Projects

Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Austria and Serbia (SRB 01/2018)

Duration of the project: 01.07.2018 - 30.06.2020

 

Project partners:

Acoustics Research Institute, ÖAW (Austria)

University of Vienna (Austria)

University of Novi Sad (Republic of Serbia)

 

Project website: http://nuhag.eu/anacres

General Information

Funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) within the  "Mathematics and …2016"  Call (MA16-053)

Principal Investigator: Georg Tauböck

Co-Principal Investigator: Peter Balazs

Project Team: Günther Koliander, José Luis Romero  

Duration: 01.07.2017 – 01.07.2021

Abstract

Signal processing is a key technology that forms the backbone of important developments like MP3, digital television, mobile communications, and wireless networking and is thus of exceptional relevance to economy and society in general. The overall goal of the proposed project is to derive highly efficient signal processing algorithms and to tailor them to dedicated applications in acoustics. We will develop methods that are able to exploit structural properties in infinite-dimensional signal spaces, since typically ad hoc restrictions to finite dimensions do not sufficiently preserve physically available structure. The approach adopted in this project is based on a combination of the powerful mathematical methodologies frame theory (FT), compressive sensing (CS), and information theory (IT). In particular, we aim at extending finite-dimensional CS methods to infinite dimensions, while fully maintaining their structure-exploiting power, even if only a finite number of variables are processed. We will pursue three acoustic applications, which will strongly benefit from the devised signal processing techniques, i.e., audio signal restoration, localization of sound sources, and underwater acoustic communications. The project is set up as an interdisciplinary endeavor in order to leverage the interrelations between mathematical foundations, CS, FT, IT, time-frequency representations, wave propagation, transceiver design, the human auditory system, and performance evaluation.

Keywords

compressive sensing, frame theory, information theory, signal processing, super resolution, phase retrieval, audio, acoustics

Video

Link

 

Projektleitung: Michael Pucher

Beginn des Projekts: 1. Februar 2019

Projektbeschreibung:

Um den aktuellen Zustand einer Sprache zu erheben, soll bekanntlich der Sprachgebrauch eines alten, ländlichen, nicht mobilen Mannes analysiert werden. Für Entwicklungstendenzen einer Varietät sollte man jedoch die Sprache einer jungen und gebildeten Frau im urbanen Bereich untersuchen. Der Sprachgebrauch von jungen Frauen stellt ein besonders interessantes Forschungsfeld dar: Sie gelten als Initiatoren und Treibkräfte linguistischer Neuheiten einer Sprache, lautlich wie lexikal, die sich von Großstädten aus in den weiteren Sprachraum verbreiten können. Ebenso wird angenommen, dass aufgeschlossene junge Frauen linguistische Innovationen rascher übernehmen als ihre männlichen Peers. Sie verleiben sich eine neue Art zu sprechen schneller ein und geben diese an ihre späteren Kinder weiter. Frauen tendieren auch dazu, sprachliche Merkmale als social identifier zu verwenden, um sich der gleichen Peergroup zugehörig zu zeigen und können dadurch zu einem Sprachwandel beitragen.

Die Stadt Wien hat sich in den vergangenen 30 Jahren stark verändert; so ist die Bevölkerung um 15% gestiegen und mit ihr auch die Anzahl der gesprochenen Sprachen. Laut einer Erhebung der Arbeiterkammer werden in Wien ca. 100 verschiedene Sprachen verwendet und man kann Wien nicht absprechen, weiterhin als ein Schmelztiegel verschiedenster Sprachen und Kulturen in Mitteleuropa zu gelten. Dass sich diese gesellschaftlichen bzw. gesellschaftspolitischen Veränderungen nicht nur im lexikalischen Sprachgebrauch der WienerInnen widerspiegeln, sondern ebenso in ihrer physiologischen Stimme zum Ausdruck kommen, soll hier den Ausgangspunkt der Studie darstellen.

