Keynote Speakers

Joseph Perkell: Sensorimotor control of speech production

Senior Research Scientist
Speech Communication Group

Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT

Dr Joseph Perkell is a principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1962, a D.M.D. from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1967, and a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from MIT in 1974. He initially joined the RLE in 1964. He was appointed as a Research Scientist in RLE in 1974 and was promoted to Principal Research Scientist in 1980. In 1989, he was appointed Senior Research Scientist in RLE and the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. In 1997, he was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University. Dr Perkell and his colleagues are conducting experiments to explore the control and coordination of speech articulatory movements. In an NIH-sponsored project, Constraints and Strategies in Speech Production, a system for electromagnetic midsagittal articulometry has been developed and is used to characterize motions of the speech articulators in a variety of experimental conditions. Another NIH-sponsored project, Effects of Hearing Status on Adult Speech Production, is directed at understanding the influence of auditory feedback on the speech production of cochlear implant users and normal-hearing controls. The experiments in both projects test hypotheses that are based on a neurocomputational model of speech motor planning developed by collaborator, Prof. Frank Guenther, of Boston University.


Pat Keating: Linguistic Voice Quality (pdf)

Linguistic Voice Quality (ppt)

Professor of Linguistics

University of California at Los Angeles

Patricia Keating received a PhD in Linguistics in 1980 from Brown University, and then held an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in the Speech Communication Group at MIT. She has been in the UCLA Linguistics Department since 1981, and director of the departments Phonetics Laboratory since 1991. Her main areas of research and publication are experimental and theoretical phonetics, and the phonology-phonetics interface, including topics on speech production, prosody and phonological and speech perception deficits in dyslexia. Most of her early work was concerned with establishing phonetics as a component of the linguistic grammar; her later work on domain-initial strengthening, which shows a close connection between phonological phrasing and speech articulation, has been widely cited. Her most recent work is on linguistic uses of phonation across languages. Dr Keating has contributed to several encyclopedias, handbooks, and textbooks, such as the MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences, Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey, and Linguistics: An Introduction to Linguistic Theory. She has been on the editorial boards of the journals Language and Phonology and of the book series Phonetics and Phonology and Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics. A past member of the committee for Conferences in Laboratory Phonology, of the National Science Foundation Linguistics Advisory Panel, and of the Speech Communication Technical Committee of the Acoustical Society of America, in 1998 she (and Peter Ladefoged) represented the Linguistic Society of America at a research exhibit for Congress. She has been active in the Acoustical Society of America, and was elected Fellow in 2004. She is also currently an elected member of the Council of the International Phonetic Association.


Michael Corballis: Language as gesture

Professor of Psychology

University of Auckland

Professor Corballis has researched the evolution of language and laterality, based on the specific hypothesis that language evolved from manual gestures. His primary research interests are in cognitive neuroscience, including visual perception, visual imagery, attention, and memory. More specialized interests are in cerebral asymmetry of function, and in how people recognize rotated shapes. Professor Corballis investigates these topics through the techniques of basic human experimental psychology, through brain imaging (EEG and fMRI), and through the study of individuals who have undergone section of the forebrain commissures. He is interested in the evolution of language, and in particular the theory that language evolved from manual gestures. Arising from his interest in the connection between handedness and cerebral asymmetry for language, Professor Corballis have developed an old idea that language evolved from manual gestures rather than from animal calls. This idea is supported by studies of the role of manual gesture in normal speech, by investigations of signed languages developed by deaf communities, by attempts to reach language to nonhuman primates, and by evidence that the homologues of the speech areas in nonhuman primates has to do with manual action rather than with vocalization. His current endeavour is to provide a plausible account of how the transition might have occurred, based on the premise that speech itself is a gestural system rather than an acoustic one.