Hua

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel probabilistic method for the task of text-independent speaker identification (SI). In order to capture the dynamic information during SI, we design a super-MFCCs features by cascading three neighboring Mel-frequency Cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) frames together....... These super-MFCC vectors are utilized for probabilistic model training such that the speaker’s characteristics can be sufficiently captured. The probability density function (PDF) of the aforementioned super-MFCCs features is estimated by the recently proposed histogram transform (HT) method. To recedes...

  6. Summary of microsatellite instability test results from laboratories participating in proficiency surveys: proficiency survey results from 2005 to 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Theresa A; Bridge, Julia A; Sabatini, Linda M; Nowak, Jan A; Vasalos, Patricia; Jennings, Lawrence J; Halling, Kevin C

    2014-03-01

    The College of American Pathologists surveys are the largest laboratory peer comparison programs in the world. These programs allow laboratories to regularly evaluate their performance and improve the accuracy of the patient test results they provide. Proficiency testing is offered twice a year to laboratories performing microsatellite instability testing. These surveys are designed to emulate clinical practice, and some surveys have more challenging cases to encourage the refinement of laboratory practices. This report summarizes the results and trends in microsatellite instability proficiency testing from participating laboratories from the inception of the program in 2005 through 2012. We compiled and analyzed data for 16 surveys of microsatellite instability proficiency testing during 2005 to 2012. The number of laboratories participating in the microsatellite instability survey has more than doubled from 42 to 104 during the 8 years analyzed. An average of 95.4% of the laboratories correctly classified each of the survey test samples from the 2005A through 2012B proficiency challenges. In the 2011B survey, a lower percentage of laboratories (78.4%) correctly classified the specimen, possibly because of overlooking subtle changes of microsatellite instability and/or failing to enrich the tumor content of the specimen to meet the limit of detection of their assay. In general, laboratories performed well in microsatellite instability testing. This testing will continue to be important in screening patients with colorectal and other cancers for Lynch syndrome and guiding the management of patients with sporadic colorectal cancer.

  7. Do children go for the nice guys? The influence of speaker benevolence and certainty on selective word learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstra, Myrthe; DE Mulder, Hannah N M; Coopmans, Peter

    2018-04-06

    This study investigated how speaker certainty (a rational cue) and speaker benevolence (an emotional cue) influence children's willingness to learn words in a selective learning paradigm. In two experiments four- to six-year-olds learnt novel labels from two speakers and, after a week, their memory for these labels was reassessed. Results demonstrated that children retained the label-object pairings for at least a week. Furthermore, children preferred to learn from certain over uncertain speakers, but they had no significant preference for nice over nasty speakers. When the cues were combined, children followed certain speakers, even if they were nasty. However, children did prefer to learn from nice and certain speakers over nasty and certain speakers. These results suggest that rational cues regarding a speaker's linguistic competence trump emotional cues regarding a speaker's affective status in word learning. However, emotional cues were found to have a subtle influence on this process.

  8. A BI-DIALECTAL TEST FOR DETERMINING LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BARATZ, JOAN C.

    THE PURPOSE OF THIS EXPERIMENT WAS TO COMPARE THE LANGUAGE BEHAVIOR OF STANDARD AND NONSTANDARD ENGLISH SPEAKERS WHEN ASKED TO REPEAT STANDARD AND NONSTANDARD SENTENCES. THE SUBJECTS (47 THIRD AND FIFTH GRADERS AT A NEGRO SCHOOL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND 30 OF THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS AT A SUBURBAN MARYLAND SCHOOL) WERE ASKED TO REPEAT 30 TAPED…

  9. The Halo surrounding native English speaker teachers in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angga Kramadibrata

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Native Speaker Fallacy, a commonly held belief that Native English Speaker Teachers (NESTs are inherently better than Non-NESTs, has long been questioned by ELT researchers. However, this belief still stands strong in the general public. This research looks to understand how much a teacher’s nativeness affects a student’s attitude towards them, as well as the underlying reasons for their attitudes. Sixty seven respondents in two groups were asked to watch an animated teaching video, after which they completed a questionnaire that used Likert-scales to assess comprehensibility, clarity of explanation, engagement, and preference. The videos for both groups were identical apart from the narrator; one spoke in British English, while the other, Indian English. In addition, they were also visually identified as Caucasian and Asian, respectively. The video was controlled for speed of delivery. The quantitative data were then triangulated using qualitative data collected through open questions in the questionnaire as well as from a semi-structured interview conducted with 10 respondents. The data show that there is a significant implicit preference for NEST teachers in the video, as well as in respondent’s actual classes. However, when asked explicitly, respondents didn’t rank nativeness as a very important quality in English teachers. This discrepancy between implicit and explicit attitudes might be due to a subconscious cognitive bias, namely the Halo Effect, in which humans tend to make unjustified presumptions about a person based on known but irrelevant information.

  10. LEARNING VECTOR QUANTIZATION FOR ADAPTED GAUSSIAN MIXTURE MODELS IN AUTOMATIC SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IMEN TRABELSI

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Speaker Identification (SI aims at automatically identifying an individual by extracting and processing information from his/her voice. Speaker voice is a robust a biometric modality that has a strong impact in several application areas. In this study, a new combination learning scheme has been proposed based on Gaussian mixture model-universal background model (GMM-UBM and Learning vector quantization (LVQ for automatic text-independent speaker identification. Features vectors, constituted by the Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC extracted from the speech signal are used to train the New England subset of the TIMIT database. The best results obtained (90% for gender- independent speaker identification, 97 % for male speakers and 93% for female speakers for test data using 36 MFCC features.

  11. A simple optical method for measuring the vibration amplitude of a speaker

    OpenAIRE

    UEDA, Masahiro; YAMAGUCHI, Toshihiko; KAKIUCHI, Hiroki; SUGA, Hiroshi

    1999-01-01

    A simple optical method has been proposed for measuring the vibration amplitude of a speaker vibrating with a frequency of approximately 10 kHz. The method is based on a multiple reflection between a vibrating speaker plane and a mirror parallel to that speaker plane. The multiple reflection can magnify a dispersion of the laser beam caused by the vibration, and easily make a measurement of the amplitude. The measuring sensitivity ranges between sub-microns and 1 mm. A preliminary experim...

  12. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buddhamas eKriengwatana

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioural Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech ability to categorize /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiment 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioural evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted.

  13. The English Proficiency of the Academics of the Teacher Training and Education Institutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Saukah

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The study is aimed at describing the general English proficiency level of the academics of Teacher Training and Education Institutions (LPTK's as indicated by their TOEFL scores. Specifically, the study is focused on finding out whether there is any difference among the academics' English proficiencies when they are grouped in terms of the geographic regions of their institutions and their fields of study. This study is also intended to reveal any possible relationship between the academics' English proficiency and their age. The results indicate that the English proficiency of the academics on the average is far below the average of that of the international students. The academics in West Java are the highest in their English proficiency, and the English group, as expected, has the best English proficiency. In addition, there is a negative correlation between English proficiency and age

  14. Effects of Language Background on Gaze Behavior: A Crosslinguistic Comparison Between Korean and German Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goller, Florian; Lee, Donghoon; Ansorge, Ulrich; Choi, Soonja

    2017-01-01

    Languages differ in how they categorize spatial relations: While German differentiates between containment (in) and support (auf) with distinct spatial words—(a) den Kuli IN die Kappe stecken (”put pen in cap”); (b) die Kappe AUF den Kuli stecken (”put cap on pen”)—Korean uses a single spatial word (kkita) collapsing (a) and (b) into one semantic category, particularly when the spatial enclosure is tight-fit. Korean uses a different word (i.e., netha) for loose-fits (e.g., apple in bowl). We tested whether these differences influence the attention of the speaker. In a crosslinguistic study, we compared native German speakers with native Korean speakers. Participants rated the similarity of two successive video clips of several scenes where two objects were joined or nested (either in a tight or loose manner). The rating data show that Korean speakers base their rating of similarity more on tight- versus loose-fit, whereas German speakers base their rating more on containment versus support (in vs. auf). Throughout the experiment, we also measured the participants’ eye movements. Korean speakers looked equally long at the moving Figure object and at the stationary Ground object, whereas German speakers were more biased to look at the Ground object. Additionally, Korean speakers also looked more at the region where the two objects touched than did German speakers. We discuss our data in the light of crosslinguistic semantics and the extent of their influence on spatial cognition and perception. PMID:29362644

  15. A Comparison of Coverbal Gesture Use in Oral Discourse Among Speakers With Fluent and Nonfluent Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Sam-Po; Chak, Gigi Wan-Chi

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Coverbal gesture use, which is affected by the presence and degree of aphasia, can be culturally specific. The purpose of this study was to compare gesture use among Cantonese-speaking individuals: 23 neurologically healthy speakers, 23 speakers with fluent aphasia, and 21 speakers with nonfluent aphasia. Method Multimedia data of discourse samples from these speakers were extracted from the Cantonese AphasiaBank. Gestures were independently annotated on their forms and functions to determine how gesturing rate and distribution of gestures differed across speaker groups. A multiple regression was conducted to determine the most predictive variable(s) for gesture-to-word ratio. Results Although speakers with nonfluent aphasia gestured most frequently, the rate of gesture use in counterparts with fluent aphasia did not differ significantly from controls. Different patterns of gesture functions in the 3 speaker groups revealed that gesture plays a minor role in lexical retrieval whereas its role in enhancing communication dominates among the speakers with aphasia. The percentages of complete sentences and dysfluency strongly predicted the gesturing rate in aphasia. Conclusions The current results supported the sketch model of language–gesture association. The relationship between gesture production and linguistic abilities and clinical implications for gesture-based language intervention for speakers with aphasia are also discussed. PMID:28609510

  16. The challenge of regional accents for aviation English language proficiency standards: a study of difficulties in understanding in air traffic control-pilot communications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiewtrakul, T; Fletcher, S R

    2010-02-01

    Although English has been the international aviation language since 1951, formal language proficiency testing for key aviation personnel has only recently been implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It aims to ensure minimum acceptable levels of English pronunciation and comprehension universally, but does not attend to particular regional dialect difficulties. However, evidence suggests that voice transmissions between air traffic controllers and pilots are a particular problem in international airspace and that pilots may not understand messages due to the influence of different accents when using English. This study explores the potential impact of 'non-native English' in pilot-air traffic control transmissions using a 'conversation analysis' technique to examine approach phase recordings from Bangkok International Airport. Results support that communication errors, defined by incidents of pilots not understanding, occur significantly more often when speakers are both non-native English, messages are more complex and when numerical information is involved. These results and their possible implications are discussed with reference to the development of ICAO's new language proficiency standards. Statement of Relevance: This study builds on previous work and literature, providing further evidence to show that the risks caused by language and linguistics in aviation must be explored more deeply. Findings are particularly contemporary and relevant today, indicating that recently implemented international standards would benefit from further exploratory research and development.

  17. Non-English speakers attend gastroenterology clinic appointments at higher rates than English speakers in a vulnerable patient population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewell, Justin L.; Kushel, Margot B.; Inadomi, John M.; Yee, Hal F.

    2009-01-01

    Goals We sought to identify factors associated with gastroenterology clinic attendance in an urban safety net healthcare system. Background Missed clinic appointments reduce the efficiency and availability of healthcare, but subspecialty clinic attendance among patients with established healthcare access has not been studied. Study We performed an observational study using secondary data from administrative sources to study patients referred to, and scheduled for an appointment in, the adult gastroenterology clinic serving the safety net healthcare system of San Francisco, California. Our dependent variable was whether subjects attended or missed a scheduled appointment. Analysis included multivariable logistic regression and classification tree analysis. 1,833 patients were referred and scheduled for an appointment between 05/2005 and 08/2006. Prisoners were excluded. All patients had a primary care provider. Results 683 patients (37.3%) missed their appointment; 1,150 (62.7%) attended. Language was highly associated with attendance in the logistic regression; non-English speakers were less likely than English speakers to miss an appointment (adjusted odds ratio 0.42 [0.28,0.63] for Spanish, 0.56 [0.38,0.82] for Asian language, p gastroenterology clinic appointment, not speaking English was most strongly associated with higher attendance rates. Patient related factors associated with not speaking English likely influence subspecialty clinic attendance rates, and these factors may differ from those affecting general healthcare access. PMID:19169147

  18. First Language Proficiency and Successful Foreign Language Learning: The Case of High School Students Learning French as a Foreign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnintedem, Antoine

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated whether there was a correlation between first language proficiency as measured by the Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT II) Reading and Language Arts and foreign language proficiency as measured by the French Language Proficiency Test. Data for the independent variable, first language proficiency, was collected from the…

  19. Nordic proficiency test for whole body counting facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    del Risco Norrlid, L. (Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Sweden)); Halldorsson, O. (Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority, GR (Iceland)); Holm, S. (Copenhagen Univ. Hospital. NM and PET (Denmark)); Huikari, J. (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Finland)); Isaksson, M. (Goeteborg Univ., Dep. Radiation Physics Sahlgren Academy (Sweden)); Lind, B. (Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (Norway))

    2012-01-15

    The PIANOLIB activity aims to harmonize the calibrations of the measurement equipment in the region and to evaluate the quality of this kind of measurement by means of a proficiency test exercise. In this report the results of the proficiency test are presented. The exercise consisted in determining the activity of a phantom filled with two sets of certified radioactive materials, K-40 and Cs-137, in radioactive rods, uniformly spaced inside of the phantom. Most of the participants were able to quantify correctly the activities of K-40 and Cs-137 and by comparison with the results of a previous exercise of this kind, the overall performance is equally good. The problems experienced by laboratories which submitted non-acceptable results could generally be attributed to the calibration of their systems. It is important to keep the practice of intercomparison and NKS continues to be the best framework for supporting this kind of activity. (Author)

  20. Language proficiency and health status: are bilingual immigrants healthier?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachter, Ariela; Kimbro, Rachel T; Gorman, Bridget K

    2012-03-01

    Bilingual immigrants appear to have a health advantage, and identifying the mechanisms responsible for this is of increasing interest to scholars and policy makers in the United States. Utilizing the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS; n = 3,264), we investigate the associations between English and native-language proficiency and usage and self-rated health for Asian and Latino U.S. immigrants from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The findings demonstrate that across immigrant ethnic groups, being bilingual is associated with better self-rated physical and mental health relative to being proficient in only English or only a native language, and moreover, these associations are partially mediated by socioeconomic status and family support but not by acculturation, stress and discrimination, or health access and behaviors.

  1. Linguistic Proficiency and Strategies on Reading Performance in English

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Hassan Talebi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available General English (L2 proficiency and reading strategies are believed to be highly effective in successful reading performance. However, available studies rarely investigated the combined effects of these two variables on successful reading. To fill this gap, 78 university students were divided into four groups of different degrees of these two variables in L2 and given a reading test in English and an interview for assessing how much of the problems in L2 reading among the four groups were rooted in linguistic competence and/or strategic competence. Findings evinced that the high general proficiency level coupled with high awareness and use of reading strategies would result in best performance and that the pattern of answers to different components of reading question is different in different groups. It is concluded that both of the variables should be emphasized simultaneously for the best performance in reading comprehension.

  2. Fluctuation analysis of proficient and dysgraphic handwriting in children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, S.; Roman, H. E.

    2009-03-01

    We analyze handwriting records from several school children with the aim of characterizing the fluctuating behavior of the writing speed. It will be concluded that remarkable differences exist between proficient and dysgraphic handwritings which were unknown so far. It is shown that in the case of proficient handwriting, the variations in handwriting speed are strongly autocorrelated within times corresponding to the completion of a single character or letter, while become uncorrelated at longer times. In the case of dysgraphia, such correlations persist on longer time scales and the autocorrelation function seems to display algebraic time decay, indicating the presence of strong anomalies in the handwriting process. Applications of the results in educational/clinical programs are envisaged.

  3. Radon Measurement Proficiency (RMP) Program methods and devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison, J.; Hoornbeek, J.; Jalbert, P.; Sensintaffar, E.; Hopper, R.

    1991-01-01

    The US EPA developed the voluntary Radon Measurement Proficiency Program in 1986 in response to a Federal and State need for measurement services firms to demonstrate their proficiency with radon measurement methods and devices. Since that time, the program has set basic standards for the radon measurement industry. The program has grown dramatically since its inception. In 1986, fewer than 50 companies participated in the program. By 1989, more than 5,000 companies were participating. Participants represent firms with an analytical capability as well as firms that rely upon another firm for analysis service. Since the beginning of the RMP Program, the Agency has learned a great deal about radon measurement methods and devices. This paper reviews the measurement devices used in the program and what the EPA has learned about them since the program's inception. Performance data from the RMP Program are used to highlight relevant findings

  4. Proficiency Testing Activities of Frequency Calibration Laboratories in Taiwan, 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    cht.com.tw Abstract In order to meet the requirements of ISO 17025 and the demand of TAF (Taiwan Accreditation Foundation) for calibration inter... IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The proficiency testing results are then important...on-site evaluation, an assessment team is organized to examine the technical competence of the labs and their compliance with the requirements of ISO

  5. Does childhood motor skill proficiency predict adolescent fitness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Lisa M; Van Beurden, Eric; Morgan, Philip J; Brooks, Lyndon O; Beard, John R

    2008-12-01

    To determine whether childhood fundamental motor skill proficiency predicts subsequent adolescent cardiorespiratory fitness. In 2000, children's proficiency in a battery of skills was assessed as part of an elementary school-based intervention. Participants were followed up during 2006/2007 as part of the Physical Activity and Skills Study, and cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using the Multistage Fitness Test. Linear regression was used to examine the relationship between childhood fundamental motor skill proficiency and adolescent cardiorespiratory fitness controlling for gender. Composite object control (kick, catch, throw) and locomotor skill (hop, side gallop, vertical jump) were constructed for analysis. A separate linear regression examined the ability of the sprint run to predict cardiorespiratory fitness. Of the 928 original intervention participants, 481 were in 28 schools, 276 (57%) of whom were assessed. Two hundred and forty-four students (88.4%) completed the fitness test. One hundred and twenty-seven were females (52.1%), 60.1% of whom were in grade 10 and 39.0% were in grade 11. As children, almost all 244 completed each motor assessments, except for the sprint run (n = 154, 55.8%). The mean composite skill score in 2000 was 17.7 (SD 5.1). In 2006/2007, the mean number of laps on the Multistage Fitness Test was 50.5 (SD 24.4). Object control proficiency in childhood, adjusting for gender (P = 0.000), was associated with adolescent cardiorespiratory fitness (P = 0.012), accounting for 26% of fitness variation. Children with good object control skills are more likely to become fit adolescents. Fundamental motor skill development in childhood may be an important component of interventions aiming to promote long-term fitness.