In dieser Untersuchung wird die Stimme als der physiologische und im Vokaltrakt modulierter Schall zur Lautäußerungen des Menschen gesehen. Die Stimme kann abgesehen davon auch als Ort des verkörperlichten Herz der gesprochenen Sprache gelten, die den Körper durch Indexikalität im sozialen Raum verankert. Als Vehikel der persönlichen Identität kann die Stimme nicht nur soziokulturelle, sondern auch gesellschaftspolitische Merkmale (bspw. „Frauen in Führungspositionen haben eine tiefere Stimme“) widerspiegeln. Hier übernimmt die Soziophonetik eine tragende Rolle, denn sie stellt ein wichtiges Instrument dar, das es ermöglicht, den sozialen Raum und seine gesellschaftsrelevanten Diskurse mit dem Individuum zu verknüpfen.

Studien aus dem angloamerikanischen Raum wie legen nahe, dass sich die Stimme der jungen Frau in einem Wandel befindet. Das soziophonetische Stimmphänomen Vocal Fry hat sich inzwischen im angloamerikanischen Raum zum prominenten Sprachmerkmal junger, gebildeter und urbanen Frauen entwickelt.

Basierend auf zwei Korpora soll eine Longitudinalstudie entstehen, die nachskizziert, inwiefern sich die Stimme der jungen Wienerin geändert hat. Soziophonetische Studien zu Frauenstimmen gibt es in Österreich nicht, vor allem in Hinsicht auf die angestrebte Qualität der Studie. Durch ihren longitudinalen Charakter kann sie aufzeigen, in wie weit das gesellschaftliche Geschehen Einfluss auf die Stimme der Frau ausübt.

Darüber hinaus bietet diese Studie eine einmalige Gelegenheit, eine Momentaufnahme der Wienerin und ihrer Stimme zu erhalten und sie in einen historischen Kontext zu setzen.

 

Informationen zur Teilnahme finden Sie hier!

Introduction:

The ability of listeners to discriminate literal meanings from figurative language, affective language, or rhetorical devices such as irony is crucial for a successful social interaction. This discriminative ability might be reduced in listeners supplied with cochlear implants (CIs), widely used auditory prostheses that restore auditory perception in the deaf or hard-of-hearing. Irony is acoustically characterised by especially a lower fundamental frequency (F0), a lower intensity and a longer duration in comparison to literal utterances. In auditory perception experiments, listeners mainly rely on F0 and intensity values to distinguish between context-free ironic and literal utterances. As CI listeners have great difficulties in F0 perception, the use of frequency information for the detection of irony is impaired. However, irony is often additionally conveyed by characteristic facial expressions.

Objective:

The aim of the project is two-fold: The first (“Production”) part of the project will study the role of paraverbal cues in verbal irony of Standard Austrian German (SAG) speakers under well-controlled experimental conditions without acoustic context information. The second (“Perception”) part will investigate the performance in recognizing irony in a normal-hearing control group and a group of CI listeners.

Method:

Recordings of speakers of SAG will be conducted. During the recording session, the participants will be presented with scenarios that evoke either a literal or an ironic utterance. The response utterances will be audio- and video-recorded. Subsequently, the thus obtained context-free stimuli will be presented in a discrimination test to normal-hearing and to postlingually deafened CI listeners in three modes: auditory only, auditory+visual, visual only.

Application:

The results will not only provide information on irony production in SAG and on multimodal irony perception and processing, but will, most importantly, identify the cues that need to be improved in cochlear implants in order to allow CI listeners full participation in daily life.

Objective

Railway tunnels avoid direct acoustic annoyance by railway traffic. However, vibrations from tunnels propagate through the soil and lead to disturbances by percieved low frequency vibrations.

The objective of this project is to develop and implement a mathematical model that takes a moving vibrating load into account. Furthermore, the surrounding soil is modeled as an anisotropic material, consisting of layers with arbitrary orientation.

 

Methods

The propagation of the vibrations inside the tunnel are modelled by the finite element method (FEM), where the superstructure of the tunnel and the railway are considered. Vibrations outside the tunnel, propagating through the (infiinite) soil are modelled by the boundary element method (BEM). For a detailed model of the whole system, both methods have to be coupled.

Scientific and Technological Cooperation with Macedonia 2016-18
Project duration: 01.07.2016 – 30.06.2018

The main aim of the project is to combine the research areas of Frame Theory and Generalized Asymptotic Analysis.

