Call for papers: “Tools for Big Data in Laboratory Phonology”

From Peggy Renwick

Call for papers
Satellite Workshop: “Tools for Big Data in Laboratory Phonology”
Abstract deadline: 26 February 2016
Notification: 15 March 2016

We are pleased to announce a special workshop showcasing and providing hands-on experience with tools for working with large datasets in Laboratory Phonology. This workshop will be held immediately preceding LabPhon15 at Cornell University, on Wednesday, 13 July 2016, and further information is available at

Research in laboratory phonology is increasingly scaling up to large datasets, from diverse sources, such as speech corpora, crowdsourced data, or experiments carried out across multiple laboratories. The size and complexity of these datasets make technical tools (e.g. for forced aligners, database systems, automatic phonetic measurement) crucial for working with them. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together the users and the developers of such tools, and to meet the needs of both groups. Users (workshop participants) will gain knowledge about a range of state-of-the-art tools, have hands-on experience using them, and be able to access real-time help from the tools’ developers (workshop presenters), who will in turn have a platform for the dissemination of their tools and feedback on ways to improve them for increased use in the LabPhon community. The workshop will also provide an opportunity to discuss the utility and future development of existing or additional tools.

We invite proposals from tool developers who would like to present in this workshop. We welcome submissions on tools that might be useful for any aspect of working with large datasets in Laboratory Phonology, including (but not limited to): constructing, organizing, and searching phonetic and phonological corpora (e.g. forced aligners, database systems); automating phonetic and textual annotation (e.g. prosodic structure, VOT, part-of-speech tags); deriving and extracting acoustic- or transcription-based measures (e.g. F0, formants, neighborhood densities, phoneme distributions).

Before the workshop, developers will provide access to their tools, including basic documentation and a sample dataset; these will be linked from the workshop web page. During the workshop, developers will give a tutorial on their tool, introducing its purpose and capabilities and illustrating its usage through examples. Developers will also be present for unstructured time where participants practice using the tool(s) of their choice on their own projects, with individualized help from developers as needed.

We anticipate accepting no more than six proposals in the interest of providing sufficient time for developers to showcase their tool and for participants to gain hands-on experience using it.

Proposals no longer than two pages, including figures and references, should be submitted to Kathleen Currie Hall at Each proposal should include a description of the tool to be presented, its utility for working with large phonetic/phonological datasets, and an explanation of the kinds of hands-on examples that could be provided during the workshop.


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