  6. The impact of threshold language assistance programming on the accessibility of mental health services for persons with limited English proficiency in the Medi-Cal setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, Sean R; Wu, Frances M; Snowden, Lonnie R

    2012-06-01

    Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits federal funds recipients from providing care to limited English proficiency (LEP) persons more limited in scope or lower in quality than care provided to others. In 1999, the California Department of Mental Health implemented a "threshold language access policy" to meet its Title VI obligations. Under this policy, Medi-Cal agencies must provide language assistance programming in a non-English language where a county's Medical population contains either 3000 residents or 5% speakers of that language. We examine the impact of threshold language policy-required language assistance programming on LEP persons' access to mental health services by analyzing the county-level penetration rate of services for Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese speakers across 34 California counties, over 10 years of quarterly data. Exploiting a time series with nonequivalent control group study design, we studied this phenomena using linear regression with random county effects to account for trends over time. Threshold language policy-required assistance programming led to an immediate and significant increase in the penetration rate of mental health services for Russian (8.2, P language speaking persons. Threshold language assistance programming was effective in increasing mental health access for Russian and Vietnamese, but not for Spanish-speaking LEP persons.

  7. GE Fanuc推出Proficy Historian 3.0

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    GE基础设施旗下的GE Fanuc自动化美洲公司推出了全新的ProficyTM Historian版本3.0个全新的厂级数据历史库版本。ProficyTM Historian 3.0能采集、归档并发布所有的实时现场生产数据,使用起来非常方便,可用性很高。凭藉Proficy Historian,制造商可以有效地从多个数据源采集并聚合实时工厂数据。对于诸如因设备故障和产品质量存在问题而造成的非满意事件,它能快速找出根本原因以实现最佳绩效。

  8. Cell Phone Use and Child and Adolescent Reading Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofferth, Sandra L.; Moon, Ui Jeong

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the association between cell phone use, including minutes spent talking and number of text messages sent, and two measures of children’s reading proficiency — tests of word decoding and reading comprehension — in the United States. Data were drawn from the Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative survey of 1,147 children 10–18 in 2009. Children whose parents were better educated, who had higher family incomes, who had fewer siblings, and who lived in urban areas were more likely to own or share a cell phone. Among those with access to a phone, children who spent more time talking on the phone were less proficient at word decoding, whereas children who spent more time sending text messages had greater reading comprehension. Although girls spent more time texting than did boys, there were no gender differences in the association between time spent talking or number of text messages sent with achievement. In spite of racial/ethnic differences in cell phone use levels, there were no racial/ethnic differences in the association between cell phone use and reading proficiency. PMID:27683624

  9. Aerodynamic Characteristics of Syllable and Sentence Productions in Normal Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, Cedric; Yang, Jin; Crawley, Brianna; Krishna, Priya; Murry, Thomas

    2018-01-08

    Aerodynamic measures of subglottic air pressure (Ps) and airflow rate (AFR) are used to select behavioral voice therapy versus surgical treatment for voice disorders. However, these measures are usually taken during a series of syllables, which differs from conversational speech. Repeated syllables do not share the variation found in even simple sentences, and patients may use their best rather than typical voice unless specifically instructed otherwise. This study examined the potential differences in estimated Ps and AFR in syllable and sentence production and their effects on a measure of vocal efficiency in normal speakers. Prospective study. Measures of estimated Ps, AFR, and aerodynamic vocal efficiency (AVE) were obtained from 19 female and four male speakers ages 22-44 years with no history of voice disorders. Subjects repeated a series of /pa/ syllables and a sentence at comfortable effort level into a face mask with a pressure-sensing tube between the lips. AVE varies as a function of the speech material in normal subjects. Ps measures were significantly higher for the sentence-production samples than for the syllable-production samples. AFR was higher during sentence production than syllable production, but the difference was not statistically significant. AVE values were significantly higher for syllable versus sentence productions. The results suggest that subjects increase Ps and AFR in sentence compared with syllable production. Speaking task is a critical factor when considering measures of AVE, and this preliminary study provides a basis for further aerodynamic studies of patient populations. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Audio-Visual Speaker Diarization Based on Spatiotemporal Bayesian Fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebru, Israel D; Ba, Sileye; Li, Xiaofei; Horaud, Radu

    2018-05-01

    Speaker diarization consists of assigning speech signals to people engaged in a dialogue. An audio-visual spatiotemporal diarization model is proposed. The model is well suited for challenging scenarios that consist of several participants engaged in multi-party interaction while they move around and turn their heads towards the other participants rather than facing the cameras and the microphones. Multiple-person visual tracking is combined with multiple speech-source localization in order to tackle the speech-to-person association problem. The latter is solved within a novel audio-visual fusion method on the following grounds: binaural spectral features are first extracted from a microphone pair, then a supervised audio-visual alignment technique maps these features onto an image, and finally a semi-supervised clustering method assigns binaural spectral features to visible persons. The main advantage of this method over previous work is that it processes in a principled way speech signals uttered simultaneously by multiple persons. The diarization itself is cast into a latent-variable temporal graphical model that infers speaker identities and speech turns, based on the output of an audio-visual association process, executed at each time slice, and on the dynamics of the diarization variable itself. The proposed formulation yields an efficient exact inference procedure. A novel dataset, that contains audio-visual training data as well as a number of scenarios involving several participants engaged in formal and informal dialogue, is introduced. The proposed method is thoroughly tested and benchmarked with respect to several state-of-the art diarization algorithms.

  11. Does a peer model's task proficiency influence children's solution choice and innovation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Lara A; Kendal, Rachel L; Flynn, Emma G

    2015-11-01

    The current study investigated whether 4- to 6-year-old children's task solution choice was influenced by the past proficiency of familiar peer models and the children's personal prior task experience. Peer past proficiency was established through behavioral assessments of interactions with novel tasks alongside peer and teacher predictions of each child's proficiency. Based on these assessments, one peer model with high past proficiency and one age-, sex-, dominance-, and popularity-matched peer model with lower past proficiency were trained to remove a capsule using alternative solutions from a three-solution artificial fruit task. Video demonstrations of the models were shown to children after they had either a personal successful interaction or no interaction with the task. In general, there was not a strong bias toward the high past-proficiency model, perhaps due to a motivation to acquire multiple methods and the salience of other transmission biases. However, there was some evidence of a model-based past-proficiency bias; when the high past-proficiency peer matched the participants' original solution, there was increased use of that solution, whereas if the high past-proficiency peer demonstrated an alternative solution, there was increased use of the alternative social solution and novel solutions. Thus, model proficiency influenced innovation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Psychophysical Boundary for Categorization of Voiced-Voiceless Stop Consonants in Native Japanese Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Shunsuke; Ito, Kazuhito; Hirose, Nobuyuki; Mori, Shuji

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychophysical boundary used for categorization of voiced-voiceless stop consonants in native Japanese speakers. Method: Twelve native Japanese speakers participated in the experiment. The stimuli were synthetic stop consonant-vowel stimuli varying in voice onset time (VOT) with…

  13. White Native English Speakers Needed: The Rhetorical Construction of Privilege in Online Teacher Recruitment Spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruecker, Todd; Ives, Lindsey

    2015-01-01

    Over the past few decades, scholars have paid increasing attention to the role of native speakerism in the field of TESOL. Several recent studies have exposed instances of native speakerism in TESOL recruitment discourses published through a variety of media, but none have focused specifically on professional websites advertising programs in…

  14. Within-category variance and lexical tone discrimination in native and non-native speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, C.W.G.; Sadakata, M.; Chen, A.; Desain, P.W.M.; McQueen, J.M.; Gussenhove, C.; Chen, Y.; Dediu, D.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we show how acoustic variance within lexical tones in disyllabic Mandarin Chinese pseudowords affects discrimination abilities in both native and non-native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. Within-category acoustic variance did not hinder native speakers in discriminating between lexical

  15. Content-specific coordination of listeners' to speakers' EEG during communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlen, Anna K; Allefeld, Carsten; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscience has recently begun to extend its focus from the isolated individual mind to two or more individuals coordinating with each other. In this study we uncover a coordination of neural activity between the ongoing electroencephalogram (EEG) of two people-a person speaking and a person listening. The EEG of one set of twelve participants ("speakers") was recorded while they were narrating short stories. The EEG of another set of twelve participants ("listeners") was recorded while watching audiovisual recordings of these stories. Specifically, listeners watched the superimposed videos of two speakers simultaneously and were instructed to attend either to one or the other speaker. This allowed us to isolate neural coordination due to processing the communicated content from the effects of sensory input. We find several neural signatures of communication: First, the EEG is more similar among listeners attending to the same speaker than among listeners attending to different speakers, indicating that listeners' EEG reflects content-specific information. Secondly, listeners' EEG activity correlates with the attended speakers' EEG, peaking at a time delay of about 12.5 s. This correlation takes place not only between homologous, but also between non-homologous brain areas in speakers and listeners. A semantic analysis of the stories suggests that listeners coordinate with speakers at the level of complex semantic representations, so-called "situation models". With this study we link a coordination of neural activity between individuals directly to verbally communicated information.

  16. Are Cantonese-Speakers Really Descriptivists? Revisiting Cross-Cultural Semantics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Barry

    2010-01-01

    In an article in "Cognition" [Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., & Stich, S. (2004). "Semantics cross-cultural style." "Cognition, 92", B1-B12] present data which purports to show that East Asian Cantonese-speakers tend to have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names, while Western English-speakers tend to have…

  17. Automaticity and stability of adaptation to a foreign-accented speaker

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witteman, M.J.; Bardhan, N.P.; Weber, A.C.; McQueen, J.M.

    2015-01-01

    In three cross-modal priming experiments we asked whether adaptation to a foreign-accented speaker is automatic, and whether adaptation can be seen after a long delay between initial exposure and test. Dutch listeners were exposed to a Hebrew-accented Dutch speaker with two types of Dutch words:

  18. Congenital Amusia in Speakers of a Tone Language: Association with Lexical Tone Agnosia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan, Yun; Sun, Yanan; Peretz, Isabelle

    2010-01-01

    Congenital amusia is a neurogenetic disorder that affects the processing of musical pitch in speakers of non-tonal languages like English and French. We assessed whether this musical disorder exists among speakers of Mandarin Chinese who use pitch to alter the meaning of words. Using the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia, we tested 117…

  19. 7 CFR 247.13 - Provisions for non-English or limited-English speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 4 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Provisions for non-English or limited-English speakers... § 247.13 Provisions for non-English or limited-English speakers. (a) What must State and local agencies do to ensure that non-English or limited-English speaking persons are aware of their rights and...

  20. The Sound of Voice: Voice-Based Categorization of Speakers' Sexual Orientation within and across Languages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Sulpizio

    Full Text Available Empirical research had initially shown that English listeners are able to identify the speakers' sexual orientation based on voice cues alone. However, the accuracy of this voice-based categorization, as well as its generalizability to other languages (language-dependency and to non-native speakers (language-specificity, has been questioned recently. Consequently, we address these open issues in 5 experiments: First, we tested whether Italian and German listeners are able to correctly identify sexual orientation of same-language male speakers. Then, participants of both nationalities listened to voice samples and rated the sexual orientation of both Italian and German male speakers. We found that listeners were unable to identify the speakers' sexual orientation correctly. However, speakers were consistently categorized as either heterosexual or gay on the basis of how they sounded. Moreover, a similar pattern of results emerged when listeners judged the sexual orientation of speakers of their own and of the foreign language. Overall, this research suggests that voice-based categorization of sexual orientation reflects the listeners' expectations of how gay voices sound rather than being an accurate detector of the speakers' actual sexual identity. Results are discussed with regard to accuracy, acoustic features of voices, language dependency and language specificity.

  1. Comprehending non-native speakers: theory and evidence for adjustment in manner of processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lev-Ari, Shiri

    2014-01-01

    Non-native speakers have lower linguistic competence than native speakers, which renders their language less reliable in conveying their intentions. We suggest that expectations of lower competence lead listeners to adapt their manner of processing when they listen to non-native speakers. We propose that listeners use cognitive resources to adjust by increasing their reliance on top-down processes and extracting less information from the language of the non-native speaker. An eye-tracking study supports our proposal by showing that when following instructions by a non-native speaker, listeners make more contextually-induced interpretations. Those with relatively high working memory also increase their reliance on context to anticipate the speaker's upcoming reference, and are less likely to notice lexical errors in the non-native speech, indicating that they take less information from the speaker's language. These results contribute to our understanding of the flexibility in language processing and have implications for interactions between native and non-native speakers.

  2. Popular Public Discourse at Speakers' Corner: Negotiating Cultural Identities in Interaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McIlvenny, Paul

    1996-01-01

    , religious and general topical 'soap-box' oration. However, audiences are not passive receivers of rhetorical messages. They are active negotiators of interpretations and alignments that may conflict with the speaker's and other audience members' orientations to prior talk. Speakers' Corner is a space...

  3. The Acquisition of Clitic Pronouns in the Spanish Interlanguage of Peruvian Quechua Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klee, Carol A.

    1989-01-01

    Analysis of four adult Quechua speakers' acquisition of clitic pronouns in Spanish revealed that educational attainment and amount of contact with monolingual Spanish speakers were positively related to native-like norms of competence in the use of object pronouns in Spanish. (CB)

  4. Intelligibility of Standard German and Low German to Speakers of Dutch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gooskens, C.S.; Kürschner, Sebastian; van Bezooijen, R.

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports on the intelligibility of spoken Low German and Standard German for speakers of Dutch. Two aspects are considered. First, the relative potential for intelligibility of the Low German variety of Bremen and the High German variety of Modern Standard German for speakers of Dutch is

  5. Pragmatic Instruction May Not Be Necessary among Heritage Speakers of Spanish: A Study on Requests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros García, María J.; Bachelor, Jeremy W.

    2018-01-01

    This paper studies the pragmatic competence of U.S. heritage speakers of Spanish in an attempt to determine (a) the degree of pragmatic transfer from English to Spanish experienced by heritage speakers when producing different types of requests in Spanish; and (b) how to best teach pragmatics to students of Spanish as a Heritage Language (SHL).…

  6. Bridging Gaps in Common Ground: Speakers Design Their Gestures for Their Listeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilliard, Caitlin; Cook, Susan Wagner

    2016-01-01

    Communication is shaped both by what we are trying to say and by whom we are saying it to. We examined whether and how shared information influences the gestures speakers produce along with their speech. Unlike prior work examining effects of common ground on speech and gesture, we examined a situation in which some speakers have the same amount…

  7. Classifications of Vocalic Segments from Articulatory Kinematics: Healthy Controls and Speakers with Dysarthria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yunusova, Yana; Weismer, Gary G.; Lindstrom, Mary J.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors classified vocalic segments produced by control speakers (C) and speakers with dysarthria due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Parkinson's disease (PD); classification was based on movement measures. The researchers asked the following questions: (a) Can vowels be classified on the basis of selected…

  8. Articulatory Movements during Vowels in Speakers with Dysarthria and Healthy Controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yunusova, Yana; Weismer, Gary; Westbury, John R.; Lindstrom, Mary J.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This study compared movement characteristics of markers attached to the jaw, lower lip, tongue blade, and dorsum during production of selected English vowels by normal speakers and speakers with dysarthria due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Parkinson disease (PD). The study asked the following questions: (a) Are movement…

  9. Speaker Input Variability Does Not Explain Why Larger Populations Have Simpler Languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Mark; Kirby, Simon; Smith, Kenny

    2015-01-01

    A learner's linguistic input is more variable if it comes from a greater number of speakers. Higher speaker input variability has been shown to facilitate the acquisition of phonemic boundaries, since data drawn from multiple speakers provides more information about the distribution of phonemes in a speech community. It has also been proposed that speaker input variability may have a systematic influence on individual-level learning of morphology, which can in turn influence the group-level characteristics of a language. Languages spoken by larger groups of people have less complex morphology than those spoken in smaller communities. While a mechanism by which the number of speakers could have such an effect is yet to be convincingly identified, differences in speaker input variability, which is thought to be larger in larger groups, may provide an explanation. By hindering the acquisition, and hence faithful cross-generational transfer, of complex morphology, higher speaker input variability may result in structural simplification. We assess this claim in two experiments which investigate the effect of such variability on language learning, considering its influence on a learner's ability to segment a continuous speech stream and acquire a morphologically complex miniature language. We ultimately find no evidence to support the proposal that speaker input variability influences language learning and so cannot support the hypothesis that it explains how population size determines the structural properties of language.

  10. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kriengwatana, B.; Escudero, P.; Kerkhoven, A.H.; ten Cate, C.

    2015-01-01

    Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still

  11. Speaker detection for conversational robots using synchrony between audio and video

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noulas, A.; Englebienne, G.; Terwijn, B.; Kröse, B.; Hanheide, M.; Zender, H.

