Phonetics Laboratory

Experimental phonetic research areas in the phonetics laboratory of the ZAS are:

  • Electromagnetic Articulography
  • Laryngography
  • Electropalatography
  • Intraoral/nasal air pressure and airflow
  • Respiration measurements
  • Language acoustic analyses

The phonetics laboratory consists of a low-reflection, soundproof and electromagnetically shielded studio-quality recording room and an evaluation room with three computer workstations. The 12-channel 3D Articulograph AG 500 (Carstens Medizinelektronik) for recording tongue, lip and jaw movements and the Laryngograf for recording the vibration behaviour of the vocal folds can be controlled via several PCs. The laryngograph is mainly used in teaching. In addition, two Inductotrace systems can be used to perform respiratory measurements on the thorax and abdomen both for individual speakers and in dialogue mode.

A computer is used to operate the electropalatographic system Reading EPG 3.0, which records articulation points in the oral cavity. 62 electrodes in a thin artificial palate transmit electrical impulses to the electro-palatograph when the tongue comes into contact with the palate, which displays these signals on a monitor. In addition, a system for intraoral air pressure measurements was developed in our laboratory based on a small Endevco pressure sensor of approx. 13mm x 1.5mm, which was electronically adapted to a preamplifier. For the experiments, this pressure transducer is either glued directly to the palate or attached to the artificial palate in conjunction with EPG images using a short piece of tubing. Thus, intraoral pressure measurement can be combined with electropalatography at the same time. In combination with the Inductotrace technique, images can be taken while speaking and intraoral pressure measurements can be carried out in parallel. In this way, analog signals can be recorded and digitized on a total of 6 channels.

A number of networked PCs serve as analysis computers, including the extensive program package Matlab/Simulink.

For the recording, playback, processing and evaluation of the acoustic signals a complete digital and analogue studio equipment with PCM, hard disk and DAT recorders, digital sound cards, cassette decks (stationary and portable), analogue tape machines, filters/equalizers, amplifiers, loudspeakers, record and CD players, electronic measuring technology, signal generators, oscilloscope and high-quality microphone technology for studio and field recordings is available. Digital video cameras and recorders complete the technical equipment. They are used, for example, for long-term studies with children in the field of language acquisition or in field research.

With the Phonetics Laboratory, the ZAS has excellent working and educational opportunities for research and teaching. A close cooperation exists with the Department of Phonetics/Phonology at the Institute for German Language and Linguistics of the Humboldt University Berlin, the Institute for Phonetics at the LMU Munich, the French partner institute in Grenoble, the LPL in Aix-en-Provence, the University of Jena, the TU Dresden and the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.

The laboratory was founded in 1994 under the auspices of the Max Planck Society and rebuilt and furnished by Prof. Pompino-Marschall and Jörg Dreyer in 2006 with the move to Schützenstraße. With the possibilities of the ZAS Phonetics Laboratory interested persons can be supported with questions, problems and experiments within the scope of the resources. Please contact Jörg Dreyer for further information.