ISCA - International Speech
Communication Association

ISCApad Archive  »  2016  »  ISCApad #214  »  Academic and Industry Notes

ISCApad #214

Monday, April 11, 2016 by Chris Wellekens

4 Academic and Industry Notes
4-1Carnegie Speech


Carnegie Speech produces systems to teach people how to speak another language understandably. Some of its products include NativeAccent, SpeakIraqi, SpeakRussian, and ClimbLevel4. You can find out more at You can also read about awarding it a Best Breakout Idea of 2009 at:


4-2Research in Interactive Virtual Experiences at USC CA USA

REU Site: Research in Interactive Virtual Experiences



The Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) offers a 10-week summer research program for undergraduates in interactive virtual experiences. A multidisciplinary research institute affiliated with the University of Southern California, the ICT was established in 1999 to combine leading academic researchers in computing with the creative talents of Hollywood and the video game industry. Having grown to encompass a total of 170 faculty, staff, and students in a diverse array of fields, the ICT represents a unique interdisciplinary community brought together with a core unifying mission: advancing the state-of-the-art for creating virtual reality experiences so compelling that people will react as if they were real.


Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of ICT research, we welcome applications from students in computer science, as well as many other fields, such as psychology, art/animation, interactive media, linguistics, and communications. Undergraduates will join a team of students, research staff, and faculty in one of several labs focusing on different aspects of interactive virtual experiences. In addition to participating in seminars and social events, students will also prepare a final written report and present their projects to the rest of the institute at the end of summer research fair.


Students will receive $5000 over ten weeks, plus an additional $2800 stipend for housing and living expenses.  Non-local students can also be reimbursed for travel up to $600.  The ICT is located in West Los Angeles, just north of LAX and only 10 minutes from the beach.


This Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The site is expected to begin summer 2013, pending final award issuance.


Students can apply online at:

Application deadline: March 31, 2013


For more information, please contact Evan Suma at


4-3Announcing the Master of Science in Intelligent Information Systems

Carnegie Mellon University


degree designed for students who want to rapidly master advanced content-analysis, mining, and intelligent information technologies prior to beginning or resuming leadership careers in industry and government. Just over half of the curriculum consists of graduate courses. The remainder provides direct, hands-on, project-oriented experience working closely with CMU faculty to build systems and solve problems using state-of-the-art algorithms, techniques, tools, and datasets. A typical MIIS student completes the program in one year (12 months) of full-time study at the Pittsburgh campus.  Part-time and distance education options are available to students employed at affiliated companies. The application deadline for the Fall 2013 term is December 14, 2012. For more information about the program, please visit


4-4Master in linguistics (Aix-Marseille) France

Master's in Linguistics (Aix-Marseille Université): Linguistic Theories, Field Linguistics and Experimentation TheLiTEx offers advanced training in Linguistics. This specialty focuses Linguistics is aimed at presenting in an original way the links between corpus linguistics and scientific experimentation on the one hand and laboratory and field methodologies on the other. On the basis of a common set of courses (offered within the first year), TheLiTEx offers two paths: Experimental Linguistics (LEx) and Language Contact & Typology (LCT) The goal of LEx is the study of language, speech and discourse on the basis of scientific experimentation, quantitative modeling of linguistic phenomena and behavior. It focuses on a multidisciplinary approach which borrows its methodologies to human physical and biological sciences and its tools to computer science, clinical approaches, engineering etc.. Among the courses offered: semantics, phonetics / phonology, morphology, syntax or pragmatics, prosody and intonation, and the interfaces between these linguistic levels, in their interactions with the real world and the individual, in a biological, cognitive and social perspective. Within the second year, a set of more specialized courses is offered such as Language and the Brain and Laboratory Phonology. LCT aims at understanding the world's linguistic diversity, focusing on language contact, language change and variation (European, Asian and African languages, Creoles, sign language, etc.).. This specialty focuses, from a a linguistic and sociolinguistic perspective, on issues of field linguistics and taking into account both the human and socio-cultural dimension of language (speakers, communities). It also focuses on documenting rare and endangered languages and to engage a reflection on linguistic minorities. This path also provides expertise and intervention models (language policy and planning) in order  to train students in the management of contact phenomena and their impact on the speakers, languages and societies More info at:




A new, one-year Master in Brain and Cognition will begin its activities in the Academic Year 2014-15 in Barcelona, Spain, organized by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (

The core of the master's programme is composed of the research groups at UPF's Center for Brain and Cognition  ( These groups are directed by renowned scientists in areas such as computational neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, vision, multisensory perception, human development and comparative cognition. Students will  be exposed to the ongoing research projects at the Center for Brain and Cognition and will be integrated in one of its main research lines, where they will conduct original research for their final project.

Application period is now open. Please visit the Master web page or contact for further information.


4-6Masters à la Sorbonne (Paris)

Les masters d'Ingénierie de la langue de Paris-Sorbonne, ILGII (R) et IILGI (P), sont maintenant regroupés dans une seule spécialité de la mention Littérature, Philosophie, Linguistique.
Les deux années du master Langue et Informatique apportent des connaissances fondamentales sur la langue et son traitement automatique, sur les interactions langagières et la modélisation des phénomènes paralangagiers, ainsi que sur l'ingénierie des connaissances. Les enseignements de spécialité développent également des savoirs et des savoir-faire : analyse et compréhension de textes ; reconnaissance et synthèse de la parole ; sciences affectives et systèmes de dialogue ; résumé et traduction assistés par ordinateur; extraction et construction des connaissances ; intelligence économique. Les enseignements méthodologiques du tronc commun de la mention permettent d'articuler ces enseignements spécialisés avec ce qui relève de l'épistémologie de la littérature, de la philologie et de la linguistique. Ce master comporte deux parcours : un parcours professionnel « Ingénierie de la Langue pour la Société Numérique (ILSN) »  et un parcours recherche « Informatique, Langue et Interactions (ILI) ». La différenciation entre les deux parcours se fait au semestre 4.