    2010-01-01

    This paper compares different methods for detecting the speaking person when multiple persons are interacting with a robot. We evaluate the state-of-the-art speaker detection methods on the iCat robot. These methods use the synchrony between audio and video to locate the most probable speaker. We

  12. Use of the BAT with a Cantonese-Putonghua Speaker with Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Weekes, Brendan Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this article is to illustrate the use of the Bilingual Aphasia Test (BAT) with a Cantonese-Putonghua speaker. We describe G, who is a relatively young Chinese bilingual speaker with aphasia. G's communication abilities in his L2, Putonghua, were impaired following brain damage. This impairment caused specific difficulties in…

  13. During Threaded Discussions Are Non-Native English Speakers Always at a Disadvantage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafer Willner, Lynn

    2014-01-01

    When participating in threaded discussions, under what conditions might non¬native speakers of English (NNSE) be at a comparative disadvantage to their classmates who are native speakers of English (NSE)? This study compares the threaded discussion perspectives of closely-matched NNSE and NSE adult students having different levels of threaded…

  14. Promoting Communities of Practice among Non-Native Speakers of English in Online Discussions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hoe Kyeung

    2011-01-01

    An online discussion involving text-based computer-mediated communication has great potential for promoting equal participation among non-native speakers of English. Several studies claimed that online discussions could enhance the academic participation of non-native speakers of English. However, there is little research around participation…

  15. The AMI speaker diarization system for NIST RT06s meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van; Huijbregts, Marijn

    2006-01-01

    We describe the systems submitted to the NIST RT06s evaluation for the Speech Activity Detection (SAD) and Speaker Diarization (SPKR) tasks. For speech activity detection, a new analysis methodology is presented that generalizes the Detection Erorr Tradeoff analysis commonly used in speaker

  16. The AMI speaker diarization system for NIST RT06s meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, David A.; Huijbregts, M.A.H.

    2007-01-01

    We describe the systems submitted to the NIST RT06s evaluation for the Speech Activity Detection (SAD) and Speaker Diarization (SPKR) tasks. For speech activity detection, a new analysis methodology is presented that generalizes the Detection Erorr Tradeoff analysis commonly used in speaker detection

  17. Omission of definite and indefinite articles in the spontaneous speech of agrammatic speakers with Broca's aphasia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Havik, E.; Bastiaanse, Y.R.M.

    2004-01-01

    Background: Cross-linguistic investigation of agrammatic speech in speakers of different languages allows us to tests theoretical accounts of the nature of agrammatism. A significant feature of the speech of many agrammatic speakers is a problem with article production. Mansson and Ahlsen (2001)

  18. Learning foreign labels from a foreign speaker: the role of (limited) exposure to a second language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhtar, Nameera; Menjivar, Jennifer; Hoicka, Elena; Sabbagh, Mark A

    2012-11-01

    Three- and four-year-olds (N = 144) were introduced to novel labels by an English speaker and a foreign speaker (of Nordish, a made-up language), and were asked to endorse one of the speaker's labels. Monolingual English-speaking children were compared to bilingual children and English-speaking children who were regularly exposed to a language other than English. All children tended to endorse the English speaker's labels when asked 'What do you call this?', but when asked 'What do you call this in Nordish?', children with exposure to a second language were more likely to endorse the foreign label than monolingual and bilingual children. The findings suggest that, at this age, exposure to, but not necessarily immersion in, more than one language may promote the ability to learn foreign words from a foreign speaker.

  19. A Joint Approach for Single-Channel Speaker Identification and Speech Separation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mowlaee, Pejman; Saeidi, Rahim; Christensen, Mads Græsbøll

    2012-01-01

    ) accuracy, here, we report the objective and subjective results as well. The results show that the proposed system performs as well as the best of the state-of-the-art in terms of perceived quality while its performance in terms of speaker identification and automatic speech recognition results......In this paper, we present a novel system for joint speaker identification and speech separation. For speaker identification a single-channel speaker identification algorithm is proposed which provides an estimate of signal-to-signal ratio (SSR) as a by-product. For speech separation, we propose...... a sinusoidal model-based algorithm. The speech separation algorithm consists of a double-talk/single-talk detector followed by a minimum mean square error estimator of sinusoidal parameters for finding optimal codevectors from pre-trained speaker codebooks. In evaluating the proposed system, we start from...

  20. [An experimental proficiency test for ability to screen 104 residual pesticides in agricultural products].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsumura, Yukari; Ishimitsu, Susumu; Otaki, Kayo; Uchimi, Hiroyuki; Matsumoto, Nobuyuki; Daba, Masaki; Tsuchiya, Tetsu; Ukyo, Masaho; Tonogai, Yasuhide

    2003-10-01

    An experimental proficiency test program for ability to screen 104 residual pesticides in agricultural products has been conducted. Eight Japanese laboratories joined the program. Items tested in the present study were limit of detection, internal proficiency test (self spike) and external proficiency test (blind spike). All 104 pesticides were well detected and recovered from agricultural foods in the internal proficiency test. However, the results of the external proficiency test did not completely agree with those of the internal proficiency tests. After 5 rounds of the blind spike test, the ratio of the number of correctly detected pesticides to that of actually contained ones (49 total) ranged from 65% to 100% among laboratories. The numbers of mistakenly detected pesticides by a laboratory were 0 to 15. Thus, there was a great difference among the laboratories in the ability to screen multiresidual pesticides.

  1. Speaker and Accent Variation Are Handled Differently: Evidence in Native and Non-Native Listeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriengwatana, Buddhamas; Terry, Josephine; Chládková, Kateřina; Escudero, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Listeners are able to cope with between-speaker variability in speech that stems from anatomical sources (i.e. individual and sex differences in vocal tract size) and sociolinguistic sources (i.e. accents). We hypothesized that listeners adapt to these two types of variation differently because prior work indicates that adapting to speaker/sex variability may occur pre-lexically while adapting to accent variability may require learning from attention to explicit cues (i.e. feedback). In Experiment 1, we tested our hypothesis by training native Dutch listeners and Australian-English (AusE) listeners without any experience with Dutch or Flemish to discriminate between the Dutch vowels /I/ and /ε/ from a single speaker. We then tested their ability to classify /I/ and /ε/ vowels of a novel Dutch speaker (i.e. speaker or sex change only), or vowels of a novel Flemish speaker (i.e. speaker or sex change plus accent change). We found that both Dutch and AusE listeners could successfully categorize vowels if the change involved a speaker/sex change, but not if the change involved an accent change. When AusE listeners were given feedback on their categorization responses to the novel speaker in Experiment 2, they were able to successfully categorize vowels involving an accent change. These results suggest that adapting to accents may be a two-step process, whereby the first step involves adapting to speaker differences at a pre-lexical level, and the second step involves adapting to accent differences at a contextual level, where listeners have access to word meaning or are given feedback that allows them to appropriately adjust their perceptual category boundaries. PMID:27309889

  2. Speaker Introductions at Internal Medicine Grand Rounds: Forms of Address Reveal Gender Bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Files, Julia A; Mayer, Anita P; Ko, Marcia G; Friedrich, Patricia; Jenkins, Marjorie; Bryan, Michael J; Vegunta, Suneela; Wittich, Christopher M; Lyle, Melissa A; Melikian, Ryan; Duston, Trevor; Chang, Yu-Hui H; Hayes, Sharonne N

    2017-05-01

    Gender bias has been identified as one of the drivers of gender disparity in academic medicine. Bias may be reinforced by gender subordinating language or differential use of formality in forms of address. Professional titles may influence the perceived expertise and authority of the referenced individual. The objective of this study is to examine how professional titles were used in the same and mixed-gender speaker introductions at Internal Medicine Grand Rounds (IMGR). A retrospective observational study of video-archived speaker introductions at consecutive IMGR was conducted at two different locations (Arizona, Minnesota) of an academic medical center. Introducers and speakers at IMGR were physician and scientist peers holding MD, PhD, or MD/PhD degrees. The primary outcome was whether or not a speaker's professional title was used during the first form of address during speaker introductions at IMGR. As secondary outcomes, we evaluated whether or not the speakers professional title was used in any form of address during the introduction. Three hundred twenty-one forms of address were analyzed. Female introducers were more likely to use professional titles when introducing any speaker during the first form of address compared with male introducers (96.2% [102/106] vs. 65.6% [141/215]; p form of address 97.8% (45/46) compared with male dyads who utilized a formal title 72.4% (110/152) of the time (p = 0.007). In mixed-gender dyads, where the introducer was female and speaker male, formal titles were used 95.0% (57/60) of the time. Male introducers of female speakers utilized professional titles 49.2% (31/63) of the time (p addressed by professional title than were men introduced by men. Differential formality in speaker introductions may amplify isolation, marginalization, and professional discomfiture expressed by women faculty in academic medicine.

  3. Proficiency Test SYKE 8/2012. Volatile organic compounds in water and soil

    OpenAIRE

    Korhonen-Ylönen, Kaija; Nuutinen, Jari; Leivuori, Mirja; Ilmakunnas, Markku

    2013-01-01

    Proftest SYKE carried out the proficiency test for analysis of volatile organic compounds from water and soil in October 2012. One artificial sample and one river water sample and one soil sample were distributed. In total, 15 laboratories participated in the proficiency test. Either the calculated concentration or the robust mean value was chosen to be the assigned value for the measurement. The performance of the participants was evaluated by using z scores. In this proficiency test 72 % of...

  4. Students' proficiency scores within multitrait item response theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Terry F.; Schumayer, Daniel

    2015-12-01

    In this paper we present a series of item response models of data collected using the Force Concept Inventory. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was designed to poll the Newtonian conception of force viewed as a multidimensional concept, that is, as a complex of distinguishable conceptual dimensions. Several previous studies have developed single-trait item response models of FCI data; however, we feel that multidimensional models are also appropriate given the explicitly multidimensional design of the inventory. The models employed in the research reported here vary in both the number of fitting parameters and the number of underlying latent traits assumed. We calculate several model information statistics to ensure adequate model fit and to determine which of the models provides the optimal balance of information and parsimony. Our analysis indicates that all item response models tested, from the single-trait Rasch model through to a model with ten latent traits, satisfy the standard requirements of fit. However, analysis of model information criteria indicates that the five-trait model is optimal. We note that an earlier factor analysis of the same FCI data also led to a five-factor model. Furthermore the factors in our previous study and the traits identified in the current work match each other well. The optimal five-trait model assigns proficiency scores to all respondents for each of the five traits. We construct a correlation matrix between the proficiencies in each of these traits. This correlation matrix shows strong correlations between some proficiencies, and strong anticorrelations between others. We present an interpretation of this correlation matrix.

  5. Scientific issues related to the cytology proficiency testing regulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prey Marianne

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The member organizations of the Cytology Education and Technology Consortium believe there are significant flaws in current cytology proficiency testing regulations. The most immediate needed modifications include lengthening the required testing interval, utilizing stringently validated and continuously monitored slides, changing the grading scheme, and changing the focus of the test from the individual to laboratory level testing. Integration of new computer-assisted and located-guided screening technologies into the testing protocols is necessary for the testing protocol to be compliant with the law.

  6. Inter-laboratory proficiency tests to detect viral fish diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kahns, Søren; Nicolajsen, Nicole; Skall, Helle Frank

    An inter-laboratory proficiency test has ben provided by the European Community Laboratory (CRL) for Fish Diseases every year since 1996. The test is provided to all European National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) that are obliged to participate and to a limited number of non-European NRLs, making......) but also to assess their ability to differentiate other fish viruses as spring viraemia of carp virus, infectious pancreatic necrosis virus, perch rhabdovirus etc. Five coded ampoules are provided to participants containing lyophilised supernatant from infected cell cultures. The CRL collect the data...

  7. Culture, identity and difference relationship and the proficiency exam EPPLE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Petian Anchieta

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The present work discusses how aspects such as identity, culture and difference are important aspects in for language teaching and learning environments. Using Woodward's (2011 definition that identity is marked by difference, we considered these aspects in foreign language teaching and learning contexts when we learn the laguage of others. In addition, we present a proficiency exam called EPPLE, aimed at language teachers, and we suggest the implementation of a task that addresses cultural issues, because we need to prepare language teachers that search not only for their linguistic and pedagogical knowledge construction, but also for their understanding about culture, identity and difference.

  8. Acquired dyslexia in Serbian speakers with Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuković, Mile; Vuković, Irena; Miller, Nick

    2016-01-01

    This study examined patterns of acquired dyslexia in Serbian aphasic speakers, comparing profiles of groups with Broca's versus Wernicke's aphasia. The study also looked at the relationship of reading and auditory comprehension and between reading comprehension and reading aloud in these groups. Participants were 20 people with Broca's and 20 with Wernicke's aphasia. They were asked to read aloud and to understand written material from the Serbian adaptation of the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination. A Serbian Word Reading Aloud Test was also used. The people with Broca's aphasia achieved better results in reading aloud and in reading comprehension than those with Wernicke's aphasia. Those with Wernicke's aphasia showed significantly more semantic errors than those with Broca's aphasia who had significantly more morphological and phonological errors. From the data we inferred that lesion sites accorded with previous work on networks associated with Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia and with a posterior-anterior axis for reading processes centred on (left) parietal-temporal-frontal lobes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Speech spectrum's correlation with speakers' Eysenck personality traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Hu

    Full Text Available The current study explored the correlation between speakers' Eysenck personality traits and speech spectrum parameters. Forty-six subjects completed the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. They were instructed to verbally answer the questions shown on a computer screen and their responses were recorded by the computer. Spectrum parameters of /sh/ and /i/ were analyzed by Praat voice software. Formant frequencies of the consonant /sh/ in lying responses were significantly lower than that in truthful responses, whereas no difference existed on the vowel /i/ speech spectrum. The second formant bandwidth of the consonant /sh/ speech spectrum was significantly correlated with the personality traits of Psychoticism, Extraversion, and Neuroticism, and the correlation differed between truthful and lying responses, whereas the first formant frequency of the vowel /i/ speech spectrum was negatively correlated with Neuroticism in both response types. The results suggest that personality characteristics may be conveyed through the human voice, although the extent to which these effects are due to physiological differences in the organs associated with speech or to a general Pygmalion effect is yet unknown.

  10. An acoustic investigation of Arabic vowels pronounced by Malay speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Abd Almisreb

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In Malaysia, Arabic language is spoken, and commonly used among the Malays. Malays use Arabic in their daily life, such as during performing worship. Hence, in this paper, some of the Arabic vowels attributes are investigated, analyzed and initial findings are presented based on tokens articulated by Malay speakers as we can consider the spoken Arabic by Malays as one of the Arabic dialects. It is known that in Arabic language there are 28 consonants and 6 main vowels. Firstly, the duration, variability, and overlapping attributes are highlighted based on syllables of Consonant–Vowel with each syllable representing every Arabic consonant with the corresponding vowels. Next, the dispersion of each vowel is examined to be compared with each other along with the variability among vowels that may cause overlapping between vowels in the vowel-space. Results showed that the vowel overlapping occurred between short vowels and their long counterpart vowels. Furthermore, an investigation of the Arabic vowel duration is addressed as well, and duration analysis for all the vowels is discussed, followed by the analysis for each vowel separately. In addition, a comparison between long and short vowels is presented as well as comparison between high and low vowel is carried out.

  11. Speakers' assumptions about the lexical flexibility of idioms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, R W; Nayak, N P; Bolton, J L; Keppel, M E

    1989-01-01

    In three experiments, we examined why some idioms can be lexically altered and still retain their figurative meanings (e.g., John buttoned his lips about Mary can be changed into John fastened his lips about Mary and still mean "John didn't say anything about Mary"), whereas other idioms cannot be lexically altered without losing their figurative meanings (e.g., John kicked the bucket, meaning "John died," loses its idiomatic meaning when changed into John kicked the pail). Our hypothesis was that the lexical flexibility of idioms is determined by speakers' assumptions about the ways in which parts of idioms contribute to their figurative interpretations as a whole. The results of the three experiments indicated that idioms whose individual semantic components contribute to their overall figurative meanings (e.g., go out on a limb) were judged as less disrupted by changes in their lexical items (e.g., go out on a branch) than were nondecomposable idioms (e.g., kick the bucket) when their individual words were altered (e.g., punt the pail). These findings lend support to the idea that both the syntactic productivity and the lexical makeup of idioms are matters of degree, depending on the idioms' compositional properties. This conclusion suggests that idioms do not form a unique class of linguistic items, but share many of the properties of more literal language.

  12. Speaker gender identification based on majority vote classifiers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezghani, Eya; Charfeddine, Maha; Nicolas, Henri; Ben Amar, Chokri

    2017-03-01

    Speaker gender identification is considered among the most important tools in several multimedia applications namely in automatic speech recognition, interactive voice response systems and audio browsing systems. Gender identification systems performance is closely linked to the selected feature set and the employed classification model. Typical techniques are based on selecting the best performing classification method or searching optimum tuning of one classifier parameters through experimentation. In this paper, we consider a relevant and rich set of features involving pitch, MFCCs as well as other temporal and frequency-domain descriptors. Five classification models including decision tree, discriminant analysis, nave Bayes, support vector machine and k-nearest neighbor was experimented. The three best perming classifiers among the five ones will contribute by majority voting between their scores. Experimentations were performed on three different datasets spoken in three languages: English, German and Arabic in order to validate language independency of the proposed scheme. Results confirm that the presented system has reached a satisfying accuracy rate and promising classification performance thanks to the discriminating abilities and diversity of the used features combined with mid-level statistics.

  13. Listening to a non-native speaker: Adaptation and generalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Constance M.