Project partner institutions:
Acoustics Research Institute (ARI), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Project members:
Diana T. Stoeva (Project coordinator Austria), Peter Balazs, Nicki Holighaus, Zdenek Prusa
Katerina Hadzi-Velkova Saneva (Project coordinator FYROM), Sanja Atanasova, Pavel Dimovski, Zoran Hadzi-Velkov, Bojan Prangoski, Biljana Stanoevska-Angelova, Daniel Velinov, Jasmina Veta Buralieva


Project Workshops and Activities:

1) Nov. 24-26, 2016, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje

Project Kickoff-workshop

Program of the workshop

2) Nov. 15-19, 2017, ARI, Vienna

Research on project-related topics

3) April 14-19, 2018, ARI, Vienna

Research on project-related topics

and

ARI-Guest-Talk given at ARI on the 17th of April, 2018: Prof. Zoran Hadzi-Velkov, "The Emergence of Wireless Powered Communication Networks"

4) May 25-30, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje

Research on project-related topics

and

Workshop "Women in mathematics in the Balkan region" (May 28 - May 29, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje)

5) June 14-18, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje

Research on project-related topics

and

Summer course "An Introduction to Frame Theory and the Large Time/Frequency Analysis Toolbox" (June 14-15), Lecturers: Diana Stoeva and Zdenek Prusa (from ARI)

6) Mini-Symposium "Frame Theory and Asymptotic Analysis" organized at the European Women in Mathematics General Meeting 2018, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria, 3-7 September 2018.

Link to Conference website

7) November 17-20, 2018, ARI, Vienna

Work on project-related topics

 

 

 

Multilateral Scientific and Technological Cooperation in the Danube Region 2017-2018
Austria, Czech Republic, Republic of Serbia, and Slovak Republic
Project duration: 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

Project website: nuhag.eu/tifmofus

Implications for pathological speech

Coordinated Project 2016-17 Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), Pisa – Acoustic Research Institute (ARI), Austrian Academy of Science, Vienna
PIs: Chiara Celata (SNS), Sylvia Moosmueller (ARI)
Research personnel: Chiara Meluzzi (SNS), Bettina Hobel (ARI)

Short Description

The project aims at modeling the impact of speech gesture coordination on the rhythmical properties of languages.

Speech gestural structures are sets of gestures and a specification of how they are temporally and spatially coordinated with respect to one another. Gestural anticipations, posticipations and overlap are the ingredients of coarticulation, i.e., the coordinatory activity of speech movements that allows adjacent vowels and consonants to be produced simultaneously, thus resulting into one smooth whole.

Rhythm is the systematic patterning of timing, accent, and grouping in sequences of events and encompasses both speech and music domains. We only become aware of how important it is in verbal communication when we listen to non-fluent speech. For example, deaf people with impaired or absent auditory feedback can be taught, after cochlear implantation and logopedic rehabilitation, to develop an “auditory” map for speech processing and imitation, but native-like patterns of gestural and rhythmical coordination are much more difficult to achieve.

Both gestural coordination and rhythm thus contribute to the way fluent speech is programmed, produced, and even perceived.

However, we still miss a global understanding of how the two dimensions of gestural coordination and speech rhythm interact in natural languages.

Indeed, the gestural and the rhythmical approaches sometimes make different predictions. For example, we do not know whether the consonants composing heterosyllabic clusters are articulatorily independent from one another and are timed with respect to different vocalic nuclei, as some theoretical frameworks in the domain of gestural coordination would predict, or whether they are rather globally timed with the preceding vocalic nucleus, especially if it is stressed, as some proposals in the domain of speech rhythm assume. Also, we do not know if cross-linguistic differences in how heterosyllabic clusters are articulatorily coordinated to vocalic nuclei reflect or are reflected by cross-linguistic differences in the languages’ rhythmical properties.

This project thus tries to reconcile the gestural and the rhythmical perspective into a unified research framework devoted to uncovering how inter-segmental coordination influences, and is influenced by, the rhythmical properties of supra-segmental entities.

To that aim, we develop a series of cross-linguistic experiments on Italian and Standard Austrian German to clarify some critical aspects of speech organization in the two languages and to establish a link between language-specific phonotactic constraints and the temporal and spatial properties of segments’ production.

The experiments, based on a reading task, include acoustic analyses for the identification of the temporal patterns and articulatory (ultrasound tongue imaging, UTI) analyses for the investigation of gestural coordination.

