Linguistics 001      Fall 2015     Homework 4      Due Mo 10/5

1. Phonetic duration measurements

The point of this first section is to get you started on using a computer program for acoustic analysis of speech. Your task is to embarrass Chuck Todd, the host of NBC's Meet The Press.

Todd's first interview was with President Barack Obama, broadcast on 9/7/2014. About eight and a half minutes into the 35-minute interview, Todd asserted, in a very serious voice, "You've not said the word 'Syria' so far in our conversation." Unfortunately for Todd, Obama had in fact said "Syria" four times at that point, most recently towards the end of the previous turn. (See here for some further details, if you're interested.)

Choose a convenient folder to work in, and download this 30-second-long selection from the interview's audio, containing Todd's statement along with part of Obama's previous turn. Depending on your computer and browser, you can do this via right-click>>Save link as... (typical for Windows) or control-click>>Save link as... (typical for Mac OS X).

Now download the free program Praat. In your recitation section, you'll learn a bit about how to use Praat to analyze audio recordings. Instructions for getting you started can be found here: "Creating an Aligned Transcript in Praat".

If you want to learn more, you can delve into online tutorials like this one.

Your task is

(1) to create an aligned transcript (as a Praat "TextGrid") for the 30-second selection;
(2) to measure the duration of Obama's rendition of the word "Syria" (in milliseconds);
(3) to measure the duration of Todd's rendition of the word "Syria" (in milliseconds);
(4) to measure the duration of the stretch between the end of Obama's "Syria" and the start of Todd's "Syria" (in seconds, with three digits after the decimal point).

(A part of) Your transcript will look like something like this this in Praat -- I've selected the word "compatible", indicating that it's 659 milliseconds long:

If you like, you can save time by transcribing in chunks between silent pauses, rather than finding the boundaries of every word -- except as required by the instructions above. So part of your transcript might look like this:

But you'll find that trying to segment (at least part of) the audio into words will be an educational experience.

You can take measurements directly from the interactive editing window in Praat -- but you should also learn to save your TextGrid as a text file for future reference, and so you should hand in your saved TextGrid along with the three requested measurements.

2. Telugu morphology
(based on an exercise in Farmer & Demers' A Linguistics Workbook):

The table below gives a set of 22 words in Telugu, each of which is translated by an English sentence. (This is an uncharacteristically simple sample of Telugu verb morphology.)

English translation
1 ceppɛɛnu "I told"
2 ceppincunu "I cause (someone) to tell"
3 cuustaam "we will see"
4 ceppɛɛm "we told"
5 ceppanu "I will not tell"
6 navvincum "We cause (someone) to laugh"
7 cuustunnaaḍu    "He is seeing"
8 ceppɛɛyi "They told"
9 koḍataanu "I will beat"
10 paaḍataanu "I will sing"
11 ceppɛɛru "You (pl.) told"
12 ceppavu "You (sg.) will not tell"
13 ceppɛɛvu "You (sg.) told"
14 ceppam "We will not tell"
15 ceppɛɛḍu "He told"
16 cuusɛɛḍu "He saw"
17 cepparu "You (pl.) will not tell"
18 koḍatunnaayi "They are beating"
19 ceestunnaanu "I am doing"
20 aḍugutaam "We will ask"
21 ceesɛɛnu "I did"
22 aḍugutaaḍu "He will ask"

A. List the Telugu morphemes corresponding to these English words:

  Telugu morpheme English gloss
1.a          "tell"
1.b   "sing"
1.c   "see"
1.d   "laugh"
1.e   "ask"
1.f   "beat"
1.g   "do"
Person marking of subjects:
2.a   "I"
2.b   "you (sg.)"
2.c   "he"
2.d   "we"
2.e   "you (pl.)"
2.f   "they"
3.a   past tense
3.b   present tense
(-ing form in English gloss)
3.c   future tense
3.d   negative future tense
3.e   causative

B. List the order in which the morphemes occur in the Telugu words. Use terms such as verb, tense, and subject.

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