Signal Processing and Speech Communication Laboratory
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Visiting Lecture Course: Experimental Methods in Phonetics

Education level
External lecturers
  • Margaret Zellers

Short CV: Margaret Zellers

Margaret Zellers (Institute for Scandinavian Studies, Frisian Studies and General Linguistics, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany) conducted her doctoral research at the University of Cambridge (UK), investigating the role of prosodic variation in signaling topic structure in spoken discourse as part of the Marie Curie Research Training Network “Sound to Sense”. Her early postdoctoral research, conducted in York (UK) and Stockholm (Sweden), focused on the development of new methodologies for studying segmental and prosodic variation liked to syntactic and discourse structure in conversational speech. Since 2017, she is Junior Professor for Phonetics and Phonology at Kiel University. Her research interests include prosodic and gestural variation related to turn-taking in conversationa, as well as factors influencing the perception of prosody in spontaneous speech.


In this course students will gain familiarity with basic methods of experimental phonetic research, including experimental design for production and perception, recording procedures, auditory and acoustic analysis, basic speech synthesis, and principles of qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Different theories of speech production and perception will be explored, and strengths and weaknesses of methodologies will be considered. In order to gain hands-on experience, students will carry out laboratory work using the speech analysis software Praat and other tools to practice methodologies in acoustic phonetics and develop skills in experiment building. For evaluation, students will develop a portfolio throughout the course, in which they will collect and reflect upon the material learned, and synthesize ideas so that the portfolio can eventually serve as a reference document for the development of experiments in phonetics.


Evaluation will be through a portfolio project which will be carried out partly during class time and partly as homework during the course; the portfolio will be evaluated as a whole, but individual components must be completed on schedule in order to pass.

Time and Dates

The course will take place in the first two weeks of October 2019. For the detailed scedule and registration see Students from universities other than TU Graz need to “mitbelegen” before they can register via TUG online. The course is free of charge for external and internal students.