    2004-05-01

    Non-native speech can cause perceptual difficulty for the native listener, but experience can moderate this difficulty. This study explored the perceptual benefit of a brief (approximately 1 min) exposure to foreign-accented speech using a cross-modal word matching paradigm. Processing speed was tracked by recording reaction times (RTs) to visual probe words following English sentences produced by a Spanish-accented speaker. In experiment 1, RTs decreased significantly over 16 accented utterances and by the end were equal to RTs to a native voice. In experiment 2, adaptation to one Spanish-accented voice improved perceptual efficiency for a new Spanish-accented voice, indicating that abstract properties of accented speech are learned during adaptation. The control group in Experiment 2 also adapted to the accented voice during the test block, suggesting adaptation can occur within two to four sentences. The results emphasize the flexibility of the human speech processing system and the need for a mechanism to explain this adaptation in models of spoken word recognition. [Research supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the University of Arizona Cognitive Science Program.] a)Currently at SUNY at Buffalo, Dept. of Psych., Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, cclarke2@buffalo.edu

  14. A Text-Independent Speaker Authentication System for Mobile Devices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florentin Thullier

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a text independent speaker authentication method adapted to mobile devices. Special attention was placed on delivering a fully operational application, which admits a sufficient reliability level and an efficient functioning. To this end, we have excluded the need for any network communication. Hence, we opted for the completion of both the training and the identification processes directly on the mobile device through the extraction of linear prediction cepstral coefficients and the naive Bayes algorithm as the classifier. Furthermore, the authentication decision is enhanced to overcome misidentification through access privileges that the user should attribute to each application beforehand. To evaluate the proposed authentication system, eleven participants were involved in the experiment, conducted in quiet and noisy environments. Public speech corpora were also employed to compare this implementation to existing methods. Results were efficient regarding mobile resources’ consumption. The overall classification performance obtained was accurate with a small number of samples. Then, it appeared that our authentication system might be used as a first security layer, but also as part of a multilayer authentication, or as a fall-back mechanism.

  15. Phonological processing in Mandarin speakers with congenital amusia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Peng, Gang

    2014-12-01

    Although there is an emerging consensus that both musical and linguistic pitch processing can be problematic for individuals with a developmental disorder termed congenital amusia, the nature of such a pitch-processing deficit, especially that demonstrated in a speech setting, remains unclear. Therefore, this study tested the performance of native Mandarin speakers, both with and without amusia, on discrimination and imitation tasks for Cantonese level tones, aiming to shed light on this issue. Results suggest that the impact of the phonological deficit, coupled with that of the domain-general pitch deficit, could provide a more comprehensive interpretation of Mandarin amusics' speech impairment. Specifically, when there was a high demand for pitch sensitivity, as in fine-grained pitch discriminations, the operation of the pitch-processing deficit played the more predominant role in modulating amusics' speech performance. But when the demand was low, as in discriminating naturally produced Cantonese level tones, the impact of the phonological deficit was more pronounced compared to that of the pitch-processing deficit. However, despite their perceptual deficits, Mandarin amusics' imitation abilities were comparable to controls'. Such selective impairment in tonal perception suggests that the phonological deficit more severely implicates amusics' input pathways.

  16. A Method to Integrate GMM, SVM and DTW for Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ing-Jr Ding

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper develops an effective and efficient scheme to integrate Gaussian mixture model (GMM, support vector machine (SVM, and dynamic time wrapping (DTW for automatic speaker recognition. GMM and SVM are two popular classifiers for speaker recognition applications. DTW is a fast and simple template matching method, and it is frequently seen in applications of speech recognition. In this work, DTW does not play a role to perform speech recognition, and it will be employed to be a verifier for verification of valid speakers. The proposed combination scheme of GMM, SVM and DTW, called SVMGMM-DTW, for speaker recognition in this study is a two-phase verification process task including GMM-SVM verification of the first phase and DTW verification of the second phase. By providing a double check to verify the identity of a speaker, it will be difficult for imposters to try to pass the security protection; therefore, the safety degree of speaker recognition systems will be largely increased. A series of experiments designed on door access control applications demonstrated that the superiority of the developed SVMGMM-DTW on speaker recognition accuracy.

  17. Towards an Intelligent Acoustic Front End for Automatic Speech Recognition: Built-in Speaker Normalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umit H. Yapanel

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available A proven method for achieving effective automatic speech recognition (ASR due to speaker differences is to perform acoustic feature speaker normalization. More effective speaker normalization methods are needed which require limited computing resources for real-time performance. The most popular speaker normalization technique is vocal-tract length normalization (VTLN, despite the fact that it is computationally expensive. In this study, we propose a novel online VTLN algorithm entitled built-in speaker normalization (BISN, where normalization is performed on-the-fly within a newly proposed PMVDR acoustic front end. The novel algorithm aspect is that in conventional frontend processing with PMVDR and VTLN, two separating warping phases are needed; while in the proposed BISN method only one single speaker dependent warp is used to achieve both the PMVDR perceptual warp and VTLN warp simultaneously. This improved integration unifies the nonlinear warping performed in the front end and reduces simultaneously. This improved integration unifies the nonlinear warping performed in the front end and reduces computational requirements, thereby offering advantages for real-time ASR systems. Evaluations are performed for (i an in-car extended digit recognition task, where an on-the-fly BISN implementation reduces the relative word error rate (WER by 24%, and (ii for a diverse noisy speech task (SPINE 2, where the relative WER improvement was 9%, both relative to the baseline speaker normalization method.

  18. Towards an Intelligent Acoustic Front End for Automatic Speech Recognition: Built-in Speaker Normalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yapanel UmitH

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available A proven method for achieving effective automatic speech recognition (ASR due to speaker differences is to perform acoustic feature speaker normalization. More effective speaker normalization methods are needed which require limited computing resources for real-time performance. The most popular speaker normalization technique is vocal-tract length normalization (VTLN, despite the fact that it is computationally expensive. In this study, we propose a novel online VTLN algorithm entitled built-in speaker normalization (BISN, where normalization is performed on-the-fly within a newly proposed PMVDR acoustic front end. The novel algorithm aspect is that in conventional frontend processing with PMVDR and VTLN, two separating warping phases are needed; while in the proposed BISN method only one single speaker dependent warp is used to achieve both the PMVDR perceptual warp and VTLN warp simultaneously. This improved integration unifies the nonlinear warping performed in the front end and reduces simultaneously. This improved integration unifies the nonlinear warping performed in the front end and reduces computational requirements, thereby offering advantages for real-time ASR systems. Evaluations are performed for (i an in-car extended digit recognition task, where an on-the-fly BISN implementation reduces the relative word error rate (WER by 24%, and (ii for a diverse noisy speech task (SPINE 2, where the relative WER improvement was 9%, both relative to the baseline speaker normalization method.

  19. Analysis of human scream and its impact on text-independent speaker verification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, John H L; Nandwana, Mahesh Kumar; Shokouhi, Navid

    2017-04-01

    Scream is defined as sustained, high-energy vocalizations that lack phonological structure. Lack of phonological structure is how scream is identified from other forms of loud vocalization, such as "yell." This study investigates the acoustic aspects of screams and addresses those that are known to prevent standard speaker identification systems from recognizing the identity of screaming speakers. It is well established that speaker variability due to changes in vocal effort and Lombard effect contribute to degraded performance in automatic speech systems (i.e., speech recognition, speaker identification, diarization, etc.). However, previous research in the general area of speaker variability has concentrated on human speech production, whereas less is known about non-speech vocalizations. The UT-NonSpeech corpus is developed here to investigate speaker verification from scream samples. This study considers a detailed analysis in terms of fundamental frequency, spectral peak shift, frame energy distribution, and spectral tilt. It is shown that traditional speaker recognition based on the Gaussian mixture models-universal background model framework is unreliable when evaluated with screams.

  20. Infants' Selectively Pay Attention to the Information They Receive from a Native Speaker of Their Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marno, Hanna; Guellai, Bahia; Vidal, Yamil; Franzoi, Julia; Nespor, Marina; Mehler, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    From the first moments of their life, infants show a preference for their native language, as well as toward speakers with whom they share the same language. This preference appears to have broad consequences in various domains later on, supporting group affiliations and collaborative actions in children. Here, we propose that infants' preference for native speakers of their language also serves a further purpose, specifically allowing them to efficiently acquire culture specific knowledge via social learning. By selectively attending to informants who are native speakers of their language and who probably also share the same cultural background with the infant, young learners can maximize the possibility to acquire cultural knowledge. To test whether infants would preferably attend the information they receive from a speaker of their native language, we familiarized 12-month-old infants with a native and a foreign speaker, and then presented them with movies where each of the speakers silently gazed toward unfamiliar objects. At test, infants' looking behavior to the two objects alone was measured. Results revealed that infants preferred to look longer at the object presented by the native speaker. Strikingly, the effect was replicated also with 5-month-old infants, indicating an early development of such preference. These findings provide evidence that young infants pay more attention to the information presented by a person with whom they share the same language. This selectivity can serve as a basis for efficient social learning by influencing how infants' allocate attention between potential sources of information in their environment.

  1. Switches to English during French Service Encounters: Relationships with L2 French Speakers' Willingness to Communicate and Motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNaughton, Stephanie; McDonough, Kim

    2015-01-01

    This exploratory study investigated second language (L2) French speakers' service encounters in the multilingual setting of Montreal, specifically whether switches to English during French service encounters were related to L2 speakers' willingness to communicate or motivation. Over a two-week period, 17 French L2 speakers in Montreal submitted…

  2. Designing, Modeling, Constructing, and Testing a Flat Panel Speaker and Sound Diffuser for a Simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillon, Christina

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this project was to design, model, build, and test a flat panel speaker and frame for a spherical dome structure being made into a simulator. The simulator will be a test bed for evaluating an immersive environment for human interfaces. This project focused on the loud speakers and a sound diffuser for the dome. The rest of the team worked on an Ambisonics 3D sound system, video projection system, and multi-direction treadmill to create the most realistic scene possible. The main programs utilized in this project, were Pro-E and COMSOL. Pro-E was used for creating detailed figures for the fabrication of a frame that held a flat panel loud speaker. The loud speaker was made from a thin sheet of Plexiglas and 4 acoustic exciters. COMSOL, a multiphysics finite analysis simulator, was used to model and evaluate all stages of the loud speaker, frame, and sound diffuser. Acoustical testing measurements were utilized to create polar plots from the working prototype which were then compared to the COMSOL simulations to select the optimal design for the dome. The final goal of the project was to install the flat panel loud speaker design in addition to a sound diffuser on to the wall of the dome. After running tests in COMSOL on various speaker configurations, including a warped Plexiglas version, the optimal speaker design included a flat piece of Plexiglas with a rounded frame to match the curvature of the dome. Eight of these loud speakers will be mounted into an inch and a half of high performance acoustic insulation, or Thinsulate, that will cover the inside of the dome. The following technical paper discusses these projects and explains the engineering processes used, knowledge gained, and the projected future goals of this project

  3. Popular Public Discourse at Speakers' Corner: Negotiating Cultural Identities in Interaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McIlvenny, Paul

    1996-01-01

    In this paper I examine how cultural identities are actively negotiated in popular debate at a multicultural public setting in London. Speakers at Speakers' Corner manage the local construction of group affiliation, audience response and argument in and through talk, within the context of ethnic...... in which participant 'citizens' in the public sphere can actively struggle over cultural representation and identities. Using transcribed examples of video data recorded at Speakers' Corner my paper will examine how cultural identity is invoked in the management of active participation. Audiences...... and their affiliations are regulated and made accountable through the routines of membership categorisation and the policing of cultural identities and their imaginary borders....

  4. Uncertainty evaluation in 2008 IAEA proficiency test using phosphogypsum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dias, Fabiana F.; Taddei, Maria Helena T.; Geraldo, Bianca; Jacomino, Vanusa M.F.; Pontedeiro, Elizabeth M.B.

    2009-01-01

    LAPOC participated in the 2008 IAEA ALMERA (Analytical Laboratories for the Measurement of Environmental Radioactivity) Proficiency Test (PT) for phosphogypsum, which is a NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material) derived from phosphate industry, an abundant solid waste of low cost. Its reutilization would avoid environmental impact in large areas where the product is stored. Research involving possible uses for phosphogypsum is ever more important, from economic, technological, and environmental points of view. This paper describes results from this Proficiency Test (measured radionuclides: 234 U, 238 U, 226 Ra, 230 Th, and 210 Pb), as well as a short description of the nuclear analytical techniques emphasizing sources of uncertainty, such as Alpha Spectrometry (Alpha Analyst, Canberra, surface barrier detectors) and Gamma Spectrometry (Canberra, Hyper Pure Germanium Detector with 45 % efficiency). Corrections for decay, reference date, and recovery were applied. As an example, results obtained for 210 Pb through the use of a specific uncertainty calculation software are presented below. Each parameter whose uncertainty is quantified was carefully described, with appropriate numerical value and unit, to determine its partial contribution to the combined total uncertainty. Results from PTs provide independent information on performance of a Laboratory and have an important role in method validation; especially because it allows the assessment of the method performance over an entire range of concentrations and matrices. PTs are an important tool to demonstrate equivalence of measurements, if not their metrological comparability, and to promote education and improvement of Laboratory practice. (author)

  5. SYNCHRONOUS CMC, WORKING MEMORY, AND L2 ORAL PROFICIENCY DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Scott Payne

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Recently a number of quasi-experimental studies have investigated the potential of a cross-modality transfer of second language competency between real-time, conversational exchange via text and speech (Abrams, 2003; Beauvious, 1998; Kost, 2004; Payne & Whitney, 2002. Payne and Whitney employed Levelt's (1989 model of language production and concepts from working memory as a rationale for a hypothesized connection between synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC and second language (L2 speech and as a basis for predicting the differential contributions of SCMC to the L2 oral proficiency development.This study extends the psycholinguistic framework reported in Payne and Whitney (2002 with discourse and corpus analytic techniques to explore how individual differences in working memory capacity may affect the frequency of repetition and other patterns of language use in chatroom discourse. Working memory capacity was measured by a reading span and nonword repetition test. Oral proficiency was measured with a speaking task that solicited a 5-minute speech sample and was scored based on a holistic scale. The data collected from 20 chat sessions were analyzed for occurrences of repetition and relexicalization, as well as language output measures. Findings suggest a connection between working memory and language output as measured in this study.

  6. Laboratory competence evaluation through proficiency testing - mycotoxins in food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torović Ljilja D.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Laboratory for analysis of mycotoxins in food at the Institute of Public Health of Vojvodina (Novi Sad, Serbia participated in 15 proficiency testing schemes in period 2012-2016, comprising 22 determinations of regulated mycotoxins: aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2 and M1, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenone, zearalenone, fumonisins and patulin, in different food commodities: wheat, corn, barley, breakfast cereals, infant food, milk, wine and fruit juice. Analyses were carried out by high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet (patulin, deoxynivalenol or fluorescence detection (aflatoxin M1, ochratoxin A, zearalenone using o-phthalaldehyde precolumn derivatization (fumonisins or UV postcolumn derivatization (aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2, following clean-up on immunoaffinity columns with specific antibodies, except in case of patulin when solvent extraction and solid-phase C-18 clean-up were used. Laboratory performance assessed in terms of z scores showed all satisfactory results. In depth evaluation revealed following distribution of z scores (absolute values: 59.1% up to 0.5, 36.4% between 0.5 and 1.0, and 4.5% above 1.0. Analysis of trends performed for multiple determinations of individual mycotoxins showed several changes of z score to better or worse rank. Overall assessment of the performance in proficiency testing demonstrated laboratory competence for analysis of mycotoxins in food.

  7. Proficiency evaluation of maintenance personnel: Training equivalency determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, W.J.

    1991-01-01

    The nuclear industry has recognized the importance of safe, quality, productive maintenance practices and has taken a number of initiatives that have generally improved maintenance programs. Because proficient maintenance practices are critical to plant safety and reliability, most plants have also recognized the need for reliable, valid testing techniques that demonstrate and assure the competence of their maintenance personnel. Until now, resource demands were too great to develop in-plant testing programs. In the past, maintenance supervisors have exempted personnel from training, using informal judgment of the employees' previous training and experience and informal observation of the employee on the job. While this procedure may have some degree of validity, it fails to provide the documentation for training equivalency that is required to satisfy the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations and Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) guidelines. To assess and demonstrate the proficiency levels of personnel, Calvert Cliffs needed to establish an objective, reliable, time-saving, and valid system to evaluate the competency levels of personnel. This was done in a joint effort with the Electric Power Research Institute

  8. The modulatory role of second language proficiency on performance monitoring: evidence from a saccadic countermanding task in high and low proficient bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh K

    2014-01-01

    We compared Hindi-English bilinguals differing in their L2 proficiency on a saccadic countermanding task which taps inhibitory control as well as monitoring. We particularly explored whether response inhibition and performance monitoring within the oculomotor domain are affected by language proficiency in bilinguals. There were two different oculomotor redirect tasks: Visually Guided Redirect (VGR) task (Experiment1) and Memory Guided Redirect (MGR) task (Experiment 2). In the redirect task, typically a target is presented and the subject is required to make a saccade (no-step trials), unless a new target appears on a different location after some delay from the first target onset (step trials). On such trials participants are required to inhibit and cancel the saccade to the first target and programme a saccade to the new target. Using trial switch reaction time (TSRT), the time taken to inhibit the initiated saccade to the first target as a measure of response inhibition and post-step slowing as a measure of performance monitoring. The results showed the high proficient bilinguals displayed more post-step slowing on the no-step trials as compared to the low proficient bilinguals for both VGR and MGR versions of the task. Secondly, both the high and low proficient bilinguals exhibited comparable TSRT in both VGR and MGR task, showing no modulatory effects of language proficiency on the response inhibition. These results suggest that language proficiency may have an effect on performance monitoring, but not the inhibitory control per se. Thus, we infer that higher proficiency may lead to superior cognitive flexibility and an ability to adjust behavior that facilitates the attainment of the cognitive goal. These findings are in consonance with other current studies that suggest a top-down effect of bilingualism on action control systems.

