Welcome to Auckland and to the 11th International Australasian Conference on Speech Science and Technology: SST 2006. It is 20 years since the first SST conference was held in Canberra, Australia.   Since then SST has been hosted by many of the main universities around Australia. The SST conference series was one of the first multi-disciplined conferences in speech research to be held, bringing together Engineers, Phoneticians, Computer Scientists, Speech Scientists and Psychologists. It is this dynamic mix which makes SST a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating conference. Although the conference delegates have mainly come from Australia, the conference has always had a strong international flavour. This, though, is the first time that the conference has been held outside Australia – quite fitting in a year in which the Australian Speech Science and Technology Association has been renamed the Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association. New Zealand, like Australia, has an active speech research community, and we hope that this conference serves to strengthen the ties between researchers in the two countries. The more we know about the research paths being followed in each of the countries, the more we can interact and stimulate an active research environment for us all.

We are also very pleased to welcome researchers from outside Australia and New Zealand. SST 2006 includes delegates and contributors from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Japan, Korea, China, USA, and Canada. Such a spread of participation from around the world confirms the appropriateness of the “International” label of this conference.

The SST 2006 programme committee received 126 submissions, made up of a mixture of full papers and extended abstracts. These were reviewed by an international panel of experts, representing the relevant fields for each paper. Our heartfelt thanks go to all the referees for giving their time and energy to help ensure the high quality of the conference (click here for the list of referees). 101 papers are in the final line up – 65 oral presentations and 36 posters. Each of the 89 written papers included in this proceedings CD includes a document footer indicating whether the paper was accepted after review of the full paper or of an abstract. Not all of the papers accepted for the conference are included on the CD, as some authors were unable to provide full papers in time for the preparation of the proceedings.

The oral presentations have been organised into three streams on each of three days, and the poster session has been given a dedicated 2.5 hour slot to allow plenty of time for discussion.  The current conference also includes a day-long session on the Phonetics and Phonology of Australian and New Zealand English (PANZE). In addition, two intonation and rhythm papers submitted to PANZE but which could not be scheduled in that stream have been accommodated within a prosody stream.  As is usual for SST conferences, there are several strong themes running through the programme, including forensic phonetics, speaker and language recognition and identification, automatic speech recognition, acoustic analysis of speech, cochlear implant research, first and second language acquisition, tone language research, and a special session on written language processing.

We are fortunate to have been able to attract three highly respected and experienced researchers as our keynote speakers – Pat Keating, Joe Perkell and Michael Corballis, who, in addition to plenary addresses on Linguistic Voice Quality, Sensorimotor Control of Speech Production and Language as Gesture respectively, have kindly agreed to take part in a panel discussion on future directions in speech science technology research.

Finally, we would like to thank the Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association for entrusting this conference to us. We thank Sharon Marsden for her detailed editorial comments on the papers submitted for the proceedings and Steve Cassidy for technical support with the conference website and for his help during the preparation of the proceedings cdrom.

We trust the papers in the conference will excite you as much they have us.

On behalf of the SST 2006 Organising Committee

Catherine Watson (Conference Chair)

Paul Warren (Programme Chair)