4-7New Masters in Machine Learning, Speech and Language Processing at Cambridge University, UK
New Masters in Machine Learning, Speech and Language Processing
This is a new twelve-month full-time MPhil programme offered by the Computational and Biological Learning Group (CBL) and the Speech Group in the Cambridge University Department of Engineering, with a unique, joint emphasis on both machine learning and on speech and language technology. The course aims: to teach the state of the art in machine learning, speech and language processing; to give students the skills and expertise necessary to take leading roles in industry; to equip students with the research skills necessary for doctoral study.
UK and EU students applications should be completed by 9 January 2015 for admission in October 2015. A limited number of studentships may be available for exceptional UK and eligible EU applicants. 

Self-funding students who do not wish to be considered for support from the Cambridge Trusts have until 30 June 2015 to submit their complete applications.

More information about the course can be found here:


4-8Planned workshop: Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals & Robots (VIHAR)
Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals & Robots (VIHAR)
Dear Colleagues,
I'm planning to organise a workshop on 'Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots' (VIHAR).  The idea is to bring together people from a range of different areas - HHI, AAI, RRI, HAI, HRI and ARI - in order to compare and contrast our current level of understanding and to attempt to identify any common principles that underpin vocally coordinated behaviour.
I have in mind proposing a Dagstuhl Seminar/Workshop ( and the next deadline for applications is 1st November 2015.  So, please can you let me know if (a) you would be interested in participating in such an event or (b) you would be keen to get involved in the organisation in some capacity.

Chair of Spoken Language Processing
Vocal Interactivity Lab (VILab), Sheffield Robotics
Speech & Hearing Research Group (SPandH)
Department of Computer Science, UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD*
Regent Court, 211 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP, UK


4-9The International Standard Language Resource Number (ISLRN)

The Resource Management Agency (RMA), an important language resource player in South Africa, adopts the International Standard Language Resource Number (ISLRN) initiative


The RMA is now a certified provider to the ISLRN system. This means that the RMA can apply for ISLRNs on behalf of the developers of the data that is managed and distributed via the RMA website. The RMA has already submitted 117 language resources to the ISLRN, including language resources for the 11 official languages of South Africa. These include text and speech resources such as text corpora (annotated, genre classification, parallel), translation memories, custom dictionaries for government domain, compound semantic and splitting datasets, frequency word lists, speech corpora, and pronunciation dictionaries. The meta-information for these language resources is also available on the ISLRN website with a broad international audience.


As part of an international effort to document and archive the various language resource development efforts around the world, a system of assigning ISLRNs was established in November 2013. The ISLRN is a unique ?persistent identifier? to be assigned to each language resource. The establishment of ISLRNs was a major step in the networked and shared world of human language technologies. Unique resources must be identified as they are, and meta-catalogues require a common identification format to manage data correctly. Therefore, language resources should carry identical identification schemes independent of their representations, whatever their types and wherever their physical locations (on hard drives, internet or intranet) (


About RMA: The Department of Arts and Culture of South Africa established the RMA to manage and distribute reusable text and speech resources developed by the National Centre for Human Language Technology from a centralised location. As many of the South African languages are deemed resource-scarce, the RMA aspires to make data resources for these languages more readily available.

To find out more about RMA, please visit the RMA website:


About ELRA: The European Language Resources Association (ELRA) is a non-profit-making organisation founded by the European Commission in 1995, with the mission of providing a clearing house for language resources and promoting human language technologies.

To find out more about ELRA, please visit the website:



4-10ELRA and LDC partner on a joint distribution of Language Resources

Press Release - Immediate
Paris (France),
Philadelphia, (USA), December 4th, 2015

ELRA and LDC partner on a joint distribution of Language Resources from the 2006 CoNLL shared task.

The Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL) is accompanied every year by a shared task intended to promote natural language processing applications and evaluate them in a standard setting. In 2006, the shared task was devoted to the parsing of syntactic dependencies using corpora from up to thirteen languages. The task aimed to define and extend the then-current state of the art in dependency parsing, a technology that complemented previous tasks by producing a different kind of syntactic description of input text.

Within this framework, ELRA and LDC are pleased to announce the release of 2006 CoNLL Shared Task - Ten Languages and 2006 CoNLL Shared Task ? Arabic & Czech consisting of dependency treebanks used as part of the CoNLL 2006 shared task on multi-lingual dependency parsing.  The languages covered in 2006 CoNLL Shared Task ? Ten Languages are: Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. The source data in the treebanks consists principally of various texts (e.g., textbooks, news, literature) annotated in dependency format.

These packages can be found in the ELRA and LDC catalogues under the following references:

2006 CoNLL Shared Task - Ten Languages

ISLRN: 578-227-532-044-0
LDC ID: LDC2015T11


2006 CoNLL Shared Task ? Arabic & Czech

ISLRN: 798-485-294-792-1
LDC ID: LDC2015T12

  ***About CoNLL and 2006 shared task***
More information about CoNLL and the 2006 shared task are available respectively at: and

*** About ELRA ***
The European Language Resources Association (ELRA) is a non-profit making organisation founded by the European Commission in 1995, with the mission of providing a clearing house for language resources and promoting Human Language Technologies (HLT).
To find out more about ELRA and respective catalogue, please visit: and

*** About LDC ***
The Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) is an open consortium of universities, libraries, corporations and research laboratories that creates and distributes linguistic resources for language-related education, research and technology development.
To find out more about LDC and its respective catalogue, please visit: and

Denise DiPersio
Valérie Mapelli


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