PD Dr Marzena Żygis

Leibniz-Centre for General Linguistics in Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

New experimental paths of testing linguistic hypotheses

Testing linguistic phenomena requires a careful choice of methods that not only can help to get more insight into the topic under investigation but also streamline the investigation process.

In this talk, I will present some recent studies referring to various methods (including innovative ones) that we have used to investigate:

(i) children's speech production and perception to answer a question of whether children perceive better themselves or adults

(ii) whispered speech and speech with masks to study whether oro-facial movements such as e.g. eyebrow raising compensate for a distorted acoustic signal

(iii) grammatical tinnitus to answer a question whether illusions of ungrammaticality take place in foreign accented speech as opposed to native speech

In essence, I will show how the introduction of new tools, the refinement and combination of existing methods, and/or the adoption of methodologies used in fields other than linguistics, such as, e.g., deep learning algorithms, can pave new ways to improve our understanding of the diversity of linguistic phenomena.

PD Dr Marzena Żygis is a researcher at the Leibniz-Centre for General Linguistics in Berlin and a lecturer at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She studies the segmental and prosodic level of linguistic representations from a phonological and phonetic point of view. Her research interests also include facial expressions accompanying speech. Currently, she is PI of two projects: “Audio-visual prosody of whispered and semi-whispered speech” and “Grammatical tinnitus and its role in the perception of foreign language accent. A comparison of German and Polish”. Her studies were published in reputable journals including Laboratory Phonology, Journal of Phonetics, and Phonology. Since 2020 she has also been an associate editor of the Journal of the International Phonetic Association.

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