Wednesday, November 19, 2014

48th meeting, Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

with Pärtel Lippus
Wednesday, November 26th
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

This month we take helikoosolek back into the realm of scientific research with a visit from Pärtel Lippus. Partel is a researcher of Estonian phonetics at the Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, and studied linguistics at the University of Tartu (PhD in 2011 on the Estonian quantity system).

As a phonetician Pärtel studies how linguistic information is encoded in the sound signal when we speak. He will tell us a little about how speech is generated, physiologically: how vocal cords generate the pitch and how the different sounds are made by changing the shape of the mouth. This way of describing the vocal tract is called the source-filter model and can be also used in speech synthesis. Using re-synthesis (separating the "source" and "filter" of a speech recording) he will show how we can change the meaning of a word or a sentence just by changing the duration of the sounds and the pitch movement. Of course changing pitch works only when we are speaking with a regular modal voice. Sometimes our voice can also be breathy or creaky. Creaky voice can have different meanings in different cultures, being a social marker in US English while in Estonian everybody creaks.

helikoosolek:tartu is a regular gathering for the exploration of sound in all forms. The meetings comprise presentations, concerts, workshops, discussions, and field trips pertaining to sound and its consideration in art, music, architecture, ecology, philosophy, social and cultural interaction, and any other context that presents itself. Participants are encouraged to propose activities or discussions on topics of their interest, or to present projects of their own for feedback. Sessions take place on the last Wednesday of each month, from 6-8pm at the Eesti Rahva Muuseum.

helikoosolek:tartu is organised by Patrick McGinley and supported by Eesti Rahva Muuseum and Tartu Linnavalitsus.