The Aristotle University Phonetics Laboratory was initially formed in 1974 and formally founded in 1984. It is equipped with several experimental techniques for teaching under-graduate and post-graduate courses and for research in articulatory and acoustic phonetics.
Some of the first techniques that were acquired include a Photo-electric Glottograph, an Electro-myograph, an Electro-aerometer, Meters for Fundamental Frequency and Intensity and a Manophone. More recently, two more techniques were acquired for teaching and research, the Kay Computerized Speech Lab (CSL) and the Electropalatograph (EPG).
The Kay CSL (Model 4400, Version 2.4) is a hardware and software package used for the recording and acoustic analysis of speech data. Many types of analysis can be carried out, including spectrographic, LPC, FFT, cepstral, pitch contour, energy and impulse analysis. The system comes with a Sennheiser (E 8155) microphone.
CSL also includes the Video Phonetics program and CD-ROM Database which is used for phonetics training. This database consists of audio/video files illustrating example pronunciations of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
Other specialised software for acoustic analysis and phonetics training (such as Praat and WASP) can be used in the lab. For a larger number of students such software, together with email, web and network access, is also available on several PCs at the Computer Laboratory of the School of English.
The Electropalatograph records details of the timing and location of tongue contacts with the hard palate during continuous speech. The lab is equipped with the Bristish system of electropalatography (marketed by Articulate Instruments) which comes with specialised hardware and software for the recording and analysis of tongue-palate contact data.
Contact is detected by 62 sensors mounted on an artificial palate which is custom-made for each subject. Several data reduction techniques are available in the EPG software; additional data management tools have been developed in the lab for the analysis and display of EPG data using the Access Database.
Facilities for good quality recordings, playback, data storage, reproduction and display are also available in the lab.
The lab also houses an extensive collection of articles in Phonetics and Pronunciation Teaching, as well as working papers and lab reports in Speech Science from several universities. Additionally, the Departmental library contains a rich collection of books, journals and audiovisual resources on Phonetics, Phonology and English Pronunciation and provides electronic access to leading journals. A large number of cassettes and CD-ROMs are also available to students for training in practical phonetics and English pronunciation.
For a brief description of further techniques available in the lab, click here.