  9. Incorporation of proficiency criteria for basic laparoscopic skills training: How does it work?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Verdaasdonk (Egg); J. Dankelman (Jenny); J.F. Lange (Johan); L.P. Stassen (Laurents)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractBackground: It is desirable that surgical trainees are proficient in basic laparoscopic motor skills (eye-hand coordination). The present study evaluated the use of predefined proficiency criteria on a basic virtual reality (VR) simulator in preparation for a laparoscopic course on

  10. The Relationship between Reading Proficiency and Reading Strategy Use: A Study of Adult ESL Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jiuhan; Nisbet, Deanna

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the relationship between reading strategy use and reading proficiency among 121 adult ESL learners. Reading strategy use was measured by the SORS, and reading proficiency was determined by the CASAS Reading Test and BEST Literacy Test. Findings of the study reveal that (a) adult ESL learners are active strategies users; (b)…

  11. English Proficiency and Acculturation among Chinese Immigrant Youth in Canada: A Reciprocal Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Fanli; Gottardo, Alexandra; Chen, Xi; Koh, Pohwee; Pasquarella, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    The main focus of this study was to refine our understanding of the link between English proficiency and mainstream acculturation in adolescent Chinese immigrants. The sample consisted of 112 adolescents in grades 7-12 living in urban areas in southern Ontario, Canada. English proficiency was assessed individually using standardised tests of…

  12. L2-proficiency-dependent laterality shift in structural connectivity of brain language pathways

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiang, H.; Leeuwen, T.M. van; Dediu, D.; Roberts, L.; Norris, D.; Hagoort, P.

    2015-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and a longitudinal language learning approach were applied to investigate the relationship between the achieved second language (L2) proficiency during L2 learning and the reorganization of structural connectivity between core language areas. Language proficiency tests

  13. Understanding the Relationship between Language Proficiency, Language Impairment and Rehabilitation: Evidence from a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiran, Swathi; Iakupova, Regina

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to address the relationship between language proficiency, language impairment and rehabilitation in bilingual Russian-English individuals with aphasia. As a first step, we examined two Russian-English patients' pre-stroke language proficiency using a detailed and comprehensive language use and history questionnaire and…

  14. ELL High School Students' Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategy Use and Reading Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong-Nam, Kay

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the metacognitive awareness and reading strategies use of high school-­aged English language learners (ELLs) and the relationship between ELL reading strategy use and reading proficiency as measured by a standardized reading test and self-­rated reading proficiency. Results reveal that participants reported moderate use of…

  15. Development and Validation of the Spanish-English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyk, Ekaterina; Restrepo, M. Adelaida; Gorin, Joanna S.; Gray, Shelley

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the development and validation of a criterion-referenced Spanish-English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS) that was designed to assess the oral language skills of sequential bilingual children ages 4-8. This article reports results for the English proficiency portion of the scale. Method: The SELPS assesses syntactic…

  16. Digital Games and the US National Research Council's Science Proficiency Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Garza, Mario; Clark, Douglas B.; Nelson, Brian C.

    2013-01-01

    This review synthesises research on digital games and science learning as it supports the goals for science proficiency outlined in the report by the US National Research Council on science education reform. The review is organised in terms of these research-based goals for science proficiency in light of their alignment with current science…

  17. Volunteer Administration Leadership Proficiency and Leadership Styles: Perceptions of Southern Region 4-H County Faculty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stedman, Nicole L. P.; Rudd, Rick D.

    2005-01-01

    Volunteers play an integral role in supporting the mission of 4-H programs in the southern region. For this reason their proficiency in volunteer administration competence and perceived leadership style is important. The researchers sought to examine both the perceived proficiency of 4-H faculty in the southern region in seven competencies…

  18. Motor Proficiency and Body Mass Index of Preschool Children: In Relation to Socioeconomic Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mülazimoglu-Balli, Özgür

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the correlation between motor proficiency and body mass index and to assess the socioeconomic status differences in motor proficiency and body mass index of preschool children. Sixty preschool children in the different socioeconomic status areas of central Denizli in Turkey participated in the study. The…

  19. Language Learning Strategies and English Proficiency: Interpretations from Information-Processing Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Zhenhui

    2016-01-01

    The research reported here investigated the relationship between students' use of language learning strategies and their English proficiency, and then interpreted the data from two models in information-processing theory. Results showed that the students' English proficiency significantly affected their use of learning strategies, with high-level…

  20. Hi-LAB: A New Measure of Aptitude for High-Level Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linck, Jared A.; Hughes, Meredith M.; Campbell, Susan G.; Silbert, Noah H.; Tare, Medha; Jackson, Scott R.; Smith, Benjamin K.; Bunting, Michael F.; Doughty, Catherine J.

    2013-01-01

    Few adult second language (L2) learners successfully attain high-level proficiency. Although decades of research on beginning to intermediate stages of L2 learning have identified a number of predictors of the rate of acquisition, little research has examined factors relevant to predicting very high levels of L2 proficiency. The current study,…

  1. L2-Proficiency-Dependent Laterality Shift in Structural Connectivity of Brain Language Pathways

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiang, Huadong; van Leeuwen, Tessa Marije; Dediu, Dan; Roberts, Leah; Norris, David G.; Hagoort, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and a longitudinal language learning approach were applied to investigate the relationship between the achieved second language (L2) proficiency during L2 learning and the reorganization of structural connectivity between core language areas. Language proficiency tests

  2. The application of data from proficiency testing to laboratory accreditation according to ISO 17025

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heydorn, Kaj

    2008-01-01

    Current methods of testing laboratories for their proficiency in reporting correct measurement results are liable to substantial errors of the 2nd kind. This means that laboratories with deflated uncertainties are accepted as proficient, even though their reported measurement results pave the way...

  3. A Blueprint for Developing Culturally Proficient/Responsive School Administrators in Special Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakken, Jeffrey P.; Smith, Beverly A.

    2011-01-01

    This article addresses the important topic of culturally proficient/responsive school administrators for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students with learning disabilities (LD). Culturally proficient/responsive school administrators with knowledge and strong leadership skills in multicultural education are essential to impact school…

  4. Self-Efficacy Ratings of Technology Proficiency among Teachers in Mexico and Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Cesareo; Knezek, Gerald; Christensen, Rhonda

    2008-01-01

    The Technology Proficiency Self-Assessment (TPSA) questionnaire was administered to 978 elementary and middle school teachers from Mexico City, and 932 elementary and middle school teachers from the Dallas, Texas, metroplex in the USA, in order to examine self-efficacy similarities and differences for technology proficiency self-appraisals in a…

  5. The Reading Habits of Developmental College Students at Different Levels of Reading Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheorey, Ravi; Mokhtari, Kouider

    1994-01-01

    Examines differences in reading habits of developmental college students with varying levels of reading proficiency. Finds that subjects spent an unusually low amount of time on academic reading and even less time on nonacademic reading. Finds no significant differences between high- and low-proficient readers with regard to amount of time spent…

  6. Reading Habits of University ESL Students at Different Levels of English Proficiency and Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokhtari, Kouider; Sheorey, Ravi

    1994-01-01

    Examines the degree to which the levels of English proficiency (high vs. low) and education (graduate vs. undergraduate) of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students were associated with differences in their reading behaviors. Finds that the subjects' level of education and English proficiency were associated with their reading behavior…

  7. Non-Discriminatory Assessment: Formal and Informal Assessment of Limited English Proficient Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mares, Sharon

    PEOPLE (Pruebas de Expresion Oral y Percepcion de la Lengua Espanol) was developed as a test to help distinguish between a language difference and a language deficit in non English proficient (NEP) and limited English proficient (LEP) elementary Hispanic students. PEOPLE was developed, pilot tested in 14 school districts in Los Angeles County with…

  8. Issues in Vertical Scaling of a K-12 English Language Proficiency Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Dorry M.; MacGregor, David; Li, Dongyang; Cook, H. Gary

    2011-01-01

    One of the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act is that states show adequate yearly progress in their English language learners' (ELLs) acquisition of English language proficiency. States are required to assess ELLs' English language proficiency annually in four language domains (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) to measure their…

  9. Self-Assessment, Preparation and Response Time on a Computerized Oral Proficiency Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malabonga, Valerie; Kenyon, Dorry M.; Carpenter, Helen

    2005-01-01

    Two studies investigated technical aspects of a computer-mediated test, the Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI), particularly in contrast to a similar tape-mediated test, the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI). The first study investigated how examinees used self-assessment to choose an appropriate starting level on the COPI.…

  10. Technological Proficiency as a Key to Job Security. Trends and Issues Alert No. 6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imel, Susan

    Although not all current jobs require basic computer skills, technological advances in society have created new jobs and changed the ways many existing jobs are performed. Clearly, workers who are proficient in technology have a greater advantage in the current workplace and the need for technologically proficient workers will only continue to…

  11. Speaker gaze increases information coupling between infant and adult brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Victoria; Byrne, Elizabeth; Clackson, Kaili; Georgieva, Stanimira; Lam, Sarah; Wass, Sam

    2017-12-12

    When infants and adults communicate, they exchange social signals of availability and communicative intention such as eye gaze. Previous research indicates that when communication is successful, close temporal dependencies arise between adult speakers' and listeners' neural activity. However, it is not known whether similar neural contingencies exist within adult-infant dyads. Here, we used dual-electroencephalography to assess whether direct gaze increases neural coupling between adults and infants during screen-based and live interactions. In experiment 1 ( n = 17), infants viewed videos of an adult who was singing nursery rhymes with ( i ) direct gaze (looking forward), ( ii ) indirect gaze (head and eyes averted by 20°), or ( iii ) direct-oblique gaze (head averted but eyes orientated forward). In experiment 2 ( n = 19), infants viewed the same adult in a live context, singing with direct or indirect gaze. Gaze-related changes in adult-infant neural network connectivity were measured using partial directed coherence. Across both experiments, the adult had a significant (Granger) causal influence on infants' neural activity, which was stronger during direct and direct-oblique gaze relative to indirect gaze. During live interactions, infants also influenced the adult more during direct than indirect gaze. Further, infants vocalized more frequently during live direct gaze, and individual infants who vocalized longer also elicited stronger synchronization from the adult. These results demonstrate that direct gaze strengthens bidirectional adult-infant neural connectivity during communication. Thus, ostensive social signals could act to bring brains into mutual temporal alignment, creating a joint-networked state that is structured to facilitate information transfer during early communication and learning. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  12. A Digital Language Divide? The Relationship between Internet Medication Refills and Medication Adherence among Limited English Proficient (LEP) Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casillas, Alejandra; Moreno, Gerardo; Grotts, Jonathan; Tseng, Chi-Hong; Morales, Leo S

    2018-03-29

    Use of an Internet portal to refill medicines positively affects medication adherence among English-speakers. No prior studies, however, have specifically examined the relationship between Internet refills and medication adherence among patients who are limited English proficient (LEP). (1) Examine the relationship between Internet medication refill system use and medication adherence among linguistically diverse patients with chronic conditions and (2) compare this relationship between LEP and English-proficient (EP) patients. We analyzed 2013-2014 cross-sectional data from 509 surveyed adults in the Group Health Cooperative. Surveys were merged with plan enrollment, claims data, and electronic medical records. Medication adherence was calculated by the "Continuous Measure of Medication Gaps" (CMG) method. For Internet refill system use, patients were asked, "Have you used the health systems Internet site to refill any medications in the last 12 months?" LEP status was captured in the electronic medical record by a non-English primary language and a claims record of interpreter use in at least one clinical encounter between 2005 and 2012. We used multivariate linear regression models to examine Internet refill system use and medication adherence and compared the association between LEP and EP patients. Three hundred eighty-four patients (75%) had a calculable CMG: 134 EP and 250 LEP in the adherence analyses. In unadjusted analyses, LEP patients had lower use of the Internet refill system (p < .001) and lower adherence versus the EP group (p < .001). In multivariate analyses, LEP status (β = - 0.022, p = .047) was negatively associated with adherence, while use of the Internet refill system (β = 0.030, p = .002) was positively associated. In stratified models, use of Internet refills was positively associated with adherence, even when examining LEP (β = 0.029, p = .003) and EP patients (β = 0.027, p = .049) separately

  13. The native-speaker fever in English language teaching (ELT: Pitting pedagogical competence against historical origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anchimbe, Eric A.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses English language teaching (ELT around the world, and argues that as a profession, it should emphasise pedagogical competence rather than native-speaker requirement in the recruitment of teachers in English as a foreign language (EFL and English as a second language (ESL contexts. It establishes that being a native speaker does not make one automatically a competent speaker or, of that matter, a competent teacher of the language. It observes that on many grounds, including physical, sociocultural, technological and economic changes in the world as well as the status of English as official and national language in many post-colonial regions, the distinction between native and non-native speakers is no longer valid.

  14. Identifying the nonlinear mechanical behaviour of micro-speakers from their quasi-linear electrical response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilletti, Michele; Marker, Arthur; Elliott, Stephen John; Holland, Keith

    2017-05-01

    In this study model identification of the nonlinear dynamics of a micro-speaker is carried out by purely electrical measurements, avoiding any explicit vibration measurements. It is shown that a dynamic model of the micro-speaker, which takes into account the nonlinear damping characteristic of the device, can be identified by measuring the response between the voltage input and the current flowing into the coil. An analytical formulation of the quasi-linear model of the micro-speaker is first derived and an optimisation method is then used to identify a polynomial function which describes the mechanical damping behaviour of the micro-speaker. The analytical results of the quasi-linear model are compared with numerical results. This study potentially opens up the possibility of efficiently implementing nonlinear echo cancellers.

  15. Testing Template and Testing Concept of Operations for Speaker Authentication Technology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sipko, Marek M

    2006-01-01

    This thesis documents the findings of developing a generic testing template and supporting concept of operations for speaker verification technology as part of the Iraqi Enrollment via Voice Authentication Project (IEVAP...

  16. Is the superior verbal memory span of Mandarin speakers due to faster rehearsal?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattys, Sven L; Baddeley, Alan; Trenkic, Danijela

    2018-04-01

    It is well established that digit span in native Chinese speakers is atypically high. This is commonly attributed to a capacity for more rapid subvocal rehearsal for that group. We explored this hypothesis by testing a group of English-speaking native Mandarin speakers on digit span and word span in both Mandarin and English, together with a measure of speed of articulation for each. When compared to the performance of native English speakers, the Mandarin group proved to be superior on both digit and word spans while predictably having lower spans in English. This suggests that the Mandarin advantage is not limited to digits. Speed of rehearsal correlated with span performance across materials. However, this correlation was more pronounced for English speakers than for any of the Chinese measures. Further analysis suggested that speed of rehearsal did not provide an adequate account of differences between Mandarin and English spans or for the advantage of digits over words. Possible alternative explanations are discussed.

  17. Further optimisations of constant Q cepstral processing for integrated utterance and text-dependent speaker verification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delgado, Hector; Todisco, Massimiliano; Sahidullah, Md

    2016-01-01

    Many authentication applications involving automatic speaker verification (ASV) demand robust performance using short-duration, fixed or prompted text utterances. Text constraints not only reduce the phone-mismatch between enrollment and test utterances, which generally leads to improved performa...

  18. Artificially intelligent recognition of Arabic speaker using voice print-based local features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmood, Awais; Alsulaiman, Mansour; Muhammad, Ghulam; Akram, Sheeraz

    2016-11-01

    Local features for any pattern recognition system are based on the information extracted locally. In this paper, a local feature extraction technique was developed. This feature was extracted in the time-frequency plain by taking the moving average on the diagonal directions of the time-frequency plane. This feature captured the time-frequency events producing a unique pattern for each speaker that can be viewed as a voice print of the speaker. Hence, we referred to this technique as voice print-based local feature. The proposed feature was compared to other features including mel-frequency cepstral coefficient (MFCC) for speaker recognition using two different databases. One of the databases used in the comparison is a subset of an LDC database that consisted of two short sentences uttered by 182 speakers. The proposed feature attained 98.35% recognition rate compared to 96.7% for MFCC using the LDC subset.

  19. The relationship between automatic assessment of oral proficiency and other indicators of first year students' linguistic abilities

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Wet, Febe

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Academic literacy proficiency is key to the success of a student at university. Currently, the large-scale assessment of language proficiency, particularly at higher education levels, is dominated by reading and writing tests because listening...

  20. Relationships Between English Language Proficiency, Health Literacy, and Health Outcomes in Somali Refugees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Jessica E; Smock, Laura; Hunter-Adams, Jo; Xuan, Ziming; Cochran, Jennifer; Paasche-Orlow, Michael K; Geltman, Paul L

    2018-06-15

    Little is known about the impacts of health literacy and English proficiency on the health status of Somali refugees. Data came from interviews in 2009-2011 of 411 adult Somali refugees recently resettled in Massachusetts. English proficiency, health literacy, and physical and mental health were measured using the Basic English Skills Test Plus, the Short Test of Health Literacy in Adults, and the Physical and Mental Component Summaries of the Short Form-12. Associations were analyzed using multiple linear regression. In adjusted analyses, higher English proficiency was associated with worse mental health in males. English proficiency was not associated with physical health. Health literacy was associated with neither physical nor mental health. Language proficiency may adversely affect the mental health of male Somali refugees, contrary to findings in other immigrant groups. Research on underlying mechanisms and opportunities to understand this relationship are needed.

  1. Research on the proficient machine system. Theoretical part; Jukutatsu machine system no chosa kenkyu. Rironhen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    The basic theory of the proficient machine system to be developed was studied. Important proficient techniques in manufacturing industries are becoming extinct because of insufficient succession to next generation. The proficient machine system was proposed to cope with such situation. This machine system includes the mechanism for progress and evolution of techniques and sensibilities to be adaptable to environmental changes by learning and recognizing various motions such as work and process. Consequently, the basic research fields are composed of thought, learning, perception and action. This machine requires not only deigned fixed functions but also introduction of the same proficient concept as human being to be adaptable to changes in situation, purpose, time and machine`s complexity. This report explains in detail the basic concept, system principle, approaching procedure and practical elemental technologies of the proficient machine system, and also describes the future prospect. 133 refs., 110 figs., 7 tabs.

