Alpine Laboratory of Phonetic Sciences
ALPS is directed by prof. Alessandro Vietti and affiliated with the Faculty of Education of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. The lab is a research facility used to address a wide range of research issues in phonetics, laboratory phonology and sociophonetics.
ALPS was established in 2010 and has been expanded since. The lab is a state-of-the-art research facility which focuses on speech production and perception. The experimental area consists of a soundproof booth equipped with two ultrasound systems, probe-stabilization helmets and a number of software tools for acoustic and articulatory analysis. The laboratory’s facilities are mainly used by researchers, postdocs and PhD students of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.
- Puma Pro30 – This soundproof chamber is an essential part of the equipment. Thanks to its structure, lined with a sound absorbent material to minimise reflections, it provides a noise-reduced and echo-free environment. The cabin is used for speech recordings that require highly controlled acoustic conditions.
- Ultrasonix SonixTablet – This compact ultrasound system with a 19″ touch screen allows to capture high frame rate images of the tongue. Thanks to this non-invasive device it is possible to visualize the movements of the tongue in real time during speech. It represents a unique tool for the dynamic articulatory phonetic analysis.
- SonoSite 180 – This portable ultrasound system is useful for sociophonetic fieldwork and for UTI training.
- Probe Stabilisation Headset – This helmet keeps the head of the speaker and the ultrasound transducer in constant relationship.
- SyncBrightUp – This unit from Articulate Instruments Ltd synchronizes audio and video inputs.
- GoPro Hero3 – This helmet camera is mounted on the Probe Stabilisation Headset to capture the view of the speaker’s lip movements.
- Zoom H2, H4 – These handy recorders are ideal for high quality recordings outside the lab, to collect speech data in the field. They record good acoustic data even under non-optimal acoustic conditions.
- Laryngograph MicroProcessor EGG-D800 – This laryngograph, also called electroglottograph (EGG), represents a non-invasive device used to measure the contact between the vocal folds during vibration. In order to measure the vocal folds contact area, two electrodes are positioned on the speaker’s neck on the opposite sides of the thyroid cartilage.
- Laryngograph Nasal accelerometer sensor – This is a non-invasive instrument used for the measurement of the nasality in a continuous speech signal. By placing the accelerometer on the lateral nasal cartilage, nasality can be detected by means of the vibrations of nasal tissue during phonation.
- Shure SM35 microphones – These headset condenser microphones are useful for recording high quality speech even outside the lab, because they can be set steadily at a fixed distance from the mouth of speakers.
- AAA – Articulate Assistant Advanced – This software from Articulate Instruments Ltd is used to elicit, record and analyse UTI data.
- Multispeech – This software from KayElemetrics is used to analyse acoustic data.
- Speech Studio – This software is used for laryngographic data acquisition and analysis.