In addition, it is the purposes of the project to set the stage for an analysis of how the speech of cochlear implanted speakers differs from normal speech with respect to gestural coordination and rhythmic patterns. Spontaneous conversations will be recorded of both Italian and Standard Austrian German speakers. The target of the acoustic analyses will be the identification of the areas of most prominent difficulty concerning both the coarticulatory and the temporal aspects of spontaneous speech produced by CI-speakers.

Project Part 02 of the special research area German in Austria. Variation - Contact - Perception funded by FWF (FWF6002) in cooperation with the University of Salzburg

Principal Investigators: Stephan Elspaß, Hannes Scheutz, Sylvia Moosmüller

Start of the project: 1st of January 2016

Project description:

The diversity and dynamics of the various dialects in Austria are the topic of this project. Based on a new survey, different research questions will be addressed in the coming years, such as: What are the differences and changes (e.g. through processes of convergence and divergence) that can be observed within and between the Austrian dialect regions? What are the alterations in dialect change between urban and rural areas? Are there noticeable generational and gender differences with regard to dialect change? What can a comprehensive comparison of ‘real-time’ and ‘apparent-time’ analyses contribute to a general theory of language change?

To answer these questions, speech samples from a total of 160 dialect speakers, balanced for age and gender, are collected and analysed within the first four years at 40 locations in Austria. Furthermore, samples from selected speakers will be recorded and valuated under laboratory conditions to determine phonetic peculiarities as precisely as possible. In the second survey phase complementary recordings are carried out at another 100 locations in Austria in order to analyse differences and changes between the dialect landscapes in more detail. State-of-the-art dialectometric methods will be used to arrive at probabilistic statements regarding dialect variation and change in Austria. The analyses will include all linguistic levels from phonetics to syntax and lexis. A documentation of these data will be carried out on the first visual and ‘talking’ dialect atlas of Austria.

Project page of the project partners in Salzburg

 

Vowel and consonant quantity in Southern German varieties: D - A - CH project granted by DFG, FWF, SNF

Principal investigators: Felicitas Kleber, Michael Pucher, Sylvia Moosmüller†, Stephan Schmid 

Start of the project: 1st of June 2015

Project description:

Introduction:

The Central Bavarian varieties, to which the Viennese varieties belong, seem to have changed diachronically. From the first phonetic descriptions (Pfalz 1913) to more current descriptions (Moosmüller & Brandstätter 2014) the diachronic change becomes visible on several levels of the varieties.

In this project we focus on the (in)stability of the timing system, or more precise, the quantity relations in Vowel + Consonant sequences and compare our results with the project partners in Zurich and Munich.

Aims:

The aims of this project are two-fold. The first aim is to develop a typology of the Vowel + Consonant quantities in Southern German varieties (Bavarian (Munich + Vienna) and Alemannic (Zurich)) in C1V1C2V2 contexts (where C2 can be either fricatives or nasals or plosives) and in consonant cluster sequences with increasing initial and final consonant cluster complexity. The second aim is to investigate prosodic changes in an apparent-time study and to examine the influence of internal factors (eg. speech rate) and external factors (language attitudes) on the production of speech.

Method:

Recordings and analyses of 40 speakers of the Viennese varieties (balanced for age, gender, and educational background) will be conducted. During the recording sessions the speakers are asked to read and repeat sentences in two speech rates. Furthermore a subset of speakers is asked to participate in an articulatory recording with an electromagnetic articulograph (EMA). These recordings take place at our project partners’ laboratory in Munich.

Application:

The results will not only provide insight in the current timing system of speakers of the Viennese varieties but also enable us to draw conclusions about sound changes in progress.

 

Upcoming Events

Explainable Models and Their Application in Music Emotion Recognition

ARI guest talk by Verena Haunschmid, Shreyan Chowdhury

16. Oktober 2019

14.30

Seminar Room, Wohllebengasse 12-14 / Ground Floor

Read more ...
 

Blind Output Matching for Domain Adaptation in Segmentation Networks

ARI guest talk by Georg Pichler

23. Oktober 2019

14.30

Seminar Room, Wohllebengasse 12-14 / Ground Floor

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