  2. Speaker-Sex Discrimination for Voiced and Whispered Vowels at Short Durations

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, David R. R.

    2016-01-01

    Whispered vowels, produced with no vocal fold vibration, lack the periodic temporal fine structure which in voiced vowels underlies the perceptual attribute of pitch (a salient auditory cue to speaker sex). Voiced vowels possess no temporal fine structure at very short durations (below two glottal cycles). The prediction was that speaker-sex discrimination performance for whispered and voiced vowels would be similar for very short durations but, as stimulus duration increases, voiced vowel pe...

  3. Speaker identification for the improvement of the security communication between law enforcement units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tovarek, Jaromir; Partila, Pavol

    2017-05-01

    This article discusses the speaker identification for the improvement of the security communication between law enforcement units. The main task of this research was to develop the text-independent speaker identification system which can be used for real-time recognition. This system is designed for identification in the open set. It means that the unknown speaker can be anyone. Communication itself is secured, but we have to check the authorization of the communication parties. We have to decide if the unknown speaker is the authorized for the given action. The calls are recorded by IP telephony server and then these recordings are evaluate using classification If the system evaluates that the speaker is not authorized, it sends a warning message to the administrator. This message can detect, for example a stolen phone or other unusual situation. The administrator then performs the appropriate actions. Our novel proposal system uses multilayer neural network for classification and it consists of three layers (input layer, hidden layer, and output layer). A number of neurons in input layer corresponds with the length of speech features. Output layer then represents classified speakers. Artificial Neural Network classifies speech signal frame by frame, but the final decision is done over the complete record. This rule substantially increases accuracy of the classification. Input data for the neural network are a thirteen Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients, which describe the behavior of the vocal tract. These parameters are the most used for speaker recognition. Parameters for training, testing and validation were extracted from recordings of authorized users. Recording conditions for training data correspond with the real traffic of the system (sampling frequency, bit rate). The main benefit of the research is the system developed for text-independent speaker identification which is applied to secure communication between law enforcement units.

  4. Does training make French speakers more able to identify lexical stress?

    OpenAIRE

    Schwab, Sandra; Llisterri, Joaquim

    2013-01-01

    This research takes the stress deafness hypothesis as a starting point (e.g. Dupoux et al., 2008), and, more specifically, the fact that French speakers present difficulties in perceiving lexical stress in a free-stress language. In this framework, we aim at determining whether a prosodic training could improve the ability of French speakers to identify the stressed syllable in Spanish words. Three groups of participants took part in this experiment. The Native group was composed of 16 speake...

  5. Presenting and processing information in background noise: A combined speaker-listener perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockstael, Annelies; Samyn, Laurie; Corthals, Paul; Botteldooren, Dick

    2018-01-01

    Transferring information orally in background noise is challenging, for both speaker and listener. Successful transfer depends on complex interaction between characteristics related to listener, speaker, task, background noise, and context. To fully assess the underlying real-life mechanisms, experimental design has to mimic this complex reality. In the current study, the effects of different types of background noise have been studied in an ecologically valid test design. Documentary-style information had to be presented by the speaker and simultaneously acquired by the listener in four conditions: quiet, unintelligible multitalker babble, fluctuating city street noise, and little varying highway noise. For both speaker and listener, the primary task was to focus on the content that had to be transferred. In addition, for the speakers, the occurrence of hesitation phenomena was assessed. The listener had to perform an additional secondary task to address listening effort. For the listener the condition with the most eventful background noise, i.e., fluctuating city street noise, appeared to be the most difficult with markedly longer duration of the secondary task. In the same fluctuating background noise, speech appeared to be less disfluent, suggesting a higher level of concentration from the speaker's side.

  6. Speaker diarization system on the 2007 NIST rich transcription meeting recognition evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hanwu; Nwe, Tin Lay; Koh, Eugene Chin Wei; Bin, Ma; Li, Haizhou

    2007-09-01

    This paper presents a speaker diarization system developed at the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) for NIST Rich Transcription 2007 (RT-07) evaluation task. We describe in details our primary approaches for the speaker diarization on the Multiple Distant Microphones (MDM) conditions in conference room scenario. Our proposed system consists of six modules: 1). Least-mean squared (NLMS) adaptive filter for the speaker direction estimate via Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA), 2). An initial speaker clustering via two-stage TDOA histogram distribution quantization approach, 3). Multiple microphone speaker data alignment via GCC-PHAT Time Delay Estimate (TDE) among all the distant microphone channel signals, 4). A speaker clustering algorithm based on GMM modeling approach, 5). Non-speech removal via speech/non-speech verification mechanism and, 6). Silence removal via "Double-Layer Windowing"(DLW) method. We achieves error rate of 31.02% on the 2006 Spring (RT-06s) MDM evaluation task and a competitive overall error rate of 15.32% for the NIST Rich Transcription 2007 (RT-07) MDM evaluation task.

  7. Vliv temporálních manipulací na vnímání kompetence mluvčího / Effect of Temporal Manipulations on the Perception of Speaker Competence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Berkovcová

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Speech communication research based on psychological methods currently stands at the forefront of scientific interest. Speech is an integral part of the social identity of a person and has a significant impact on the perception of the speaker by his surroundings. The present study aims to chart the effect of the temporal organization of utterances on the perception of a speaker’s competence. Recordings of four Spanish native speakers were manipulated in a way which destabilized the regular temporal structure of their utterances. A perception test was administered to forty Czech listeners differing in level of proficiency with the Spanish language. The aim of the test was to reveal the listeners’ positive or negative judgments of the original (regular and manipulated (dysfluent items. The basis for the perception test was the Big Five personality traits model, with the factor evaluated being the speakers’ competence that is the ability and readiness to effectively deal with tasks. The results confirmed our main hypothesis, which assumed that both groups of listeners will, in terms of competence, evaluate the manipulated items negatively. Students of Spanish studies were more perceptive of the temporal manipulations, most likely due to their familiarity with the prosodic structure of Spanish and their understanding of the meaning of the tested utterances.

  8. The Non-absoluteness of the Leading Position of the Frequency ——On the Vocabulary Design Criteria of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Qinghua

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The design criteria of the vocabulary outline of the second language teaching vary according to the teaching objectives. Under the same objective, the criteria are often more than one. The multiple criteria are sometimes compatible and sometimes conflicting. Through analyzing and evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of the new Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK Vocabulary Outline, this paper reveals the interactions between the task objectives, the criterion conditions and processing strategies, as well as the interaction relationships between the multiple criteria features of the vocabulary outline designing process, and then abstracts the general principles and overall rules. The research results subvert the habitual knowledge that the frequency criterion position ranked first, which is always popular at least in the Chinese academic circle. It finds that the leading position of frequency criterion only exists in the criteria compatibility model. In the conflict model of the locutionary criteria, the stylistic criterion and syntactic criterion are strong criteria, while the word frequency criterion relegates to the weak position. In the conflict model of the locutionary and illocutionary criteria, the illocutionary criterion is strong criterion, while the locutionary criterion relegates to the weak position, which indicates that the language can’t be above its purpose of usage. This research is conducive to the improvement of the vocabulary outline. It also has certain practical significance to the disciplinary theories of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Language or even to the whole second language teaching.

  9. Gaining Proficiency through Task-Based Activities in the Portuguese Classroom (Beginning and Intermediate Year Case Studies)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones-Kellogg, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes a task-based activity used at the United States Military Academy, in their first- through third-semester Portuguese language sequence "Proficiencies" (Proficiências). The stand-alone task-based activity can be an effective tool in gaining foreign-language proficiency at even the lowest levels of classroom instruction…

  10. 40 CFR 798.5500 - Differential growth inhibition of repair proficient and repair deficient bacteria: “Bacterial DNA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... repair proficient and repair deficient bacteria: âBacterial DNA damage or repair tests.â 798.5500 Section... inhibition of repair proficient and repair deficient bacteria: “Bacterial DNA damage or repair tests.” (a... killing or growth inhibition of repair deficient bacteria in a set of repair proficient and deficient...

  11. The Effects of Poster Presentations and Class Presentations on Low-Proficiency Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prichard, Caleb; Ferreira, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Presentation assignments for second language speakers can take several forms, such as a traditional class presentation or a poster presentation. Poster presentations, which are given repeatedly to small groups, seem to have several advantages, including increased speaking opportunities, more interaction between the speaker and the audience, and…

  12. Brain responses before and after intensive second language learning: proficiency based changes and first language background effects in adult learners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Jacquelyn White

    Full Text Available This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2 grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner's first language (L1 background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese. Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1-L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1 higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2 with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., "grammaticalization" are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning.

  13. Brain Responses before and after Intensive Second Language Learning: Proficiency Based Changes and First Language Background Effects in Adult Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Erin Jacquelyn; Genesee, Fred; Steinhauer, Karsten

    2012-01-01

    This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2) grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner’s first language (L1) background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese). Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1–L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1) higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2) with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., “grammaticalization”) are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning. PMID:23300641

  14. Brain responses before and after intensive second language learning: proficiency based changes and first language background effects in adult learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Erin Jacquelyn; Genesee, Fred; Steinhauer, Karsten

    2012-01-01

    This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2) grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner's first language (L1) background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese). Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1-L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1) higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2) with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., "grammaticalization") are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning.

  15. Language proficiency and metacognition as predictors of spontaneous rehearsal in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebko, James M; McMorris, Carly A; Metcalfe, Alisa; Ricciuti, Christina; Goldstein, Gayle

    2014-03-01

    Despite decades of research on fundamental memory strategies such as verbal rehearsal, the potential underlying skills associated with the emergence of rehearsal are still not fully understood. Two studies examined the relative roles of language proficiency and metamemory in predicting rehearsal use, as well as the prediction of metamemory performance by language proficiency. In Study 1, 59 children, 5 to 8 years old, were administered a serial recall task, 2 language measures, a nonverbal cognitive measure, and a rapid automatized naming (RAN) task. Language proficiency, RAN, and age were significant individual predictors of rehearsal use. In hierarchical regression analyses, language proficiency mediated almost completely the age → rehearsal use relation. In addition, automatized naming was a strong but partial mediator of the contribution of language proficiency to rehearsal use. In Study 2, 54 children were administered a metamemory test, a language measure, and a serial recall task. Metamemory skills and, again, language proficiency significantly predicted rehearsal use in the task. The predictive strength of metamemory skills was mediated by the children's language proficiency. The mutually supportive roles of automatized naming, language, and metamemory in the emergence of spontaneous cumulative verbal rehearsal are discussed in the context of the resulting model, along with the minimal roles of age and aspects of intelligence.

  16. Childhood motor skill proficiency as a predictor of adolescent physical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Lisa M; van Beurden, Eric; Morgan, Philip J; Brooks, Lyndon O; Beard, John R

    2009-03-01

    Cross-sectional evidence has demonstrated the importance of motor skill proficiency to physical activity participation, but it is unknown whether skill proficiency predicts subsequent physical activity. In 2000, children's proficiency in object control (kick, catch, throw) and locomotor (hop, side gallop, vertical jump) skills were assessed in a school intervention. In 2006/07, the physical activity of former participants was assessed using the Australian Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire. Linear regressions examined relationships between the reported time adolescents spent participating in moderate-to-vigorous or organized physical activity and their childhood skill proficiency, controlling for gender and school grade. A logistic regression examined the probability of participating in vigorous activity. Of 481 original participants located, 297 (62%) consented and 276 (57%) were surveyed. All were in secondary school with females comprising 52% (144). Adolescent time in moderate-to-vigorous and organized activity was positively associated with childhood object control proficiency. Respective models accounted for 12.7% (p = .001), and 18.2% of the variation (p = .003). Object control proficient children became adolescents with a 10% to 20% higher chance of vigorous activity participation. Object control proficient children were more likely to become active adolescents. Motor skill development should be a key strategy in childhood interventions aiming to promote long-term physical activity.

  17. Fundamental movement skills proficiency in children with developmental coordination disorder: does physical self-concept matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jie; Sit, Cindy H P; Capio, Catherine M; Burnett, Angus; Ha, Amy S C; Huang, Wendy Y J

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to (1) examine differences in fundamental movement skills (FMS) proficiency, physical self-concept, and physical activity in children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and (2) determine the association of FMS proficiency with physical self-concept while considering key confounding factors. Participants included 43 children with DCD and 87 age-matched typically developing (TD) children. FMS proficiency was assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development - second edition. Physical self-concept and physical activity were assessed using self-report questionnaires. A two-way (group by gender) ANCOVA was used to determine whether between-group differences existed in FMS proficiency, physical self-concept, and physical activity after controlling for age and BMI. Partial correlations and hierarchical multiple regression models were used to examine the relationship between FMS proficiency and physical self-concept. Compared with their TD peers, children with DCD displayed less proficiency in various components of FMS and viewed themselves as being less competent in physical coordination, sporting ability, and physical health. Physical coordination was a significant predictor of ability in object control skills. DCD status and gender were significant predictors of FMS proficiency. Future FMS interventions should target children with DCD and girls, and should emphasize improving object control skills proficiency and physical coordination. Children with DCD tend to have not only lower FMS proficiency than age-matched typically developing children but also lower physical self-concept. Self-perceptions of physical coordination by children with DCD are likely to be valuable contributors to development of object control skills. This may then help to develop their confidence in performing motor skills. Children with DCD need supportive programs that facilitate the development of object control skills. Efficacy of training

  18. Complimenting Functions by Native English Speakers and Iranian EFL Learners: A Divergence or Convergence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Akbar Ansarin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The study of compliment speech act has been under investigation on many occasions in recent years. In this study, an attempt is made to explore appraisals performed by native English speakers and Iranian EFL learners to find out how these two groups diverge or converge from each other with regard to complimenting patterns and norms. The participants of the study were 60 advanced Iranian EFL learners who were speaking Persian as their first language and 60 native English speakers. Through a written Discourse Completion Task comprised of eight different scenarios, compliments were analyzed with regard to topics (performance, personality, possession, and skill, functions (explicit, implicit, and opt-out, gender differences and the common positive adjectives used by two groups of native and nonnative participants. The findings suggested that native English speakers praised individuals more implicitly in comparison with Iranian EFL learners and native speakers provided opt-outs more frequently than Iranian EFL learners did. The analysis of data by Chi-square showed that gender and macro functions are independent of each other among Iranian EFL learners’ compliments while for native speakers, gender played a significant role in the distribution of appraisals. Iranian EFL learners’ complimenting patterns converge more towards those of native English speakers. Moreover, both groups favored explicit compliments. However, Iranian EFL learners were more inclined to provide explicit compliments. It can be concluded that there were more similarities rather than differences between Iranian EFL learners and native English speakers regarding compliment speech act. The results of this study can benefit researchers, teachers, material developers, and EFL learners.

  19. Assessment of Proficiency During Simulated Rover Operations Following Long-Duration Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. J.; Dean, S. L.; De Dios, Y. E.; MacDougall, H. G.; Moore, S. T.

    2011-01-01

    Following long-duration space travel, pressurized rovers will enhance crew mobility to explore Mars and other planetary surfaces. Adaptive changes in sensorimotor function may limit the crew s proficiency when performing some rover operations shortly after transition to the new gravitoinertial environment. The primary goal of this investigation is to quantify postflight decrements in operational proficiency in a motion-based rover simulation after International Space Station (ISS) expeditions. Given that postflight performance will also be influenced by the level of preflight proficiency attained, a ground-based normative study was conducted to characterize the acquisition of skills over multiple sessions.

  20. EFL Speech Production: Exploring the relationship between working memory capacity and proficiency level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gicele Vergine Vieira PREBIANCA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study explores the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC and proficiency level in EFL1 speech production. Forty-one participants performed two WMC tests – the Speaking Span Test in L1 and in L2. The statistical analysis indicated both a variation on WMC scores in L2 as a function of proficiency as well as a difference between WMC scores in L1 and in L2. Findings are explained mainly in respect to the interplay between automatic and controlled processes on memory retrieval and on the development of L2 proficiency.

  1. Results of the Proficiency Test, PT1 and PT2, 2012

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vendramin, Niccolò; Nicolajsen, Nicole; Christophersen, Maj-Britt

    A comparative test of diagnostic procedures was provided by the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Fish Diseases. The test was divided into proficiency test 1 (PT1) and proficiency test 2 (PT2). The number of National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) participating in PT1 and PT2 was 43. ....... The tests were sent from the EURL in the beginning of September 2012. Both PT1 and PT2 are accredited by DANAK under registration number 515 for proficiency testing according to the quality assurance standard DS/EN ISO/IEC 17043....

  2. The Interplay among Emotional Intelligence, Classroom Management, and Language Proficiency of Iranian EFL Teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadi Hamidi

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study was an attempt to investigate the interplay among Iranian EFL teachers’ emotional intelligence, classroom management, and their general English language proficiency. The result of the data analysis showed that: 1 there was a statistically significant relationship between the emotional intelligence and the classroom management of Iranian EFL teachers, 2 there was a statistically significant relationship between the emotional intelligence and the language proficiency of Iranian EFL teachers, and 3 there was a statistically significant relationship between the classroom management and the language proficiency of Iranian EFL teachers. Teacher trainers, researchers in teacher education, and language teachers may benefit from the findings of the present research.

  3. Combining Behavioral and ERP Methodologies to Investigate the Differences Between McGurk Effects Demonstrated by Cantonese and Mandarin Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Zhang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigated the impact of Chinese dialects on McGurk effect using behavioral and event-related potential (ERP methodologies. Specifically, intra-language comparison of McGurk effect was conducted between Mandarin and Cantonese speakers. The behavioral results showed that Cantonese speakers exhibited a stronger McGurk effect in audiovisual speech perception compared to Mandarin speakers, although both groups performed equally in the auditory and visual conditions. ERP results revealed that Cantonese speakers were more sensitive to visual cues than Mandarin speakers, though this was not the case for the auditory cues. Taken together, the current findings suggest that the McGurk effect generated by Chinese speakers is mainly influenced by segmental phonology during audiovisual speech integration.

