Current Projects

DID – New Perspectives on Diphthong Dynamics

The proposal aims to study the inner temporal dynamics of diphthongs across different languages and diphthong types using Tyrolean and Sardinian as the focus languages. The research will involve a comprehensive phonetic description of the vowel inventories of these languages, acoustic recordings of 40 speakers per language, and analysis of time series data to study the inner temporal structure of the diphthongs under varying prosodic conditions. The study will explore whether diphthongs can be understood as a sequence of two vocalic gestures or whether the target of diphthong production is a dynamic transitional movement through the vowel space. The research team plans to make their recordings and speech technological tools available to the scientific community to facilitate future research on these languages. Overall, this study has the potential to expand our knowledge of diphthong dynamics across languages and deepen our understanding of vowel systems and theories of speech production.

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Past Projects

Speak Up! – The effects of temperature and altitude on speech and articulation

Funded by: Free University of Bozen – Bolzano, Faculty of Education
Project duration: 2018 – 2020

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NEB – Networks, Exemplars and Bilinguals. The potential of quantitative social network analysis in sociophonetic research

Funded by: Free University of Bozen – Bolzano, Faculty of Education

Project duration: 2018 – 2020

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SCUTI – Sibilant clusters in bilingual speakers: a UTI-based approach

Funded by: Free University of Bozen, ZeFo call, 2016-2017

Project duration: 01.01.2016 – 01.03.2017

The research project aimed to carry out an investigation of bilinguals’ speech, which was based on articulatory data collected by means of the ultrasound tongue imaging technique. The objective was to compare the syllabic status of consonant clusters in the productions of Italian/Tyrolean adult bilingual speakers based on gestural coordination patterns (Browman & Goldstein 1988). We intended to assess whether in the speech of bilinguals, where the syllabification of some phonetic string is different in their two languages, two different timing patterns for the same sequence of consonants are used.

CUSCUS – Lingual coarticulation in preschoolers and school aged children

Funded by: Free University of Bozen, RTD call, 2016-2017

Project duration: 01.02.2016 – 31.05.2017

The aim of this study was to gather data on the development of lingual coarticulatory patterns in children. In particular, the goal was to gather acoustic and articulatory information that allow documentation of how coarticulation mechanism mature in preschoolers and school-aged children in the process of learning their first language. More specifically, the focus was on the acquisition of lingual coarticulation patterns in Italian speaking children using the ultrasound tongue imaging technique. To my knowledge, this was the first study focusing on the collection of direct evidence of lingual coarticulation in Italian speaking children.

CItaBol – Corpus di Italiano a Bolzano

Funded by: Free University of Bozen, Faculty of Education

Project duration: 01.02.2016 – 31.05.2017

The main aim of the project was the creation of a corpus of Italian spoken in Bozen-Bolzano by Italian speakers. The relevance of the project was connected on one side to the multilingual context of South Tyrol, and, on the other side, by the lack of a clear definition of this variety of Italian in the previous studies. The corpus was balanced according to the main sociolinguistic variables. The final purpose of this project was indeed to have a corpus of spoken Italian socially stratified, and with a focus on variation between careful and spontaneous speech, and on apparent-time diachrony.

TUTIP – The Articulatory Sociophonetics of Bilinguals in South Tyrol – The Ultrasound Tongue Imaging Potential

Funded by: Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano – Alto Adige, Ripartizione allo studio, Università e ricerca scientifica

Project duration : 2013 – 2016

This research project was a continuation of the previous one. The main aim of this project was to carry out a sociophonetic investigation of bilinguals’ speech, based on articulatory data collected by means of the ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI) technique. We investigated the speech production of simultaneous bilinguals born and grew up in bilingual South Tyrol, thus meaning adults who have been exposed to the two languages spoken in this area -namely German and Italian- since they were born. In addition, we also considered early and late sequential bilinguals as well as monolinguals in the same two languages German and Italian, who constituted the control group. Our main objective was to study the variation of articulatory patterns in the two languages as a function of bilingual competence and language exposure.

FONAA – Fonetica e fonologia in Alto Adige – Un corpus plurilingue e multicanale per la ricerca fonologica sulle lingue in Alto Adige

Funded by: Free University of Bozen, Faculty of Education

Project duration: 2010 – 2012

This project aimed at creating a multilingual corpus on languages of Alto Adige/South Tyrol for phonological research. The main goals achieved with this project were: the preparation of the environmental and technical conditions for data collection and acoustic analysis by means of Ultrasound Tongue Imaging (UTI); the development of the techniques of articulatory data acquisition; the definition of the methodologies for data elicitation; the creation of the transcription conventions for acoustic data; the development of the annotation scheme for articulatory phonetic data. With this project, we set up the laboratory of phonetics (ALPS), specialized in Ultrasound Tongue Imaging technique.

Phonetic systems in interaction: Instrumental phonetics description of rhotics in South-Tyrolean Italian

Funded by: Free University of Bozen, Faculty of Education

Project duration: 2009 – 2010

This research focused on the sociophonetic variation of different phonetic realizations of /r/ in South-Tyrol Italian speech by applying an experimental-phonetic approach. In this perspective, the main aim was to provide a first contribution to the exploration of /r/ phonetic variation in a complex situation of language contact. The most interesting results of the project concerned the phonetic research methodology of language contact and bilingualism with particular reference to the application of the Ultrasound Tongue Imaging technique on the bilinguals’ speech.