Students

SPHL2216 – Speech Acoustics

2021 – Session 2, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Session 2 Learning and Teaching Update

The decision has been made to conduct study online for the remainder of Session 2 for all units WITHOUT mandatory on-campus learning activities. Exams for Session 2 will also be online where possible to do so.

This is due to the extension of the lockdown orders and to provide certainty around arrangements for the remainder of Session 2. We hope to return to campus beyond Session 2 as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Some classes/teaching activities cannot be moved online and must be taught on campus. You should already know if you are in one of these classes/teaching activities and your unit convenor will provide you with more information via iLearn. If you want to confirm, see the list of units with mandatory on-campus classes/teaching activities.

Visit the MQ COVID-19 information page for more detail.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Michael Proctor
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
LING217 or LING2217
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

Human speech makes use of the special acoustic properties of the vocal tract to generate the sounds of each language and to communicate them with an unlimited range of expression. In this unit, we explore the acoustic properties of speech which make this possible, and acoustic theories of speech production which describe its linguistic use. Topics include: general acoustics, source-filter theory, acoustics of vowels and consonants, acoustic description of Australian English and sounds in other languages, voice quality, speech variation, coarticulation, and prosody. Practical exercises include analysis of your own vowel space.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Explain how speech can be represented acoustically.
  • ULO2: Illustrate concepts pertinent to the acoustic theory of speech production.
  • ULO3: Analyse the acoustic features of consonants and vowels using standard methodologies.
  • ULO4: Differentiate the acoustic characteristics of segmental and voice quality aspects of speech.
  • ULO5: Describe the acoustic characteristics of different speech source types and voice qualities.
  • ULO6: Demonstrate the ability to deconstruct coarticulated acoustic representations.
  • ULO7: Analyse and describe the acoustic correlates of prosody.
  • ULO8: Engage in a research-rich environment.

General Assessment Information

It is a requirement of this unit that students make a serious attempt to complete all assessment tasks. Failure to complete all assessment tasks may result in failure in the unit even if the marks for the completed tasks total more than 50%. Each task is required to satisfy the learning objectives of the unit. If the learning objectives have not been met then a pass grade cannot be awarded.

Assessment task late submission policy

Requesting an extension to assignment due date

On occasion, you may be in a situation when you aren't able to submit an assessment task on time. Extensions are only given in special circumstances, by completing a Special Consideration request. For more information on Special Consideration, see:

https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration  

Late submission of assignments

If you haven't been approved for an extension and you submit your assessment task late, penalties are applied. You should consult your unit convenor if you are in this position. Late submissions will receive a 5% per day penalty. If you submit the assessment task 10 days or more beyond the due date, without an approved extension, you will be awarded a maximum of 50% of the overall assessment marks. Weekends and public holidays are included.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Vowel Analysis 30% No Week 7
Consonant Analysis 30% No Week 11
Final Exam 35% No Exam period
Research Participation 5% No Week 13

Vowel Analysis

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Week 7
Weighting: 30%

 

The aim of this assignment is to examine the acoustic phonetic properties of the vowels of a single speaker. Using the tools and techniques for spectrographic analysis developed in workshops, students will plot their own vowel space, and present a report describing the phonetic properties of their vowels in comparison with published vowel data. Indicative report length: 1500 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain how speech can be represented acoustically.
  • Illustrate concepts pertinent to the acoustic theory of speech production.
  • Analyse the acoustic features of consonants and vowels using standard methodologies.
  • Differentiate the acoustic characteristics of segmental and voice quality aspects of speech.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deconstruct coarticulated acoustic representations.
  • Engage in a research-rich environment.

Consonant Analysis

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Week 11
Weighting: 30%

 

The aim of this assignment is to examine the acoustic phonetic properties of English consonants in connected speech. Using the tools and techniques for spectrographic analysis developed in workshops, students will segment and quantify the consonants in speech recordings, and analyze and describe the allophonic and coarticulatory processes involved. Indicative report length: 1500 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain how speech can be represented acoustically.
  • Illustrate concepts pertinent to the acoustic theory of speech production.
  • Analyse the acoustic features of consonants and vowels using standard methodologies.
  • Differentiate the acoustic characteristics of segmental and voice quality aspects of speech.
  • Describe the acoustic characteristics of different speech source types and voice qualities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deconstruct coarticulated acoustic representations.
  • Analyse and describe the acoustic correlates of prosody.

Final Exam

Assessment Type 1: Examination
Indicative Time on Task 2: 1.5 hours
Due: Exam period
Weighting: 35%

 

Knowledge and understanding of the topics covered in the unit will be assessed in a 90 minute examination, requiring written responses to a range of questions and problems.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain how speech can be represented acoustically.
  • Illustrate concepts pertinent to the acoustic theory of speech production.
  • Analyse the acoustic features of consonants and vowels using standard methodologies.
  • Differentiate the acoustic characteristics of segmental and voice quality aspects of speech.
  • Describe the acoustic characteristics of different speech source types and voice qualities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deconstruct coarticulated acoustic representations.
  • Analyse and describe the acoustic correlates of prosody.

Research Participation

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 1 hours
Due: Week 13
Weighting: 5%

 

Students will participate in a study to learn more about current research directions in speech and language, and to gain first-hand experience in the research process. Research participation typically involves one hour of your time. You will be able to choose from a short list of studies being conducted by researchers in Linguistics, Psychology, and Cognitive Science. If you do not wish to participate in any of the available studies, you will be given the option of completing an alternative assessment task to satisfy this component of the unit.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Engage in a research-rich environment.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

This unit is designed to foster a detailed understanding of speech acoustics, its relevance to phonetics and phonology, and methods used to study the acoustic properties of speech. These concepts will be studied through an extensive set of readings and multimedia resources, and will be consolidated in a series of companion lectures, workshops and assessment tasks. The unit provides students with essential theoretical and practical skills that are fundamental to further study of speech and which assist clinicians in keeping abreast of current research findings in speech and hearing.

Topics to be covered include: general acoustic theory; sound waves; spectrograms; resonance; turbulence; source-filter theory; formants; acoustic properties of vowels; acoustic properties of consonants; coarticulation; prosody; and digital representation of speech.

Students are required to engage seriously with all learning materials following the unit schedule provided on iLearn. Announcements and discussion forums should be consulted regularly, and recorded teaching materials must be reviewed in a timely manner to ensure that all participants in the unit are up-to-date with communications and aware of unit requirements.

In workshops and assessment tasks, you will be presented with different types of speech data, and record your own speech for analysis, to consolidate your understanding of acoustic phonetics. These materials are designed to help you explore how speakers of different languages manipulate the acoustic properties of speech to generate phonological contrast, to signal linguistic information, and to communicate information about who we are.

Preparation for and attendance at all classes is expected. Classes are designed to consolidate concepts introduced in readings, through explanation and presentation of examples, engagement with different types of data, questions, discussion, and seminar-type exercises. Learning the concepts necessary to gain a solid understanding of speech acoustics and speech analysis techniques requires dedication, practice, and engagement. We are here to support your learning and we can only do this successfully through structured contact to guide you through the materials and techniques. It is your responsibility to actively engage in the learning process with your teachers and peers.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

Student Enquiries

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.