  4. Combining Behavioral and ERP Methodologies to Investigate the Differences Between McGurk Effects Demonstrated by Cantonese and Mandarin Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Juan; Meng, Yaxuan; McBride, Catherine; Fan, Xitao; Yuan, Zhen

    2018-01-01

    The present study investigated the impact of Chinese dialects on McGurk effect using behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) methodologies. Specifically, intra-language comparison of McGurk effect was conducted between Mandarin and Cantonese speakers. The behavioral results showed that Cantonese speakers exhibited a stronger McGurk effect in audiovisual speech perception compared to Mandarin speakers, although both groups performed equally in the auditory and visual conditions. ERP results revealed that Cantonese speakers were more sensitive to visual cues than Mandarin speakers, though this was not the case for the auditory cues. Taken together, the current findings suggest that the McGurk effect generated by Chinese speakers is mainly influenced by segmental phonology during audiovisual speech integration. PMID:29780312

  5. Musical Sophistication and the Effect of Complexity on Auditory Discrimination in Finnish Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Caitlin; Aalto, Daniel; Šimko, Juraj; Vainio, Martti; Tervaniemi, Mari

    2017-01-01

    Musical experiences and native language are both known to affect auditory processing. The present work aims to disentangle the influences of native language phonology and musicality on behavioral and subcortical sound feature processing in a population of musically diverse Finnish speakers as well as to investigate the specificity of enhancement from musical training. Finnish speakers are highly sensitive to duration cues since in Finnish, vowel and consonant duration determine word meaning. Using a correlational approach with a set of behavioral sound feature discrimination tasks, brainstem recordings, and a musical sophistication questionnaire, we find no evidence for an association between musical sophistication and more precise duration processing in Finnish speakers either in the auditory brainstem response or in behavioral tasks, but they do show an enhanced pitch discrimination compared to Finnish speakers with less musical experience and show greater duration modulation in a complex task. These results are consistent with a ceiling effect set for certain sound features which corresponds to the phonology of the native language, leaving an opportunity for music experience-based enhancement of sound features not explicitly encoded in the language (such as pitch, which is not explicitly encoded in Finnish). Finally, the pattern of duration modulation in more musically sophisticated Finnish speakers suggests integrated feature processing for greater efficiency in a real world musical situation. These results have implications for research into the specificity of plasticity in the auditory system as well as to the effects of interaction of specific language features with musical experiences. PMID:28450829

  6. Musical Sophistication and the Effect of Complexity on Auditory Discrimination in Finnish Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Caitlin; Aalto, Daniel; Šimko, Juraj; Vainio, Martti; Tervaniemi, Mari

    2017-01-01

    Musical experiences and native language are both known to affect auditory processing. The present work aims to disentangle the influences of native language phonology and musicality on behavioral and subcortical sound feature processing in a population of musically diverse Finnish speakers as well as to investigate the specificity of enhancement from musical training. Finnish speakers are highly sensitive to duration cues since in Finnish, vowel and consonant duration determine word meaning. Using a correlational approach with a set of behavioral sound feature discrimination tasks, brainstem recordings, and a musical sophistication questionnaire, we find no evidence for an association between musical sophistication and more precise duration processing in Finnish speakers either in the auditory brainstem response or in behavioral tasks, but they do show an enhanced pitch discrimination compared to Finnish speakers with less musical experience and show greater duration modulation in a complex task. These results are consistent with a ceiling effect set for certain sound features which corresponds to the phonology of the native language, leaving an opportunity for music experience-based enhancement of sound features not explicitly encoded in the language (such as pitch, which is not explicitly encoded in Finnish). Finally, the pattern of duration modulation in more musically sophisticated Finnish speakers suggests integrated feature processing for greater efficiency in a real world musical situation. These results have implications for research into the specificity of plasticity in the auditory system as well as to the effects of interaction of specific language features with musical experiences.

  7. Encoding, rehearsal, and recall in signers and speakers: shared network but differential engagement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavelier, D; Newman, A J; Mukherjee, M; Hauser, P; Kemeny, S; Braun, A; Boutla, M

    2008-10-01

    Short-term memory (STM), or the ability to hold verbal information in mind for a few seconds, is known to rely on the integrity of a frontoparietal network of areas. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to ask whether a similar network is engaged when verbal information is conveyed through a visuospatial language, American Sign Language, rather than speech. Deaf native signers and hearing native English speakers performed a verbal recall task, where they had to first encode a list of letters in memory, maintain it for a few seconds, and finally recall it in the order presented. The frontoparietal network described to mediate STM in speakers was also observed in signers, with its recruitment appearing independent of the modality of the language. This finding supports the view that signed and spoken STM rely on similar mechanisms. However, deaf signers and hearing speakers differentially engaged key structures of the frontoparietal network as the stages of STM unfold. In particular, deaf signers relied to a greater extent than hearing speakers on passive memory storage areas during encoding and maintenance, but on executive process areas during recall. This work opens new avenues for understanding similarities and differences in STM performance in signers and speakers.

  8. Analysis of Acoustic Features in Speakers with Cognitive Disorders and Speech Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saz, Oscar; Simón, Javier; Rodríguez, W. Ricardo; Lleida, Eduardo; Vaquero, Carlos

    2009-12-01

    This work presents the results in the analysis of the acoustic features (formants and the three suprasegmental features: tone, intensity and duration) of the vowel production in a group of 14 young speakers suffering different kinds of speech impairments due to physical and cognitive disorders. A corpus with unimpaired children's speech is used to determine the reference values for these features in speakers without any kind of speech impairment within the same domain of the impaired speakers; this is 57 isolated words. The signal processing to extract the formant and pitch values is based on a Linear Prediction Coefficients (LPCs) analysis of the segments considered as vowels in a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) based Viterbi forced alignment. Intensity and duration are also based in the outcome of the automated segmentation. As main conclusion of the work, it is shown that intelligibility of the vowel production is lowered in impaired speakers even when the vowel is perceived as correct by human labelers. The decrease in intelligibility is due to a 30% of increase in confusability in the formants map, a reduction of 50% in the discriminative power in energy between stressed and unstressed vowels and to a 50% increase of the standard deviation in the length of the vowels. On the other hand, impaired speakers keep good control of tone in the production of stressed and unstressed vowels.

  9. Age differences in vocal emotion perception: on the role of speaker age and listener sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Antarika; Isaacowitz, Derek; Schirmer, Annett

    2017-10-24

    Older adults have greater difficulty than younger adults perceiving vocal emotions. To better characterise this effect, we explored its relation to age differences in sensory, cognitive and emotional functioning. Additionally, we examined the role of speaker age and listener sex. Participants (N = 163) aged 19-34 years and 60-85 years categorised neutral sentences spoken by ten younger and ten older speakers with a happy, neutral, sad, or angry voice. Acoustic analyses indicated that expressions from younger and older speakers denoted the intended emotion with similar accuracy. As expected, younger participants outperformed older participants and this effect was statistically mediated by an age-related decline in both optimism and working-memory. Additionally, age differences in emotion perception were larger for younger as compared to older speakers and a better perception of younger as compared to older speakers was greater in younger as compared to older participants. Last, a female perception benefit was less pervasive in the older than the younger group. Together, these findings suggest that the role of age for emotion perception is multi-faceted. It is linked to emotional and cognitive change, to processing biases that benefit young and own-age expressions, and to the different aptitudes of women and men.

  10. Online Assessment of Oral Proficiency for Intercultural Professional Communication: An introduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusman, Ellen; Stoyanov, Slavi

    2012-01-01

    Rusman, E., & Stoyanov, S. (2011). Online Assessment of Oral Proficiency for Intercultural Professional Communication: An introduction. Presentation about the CEFcult project (www.cefcult.eu) as an introduction to various personal interviews held with stakeholders, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open

  11. Chinese ESL Students' Learning Strategies: A Look at Frequency, Proficiency, and Gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foong, Kwah Poh; Goh, Christine C. M.

    1997-01-01

    Examines the learning strategies of English-as-Second-Language students in the People's Republic of China. Surveyed the frequency of strategy use to determine how it is influenced by learners' proficiency level and gender. (Author/VWL)

  12. Five year results of an international proficiency testing programme for measurement of antifungal drug concentrations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lempers, V.J.C.; Alffenaar, J.W.C.; Touw, D.J.; Burger, D.M.; Uges, D.R.A.; Aarnoutse, R.E.; Brüggemann, R.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Since 2007 the Dutch Association for Quality Assessment in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (KKGT) has organized an international interlaboratory proficiency testing (PT) programme for measurement of antifungal drugs in plasma. We describe the 5 year results of the laboratories' performance.

  13. Paris Chamber of Commerce Examinations and ACTFL/ETS Proficiency Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummins, Patricia W.

    1987-01-01

    Compares the Paris Chamber of Commerce Exams (both certificate and diploma levels) and the ACTFL Guidelines for language proficiency for the benefit of language teachers. Teaching strategies are suggested for preparing students for the Chamber of Commerce exams. (LMO)

  14. TEST OF ENGLISH FOR AVIATION PERSONNEL TO MEET ICAO LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olena Petrashchuk

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available  The article is devoted to the actual problem of the assessment of English language proficiency of aviation personnel. The paper presents an English language test, which is used for professional pilots and air traffic controllers.

  15. Speaker information affects false recognition of unstudied lexical-semantic associates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luthra, Sahil; Fox, Neal P; Blumstein, Sheila E

    2018-05-01

    Recognition of and memory for a spoken word can be facilitated by a prior presentation of that word spoken by the same talker. However, it is less clear whether this speaker congruency advantage generalizes to facilitate recognition of unheard related words. The present investigation employed a false memory paradigm to examine whether information about a speaker's identity in items heard by listeners could influence the recognition of novel items (critical intruders) phonologically or semantically related to the studied items. In Experiment 1, false recognition of semantically associated critical intruders was sensitive to speaker information, though only when subjects attended to talker identity during encoding. Results from Experiment 2 also provide some evidence that talker information affects the false recognition of critical intruders. Taken together, the present findings indicate that indexical information is able to contact the lexical-semantic network to affect the processing of unheard words.

  16. Incorporating Pass-Phrase Dependent Background Models for Text-Dependent Speaker verification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sarkar, Achintya Kumar; Tan, Zheng-Hua

    2018-01-01

    -dependent. We show that the proposed method significantly reduces the error rates of text-dependent speaker verification for the non-target types: target-wrong and impostor-wrong while it maintains comparable TD-SV performance when impostors speak a correct utterance with respect to the conventional system......In this paper, we propose pass-phrase dependent background models (PBMs) for text-dependent (TD) speaker verification (SV) to integrate the pass-phrase identification process into the conventional TD-SV system, where a PBM is derived from a text-independent background model through adaptation using...... the utterances of a particular pass-phrase. During training, pass-phrase specific target speaker models are derived from the particular PBM using the training data for the respective target model. While testing, the best PBM is first selected for the test utterance in the maximum likelihood (ML) sense...

  17. Perceptual and acoustic analysis of lexical stress in Greek speakers with dysarthria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papakyritsis, Ioannis; Müller, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    The study reported in this paper investigated the abilities of Greek speakers with dysarthria to signal lexical stress at the single word level. Three speakers with dysarthria and two unimpaired control participants were recorded completing a repetition task of a list of words consisting of minimal pairs of Greek disyllabic words contrasted by lexical stress location only. Fourteen listeners were asked to determine the attempted stress location for each word pair. Acoustic analyses of duration and intensity ratios, both within and across words, were undertaken to identify possible acoustic correlates of the listeners' judgments concerning stress location. Acoustic and perceptual data indicate that while each participant with dysarthria in this study had some difficulty in signaling stress unambiguously, the pattern of difficulty was different for each speaker. Further, it was found that the relationship between the listeners' judgments of stress location and the acoustic data was not conclusive.

  18. Speaker-Sex Discrimination for Voiced and Whispered Vowels at Short Durations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David R R

    2016-01-01

    Whispered vowels, produced with no vocal fold vibration, lack the periodic temporal fine structure which in voiced vowels underlies the perceptual attribute of pitch (a salient auditory cue to speaker sex). Voiced vowels possess no temporal fine structure at very short durations (below two glottal cycles). The prediction was that speaker-sex discrimination performance for whispered and voiced vowels would be similar for very short durations but, as stimulus duration increases, voiced vowel performance would improve relative to whispered vowel performance as pitch information becomes available. This pattern of results was shown for women's but not for men's voices. A whispered vowel needs to have a duration three times longer than a voiced vowel before listeners can reliably tell whether it's spoken by a man or woman (∼30 ms vs. ∼10 ms). Listeners were half as sensitive to information about speaker-sex when it is carried by whispered compared with voiced vowels.

  19. Time-Contrastive Learning Based DNN Bottleneck Features for Text-Dependent Speaker Verification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sarkar, Achintya Kumar; Tan, Zheng-Hua

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we present a time-contrastive learning (TCL) based bottleneck (BN) feature extraction method for speech signals with an application to text-dependent (TD) speaker verification (SV). It is well-known that speech signals exhibit quasi-stationary behavior in and only in a short interval......, and the TCL method aims to exploit this temporal structure. More specifically, it trains deep neural networks (DNNs) to discriminate temporal events obtained by uniformly segmenting speech signals, in contrast to existing DNN based BN feature extraction methods that train DNNs using labeled data...... to discriminate speakers or pass-phrases or phones or a combination of them. In the context of speaker verification, speech data of fixed pass-phrases are used for TCL-BN training, while the pass-phrases used for TCL-BN training are excluded from being used for SV, so that the learned features can be considered...

  20. Forensic Automatic Speaker Recognition Based on Likelihood Ratio Using Acoustic-phonetic Features Measured Automatically

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huapeng Wang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Forensic speaker recognition is experiencing a remarkable paradigm shift in terms of the evaluation framework and presentation of voice evidence. This paper proposes a new method of forensic automatic speaker recognition using the likelihood ratio framework to quantify the strength of voice evidence. The proposed method uses a reference database to calculate the within- and between-speaker variability. Some acoustic-phonetic features are extracted automatically using the software VoiceSauce. The effectiveness of the approach was tested using two Mandarin databases: A mobile telephone database and a landline database. The experiment's results indicate that these acoustic-phonetic features do have some discriminating potential and are worth trying in discrimination. The automatic acoustic-phonetic features have acceptable discriminative performance and can provide more reliable results in evidence analysis when fused with other kind of voice features.

  1. Language control in different contexts: the behavioural ecology of bilingual speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David William Green

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes that different experimental contexts (single or dual language contexts permit different neural loci at which words in the target language can be selected. However, in order to develop a fuller understanding of the neural circuit mediating language control we need to consider the community context in which bilingual speakers typically use their two languages (the behavioural ecology of bilingual speakers. The contrast between speakers from code-switching and non-code switching communities offers a way to increase our understanding of the cortical, subcortical and, in particular, cerebellar structures involved in language control. It will also help us identify the non-verbal behavioural correlates associated with these control processes.

  2. Speaker transfer in children's peer conversation: completing communication-aid-mediated contributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Michael; Bloch, Steven; Wilkinson, Ray

    2013-03-01

    Managing the exchange of speakers from one person to another effectively is a key issue for participants in everyday conversational interaction. Speakers use a range of resources to indicate, in advance, when their turn will come to an end, and listeners attend to such signals in order to know when they might legitimately speak. Using the principles and findings from conversation analysis, this paper examines features of speaker transfer in a conversation between a boy with cerebral palsy who has been provided with a voice-output communication aid (VOCA), and a peer without physical or communication difficulties. Specifically, the analysis focuses on turn exchange, where a VOCA-mediated contribution approach completion, and the child without communication needs is due to speak next.

  3. Infant sensitivity to speaker and language in learning a second label.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhagwat, Jui; Casasola, Marianella

    2014-02-01

    Two experiments examined when monolingual, English-learning 19-month-old infants learn a second object label. Two experimenters sat together. One labeled a novel object with one novel label, whereas the other labeled the same object with a different label in either the same or a different language. Infants were tested on their comprehension of each label immediately following its presentation. Infants mapped the first label at above chance levels, but they did so with the second label only when requested by the speaker who provided it (Experiment 1) or when the second experimenter labeled the object in a different language (Experiment 2). These results show that 19-month-olds learn second object labels but do not readily generalize them across speakers of the same language. The results highlight how speaker and language spoken guide infants' acceptance of second labels, supporting sociopragmatic views of word learning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN THE LABOUR MARKET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SIMION MINODORA OTILIA

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The technological development, the growing economic globalization and the majordemographic shifts have brought about the need for a global language. In international business, travel, scienceand technology, education, immigration, academia, diplomacy and entertainment, English is the dominantlanguage, being spoken by over one billion people. English is used inside and outside the professionalenvironment, both for communication in global business and for communication in social networks, butproficiency in English can definitely enhance people’s career opportunities both if they look for a job in thecountry or plan to go abroad to find employment. It may determine a division among those who have access toinformation and prosperity and those who don’t. In the future not just wealth but also the way it is created willhave a great impact on people’s increasing communicative needs of international languages. It is obvious thenthat more and more people will need proficiency in English ,both as a language for international communicationand as the basis for constructing cultural identities .

  5. Adolescent drivers: a developmental perspective on risk, proficiency, and safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, Daniel P; Halpern-Felsher, Bonnie L

    2008-09-01

    Despite considerable improvement in the rates of crashes, injuries, and fatalities among adolescent drivers, attributable in part to effective interventions such as graduated driver licensing, these rates and their associated health risks remain unacceptably high. To understand the sources of risky driving among teens, as well as to identify potential avenues for further advances in prevention, this article presents a review of the relevant features of contemporary research on adolescent development. Current research offers significant advances in the understanding of the sources of safe driving, proficient driving, and risky driving among adolescents. This multifaceted perspective--as opposed to simple categorization of good versus bad driving--provides new opportunities for using insights on adolescent development to enhance prevention. Drawing on recent work on adolescent physical, neural, and cognitive development, we argue for approaches to prevention that recognize both the strengths and the limitations of adolescent drivers, with particular attention to the acquisition of expertise, regulatory competence, and self-regulation in the context of perceived risk. This understanding of adolescent development spotlights the provision of appropriate and effective scaffolding, utilizing the contexts of importance to adolescents--parents, peers, and the broader culture of driving--to support safe driving and to manage the inherent risks in learning to do so.

  6. Recombinant methods for screening human DNA excision repair proficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Athas, W.F.

    1988-01-01

    A method for measuring DNA excision repair in response to ultraviolet radiation (UV)-induced DNA damage has been developed, validated, and field-tested in cultured human lymphocytes. The methodology is amenable to population-based screening and should facilitate future epidemiologic studies seeking to investigate associations between excision repair proficiency and cancer susceptibility. The impetus for such endeavors derives from the belief that the high incidence of skin cancer in the genetic disorder xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) primarily is a result of the reduced capacity of patients cells to repair UV-induced DNA damage. For assay, UV-irradiated non-replicating recombinant plasmid DNA harboring a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) indicator gene is introduced into lymphocytes using DEAE-dextran short-term transfection conditions. Exposure to UV induces transcriptionally-inactivating DNA photoproducts in the plasmid DNA which inactivate CAT gene expression. Excision repair of the damaged CAT gene is monitored indirectly as a function of reactivated CAT enzyme activity following a 40 hour repair/expression incubation period

  7. Developing interviewer proficiency: A self-perception survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riin Kont-Kontson

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The article reports the findings of a survey among 440 teachers of English in Estonia who participate in the oral proficiency interview of the national examination in the English language as interviewers. Examining the results of the questionnaire statement by statement, the study reveals that interviewer behavioural patterns emerge during the interview, some of them threatening its validity.The understanding of interviewer competence is very diverse among the interviewers and the degree to which they adhere to the standards defined for the interviewers of national examination in the English langage in Estonia is sometimes quite low. The interviewers are often unable to separate their role as an interviewer from being a teacher; they transfer their teaching behaviour to the interviewing situation. The teachers have difficulties with identification of appropriate accommodation strategies as well as controlling the extent of interaction between the interviewer and the assessor. The authors suggest a number of interviewer training strategies to combat the problems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5128/ERYa9.08

  8. Race cars and the hellbox:Understanding the development of proficiency among digital art students

    OpenAIRE

    Paquette, Andrew; Reedy, Gabriel; Hatzipanagos, Stylianos

    2016-01-01

    Educating students in the discipline of digital art to a professional standard has generally proven difficult. In an effort to understand the problem, a first-year undergraduate modelling course cohort was observed. Some students in this course progressed from being novices to acquiring proficiency during the nine-week term of the course. Computer Graphics (CG) modelling professionals evaluated student work to confirm their progress. Traditional models of proficiency development expect that p...

  9. Proficiency testing of skin prick testers as part of a quality assurance system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malling, Hans-Jørgen; Allesen-Holm, Pernille; Karved, Lisbeth Sys

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Skin prick test is an important diagnostic procedure in clinical allergy but documentation of the quality is often missing. METHODS: We describe a proficiency system to evaluate staff members in relation to the international recommended reproducibility in terms of coefficient...... of variation (CV 0.85) based on blinded octuplicate histamine testing using histamine 3, 10, 30 and 100 mg/ml. RESULTS: Fourteen trained allergy nurses participated in the proficiency testing. More than 95 % of the nurses, generated coefficient of variation...

  10. THE OBSERVATION OF TEACHER CANDIDATE RELATED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TEACHER'S PROFICIENCY

    OpenAIRE

    BAHŞİ, Muammer; TURAN, Mehmet; YILAYAZ, Ömer

    2009-01-01

    In this study it is evaluated science and tecnology teacher's proficiency based on students insights of science and tecnology education students in education faculty. It was used Standarts for Teacher Proficiency which is prepared from Ministry of National Education. The research was conducted on 85 Science and Tecnology students (4th classes) studying at the education faculty of Firat University. Data from results of study was analysed by using SPSS.

  11. Does dynamic information about the speaker's face contribute to semantic speech processing? ERP evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Gutiérrez, David; Abdel Rahman, Rasha; Martín-Loeches, Manuel; Muñoz, Francisco; Schacht, Annekathrin; Sommer, Werner

    2018-07-01

    Face-to-face interactions characterize communication in social contexts. These situations are typically multimodal, requiring the integration of linguistic auditory input with facial information from the speaker. In particular, eye gaze and visual speech provide the listener with social and linguistic information, respectively. Despite the importance of this context for an ecological study of language, research on audiovisual integration has mainly focused on the phonological level, leaving aside effects on semantic comprehension. Here we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the influence of facial dynamic information on semantic processing of connected speech. Participants were presented with either a video or a still picture of the speaker, concomitant to auditory sentences. Along three experiments, we manipulated the presence or absence of the speaker's dynamic facial features (mouth and eyes) and compared the amplitudes of the semantic N400 elicited by unexpected words. Contrary to our predictions, the N400 was not modulated by dynamic facial information; therefore, semantic processing seems to be unaffected by the speaker's gaze and visual speech. Even though, during the processing of expected words, dynamic faces elicited a long-lasting late posterior positivity compared to the static condition. This effect was significantly reduced when the mouth of the speaker was covered. Our findings may indicate an increase of attentional processing to richer communicative contexts. The present findings also demonstrate that in natural communicative face-to-face encounters, perceiving the face of a speaker in motion provides supplementary information that is taken into account by the listener, especially when auditory comprehension is non-demanding. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Continuing Medical Education Speakers with High Evaluation Scores Use more Image-based Slides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferguson, Ian

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Although continuing medical education (CME presentations are common across health professions, it is unknown whether slide design is independently associated with audience evaluations of the speaker. Based on the conceptual framework of Mayer’s theory of multimedia learning, this study aimed to determine whether image use and text density in presentation slides are associated with overall speaker evaluations. This retrospective analysis of six sequential CME conferences (two annual emergency medicine conferences over a three-year period used a mixed linear regression model to assess whether postconference speaker evaluations were associated with image fraction (percentage of image-based slides per presentation and text density (number of words per slide. A total of 105 unique lectures were given by 49 faculty members, and 1,222 evaluations (70.1% response rate were available for analysis. On average, 47.4% (SD=25.36 of slides had at least one educationally-relevant image (image fraction. Image fraction significantly predicted overall higher evaluation scores [F(1, 100.676=6.158, p=0.015] in the mixed linear regression model. The mean (SD text density was 25.61 (8.14 words/slide but was not a significant predictor [F(1, 86.293=0.55, p=0.815]. Of note, the individual speaker [χ2 (1=2.952, p=0.003] and speaker seniority [F(3, 59.713=4.083, p=0.011] significantly predicted higher scores. This is the first published study to date assessing the linkage between slide design and CME speaker evaluations by an audience of practicing clinicians. The incorporation of images was associated with higher evaluation scores, in alignment with Mayer’s theory of multimedia learning. Contrary to this theory, however, text density showed no significant association, suggesting that these scores may be multifactorial. Professional development efforts should focus on teaching best practices in both slide design and presentation skills.

  13. Neural decoding of attentional selection in multi-speaker environments without access to clean sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, James; Chen, Zhuo; Herrero, Jose; McKhann, Guy M.; Sheth, Sameer A.; Mehta, Ashesh D.; Mesgarani, Nima

    2017-10-01

    Objective. People who suffer from hearing impairments can find it difficult to follow a conversation in a multi-speaker environment. Current hearing aids can suppress background noise; however, there is little that can be done to help a user attend to a single conversation amongst many without knowing which speaker the user is attending to. Cognitively controlled hearing aids that use auditory attention decoding (AAD) methods are the next step in offering help. Translating the successes in AAD research to real-world applications poses a number of challenges, including the lack of access to the clean sound sources in the environment with which to compare with the neural signals. We propose a novel framework that combines single-channel speech separation algorithms with AAD. Approach. We present an end-to-end system that (1) receives a single audio channel containing a mixture of speakers that is heard by a listener along with the listener’s neural signals, (2) automatically separates the individual speakers in the mixture, (3) determines the attended speaker, and (4) amplifies the attended speaker’s voice to assist the listener. Main results. Using invasive electrophysiology recordings, we identified the regions of the auditory cortex that contribute to AAD. Given appropriate electrode locations, our system is able to decode the attention of subjects and amplify the attended speaker using only the mixed audio. Our quality assessment of the modified audio demonstrates a significant improvement in both subjective and objective speech quality measures. Significance. Our novel framework for AAD bridges the gap between the most recent advancements in speech processing technologies and speech prosthesis research and moves us closer to the development of cognitively controlled hearable devices for the hearing impaired.

  14. Insight into the Attitudes of Speakers of Urban Meccan Hijazi Arabic towards their Dialect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sameeha D. Alahmadi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The current study mainly aims to examine the attitudes of speakers of Urban Meccan Hijazi Arabic (UMHA towards their dialect, which is spoken in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It also investigates whether the participants’ age, sex and educational level have any impact on their perception of their dialect. To this end, I designed a 5-point-Likert-scale questionnaire, requiring participants to rate their attitudes towards their dialect. I asked 80 participants, whose first language is UMHA, to fill out the questionnaire. On the basis of the three independent variables, namely, age, sex and educational level, the participants were divided into three groups: old and young speakers, male and female speakers and educated and uneducated speakers. The results reveal that in general, all the groups (young and old, male and female, and educated and uneducated participants have a sense of responsibility towards their dialect, making their attitudes towards their dialect positive. However, differences exist between the three groups. For instance, old speakers tend to express their pride of their dialect more than young speakers. The same pattern is observed in male and female groups. The results show that females may feel embarrassed to provide answers that may imply that they are not proud of their own dialect, since the majority of women in the Arab world, in general, are under more pressure to conform to the overt norms of the society than males. Therefore, I argue that most Arab women may not have the same freedom to express their opinions and feelings about various issues. Based on the results, the study concludes with some recommendations for further research.  Keywords: sociolinguistics, language attitudes, dialectology, social variables, Urban Meccan Hijazi Arabic

  15. Continuing Medical Education Speakers with High Evaluation Scores Use more Image-based Slides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Ian; Phillips, Andrew W; Lin, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    Although continuing medical education (CME) presentations are common across health professions, it is unknown whether slide design is independently associated with audience evaluations of the speaker. Based on the conceptual framework of Mayer's theory of multimedia learning, this study aimed to determine whether image use and text density in presentation slides are associated with overall speaker evaluations. This retrospective analysis of six sequential CME conferences (two annual emergency medicine conferences over a three-year period) used a mixed linear regression model to assess whether post-conference speaker evaluations were associated with image fraction (percentage of image-based slides per presentation) and text density (number of words per slide). A total of 105 unique lectures were given by 49 faculty members, and 1,222 evaluations (70.1% response rate) were available for analysis. On average, 47.4% (SD=25.36) of slides had at least one educationally-relevant image (image fraction). Image fraction significantly predicted overall higher evaluation scores [F(1, 100.676)=6.158, p=0.015] in the mixed linear regression model. The mean (SD) text density was 25.61 (8.14) words/slide but was not a significant predictor [F(1, 86.293)=0.55, p=0.815]. Of note, the individual speaker [χ 2 (1)=2.952, p=0.003] and speaker seniority [F(3, 59.713)=4.083, p=0.011] significantly predicted higher scores. This is the first published study to date assessing the linkage between slide design and CME speaker evaluations by an audience of practicing clinicians. The incorporation of images was associated with higher evaluation scores, in alignment with Mayer's theory of multimedia learning. Contrary to this theory, however, text density showed no significant association, suggesting that these scores may be multifactorial. Professional development efforts should focus on teaching best practices in both slide design and presentation skills.

  16. Are Cantonese-speakers really descriptivists? Revisiting cross-cultural semantics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Barry

    2010-05-01

    In an article in Cognition [Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., & Stich, S. (2004). Semantics cross-cultural style. Cognition, 92, B1-B12] present data which purports to show that East Asian Cantonese-speakers tend to have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names, while Western English-speakers tend to have causal-historical intuitions about proper names. Machery et al. take this finding to support the view that some intuitions, the universality of which they claim is central to philosophical theories, vary according to cultural background. Machery et al. conclude from their findings that the philosophical methodology of consulting intuitions about hypothetical cases is flawed vis a vis the goal of determining truths about some philosophical domains like philosophical semantics. In the following study, three new vignettes in English were given to Western native English-speakers, and Cantonese translations were given to native Cantonese-speaking immigrants from a Cantonese community in Southern California. For all three vignettes, questions were given to elicit intuitions about the referent of a proper name and the truth-value of an uttered sentence containing a proper name. The results from this study reveal that East Asian Cantonese-speakers do not differ from Western English-speakers in ways that support Machery et al.'s conclusions. This new data concerning the intuitions of Cantonese-speakers raises questions about whether cross-cultural variation in answers to questions on certain vignettes reveal genuine differences in intuitions, or whether such differences stem from non-intuitional differences, such as differences in linguistic competence. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. LOGICAL CONDITIONS ANALYSIS METHOD FOR DIAGNOSTIC TEST RESULTS DECODING APPLIED TO COMPETENCE ELEMENTS PROFICIENCY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. I. Freyman

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Subject of Research.Representation features of education results for competence-based educational programs are analyzed. Solution importance of decoding and proficiency estimation for elements and components of discipline parts of competences is shown. The purpose and objectives of research are formulated. Methods. The paper deals with methods of mathematical logic, Boolean algebra, and parametrical analysis of complex diagnostic test results, that controls proficiency of some discipline competence elements. Results. The method of logical conditions analysis is created. It will give the possibility to formulate logical conditions for proficiency determination of each discipline competence element, controlled by complex diagnostic test. Normalized test result is divided into noncrossing zones; a logical condition about controlled elements proficiency is formulated for each of them. Summarized characteristics for test result zones are imposed. An example of logical conditions forming for diagnostic test with preset features is provided. Practical Relevance. The proposed method of logical conditions analysis is applied in the decoding algorithm of proficiency test diagnosis for discipline competence elements. It will give the possibility to automate the search procedure for elements with insufficient proficiency, and is also usable for estimation of education results of a discipline or a component of competence-based educational program.

  18. Fine motor skill proficiency in typically developing children: On or off the maturation track?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaul, David; Issartel, Johann

    2016-04-01

    Fine motor skill proficiency is an essential component of numerous daily living activities such as dressing, feeding or playing. Poor fine motor skills can lead to difficulties in academic achievement, increased anxiety and poor self-esteem. Recent findings have shown that children's gross motor skill proficiency tends to fall below established developmental norms. A question remains: do fine motor skill proficiency levels also fall below developmental norms? The aim of this study was to examine the current level of fine motor skill in Irish children. Children (N=253) from 2nd, 4th and 6th grades (mean age=7.12, 9.11 and 11.02 respectively) completed the Fine Motor Composite of the Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2nd Edition (BOT-2). Analysis revealed that only 2nd grade children met the expected level of fine motor skill proficiency. It was also found that despite children's raw scores improving with age, children's fine motor skill proficiency was not progressing at the expected rate given by normative data. This leads us to question the role and impact of modern society on fine motor skills development over the past number of decades. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A comparison of three speaker-intrinsic vowel formant frequency normalization algorithms for sociophonetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Anne; Watt, Dominic; Johnson, Daniel Ezra

    2009-01-01

    from RP and Aberdeen English (northeast Scotland). We conclude that, for the data examined here, the S-centroid W&F procedures performs at least as well as the two most recognized speaker-intrinsic, vowel-extrinsic, formant-intrinsic normalization methods, Lobanov's (1971) z-score procedure and Nearey......This paper evaluates a speaker-intrinsic vowel formant frequency normalization algorithm initially proposed in Watt & Fabricius (2002). We compare how well this routine, known as the S-centroid procedure, performs as a sociophonetic research tool in three ways: reducing variance in area ratios...

  20. Gender parity trends for invited speakers at four prominent virology conference series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalejta, Robert F; Palmenberg, Ann C

    2017-06-07

    Scientific conferences are most beneficial to participants when they showcase significant new experimental developments, accurately summarize the current state of the field, and provide strong opportunities for collaborative networking. A top-notch slate of invited speakers, assembled by conference organizers or committees, is key to achieving these goals. The perceived underrepresentation of female speakers at prominent scientific meetings is currently a popular topic for discussion, but one that often lacks supportive data. We compiled the full rosters of invited speakers over the last 35 years for four prominent international virology conferences, the American Society for Virology Annual Meeting (ASV), the International Herpesvirus Workshop (IHW), the Positive-Strand RNA Virus Symposium (PSR), and the Gordon Research Conference on Viruses & Cells (GRC). The rosters were cross-indexed by unique names, gender, year, and repeat invitations. When plotted as gender-dependent trends over time, all four conferences showed a clear proclivity for male-dominated invited speaker lists. Encouragingly, shifts toward parity are emerging within all units, but at different rates. Not surprisingly, both selection of a larger percentage of first time participants and the presence of a woman on the speaker selection committee correlated with improved parity. Session chair information was also collected for the IHW and GRC. These visible positions also displayed a strong male dominance over time that is eroding slowly. We offer our personal interpretation of these data to aid future organizers achieve improved equity among the limited number of available positions for session moderators and invited speakers. IMPORTANCE Politicians and media members have a tendency to cite anecdotes as conclusions without any supporting data. This happens so frequently now, that a name for it has emerged: fake news. Good science proceeds otherwise. The under representation of women as invited