UC Berkeley Phonology Lab

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Phonetics/Phonology Lab basics

The UC Berkeley PhonLab is a research and teaching lab within the Department of Linguistics. It is located on Level C of the classroom side of Dwinelle Hall, comprising Rooms 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, and 57.

For more on access to the Lab and its physical layout, see the guide to lab spaces.

For more on our computing infrastructure, see the guide to lab computing.

Need to reserve a Lab resource (space, equipment) or create appointment slots for experiment subjects? See the lab scheduling page.

Stay informed (Lab mailing list, Phorum)

Anyone interested in staying up to date on Lab activities should join the Lab mailing list by emailing a request to join to Keith Johnson. List members can email the list at ucphonlab -at- lists.berkeley.edu.

And of course we welcome everyone to attend the weekly Phorum talks.

Audio recording and editing

  • How to use sox to prep files for use in phonetic research.
  • How to use Praat scripts for manipulating sound files and text grids.
  • How to use OpenSesame for both recording speech and running perception experiments.
  • How to use Forced Alignment for automatic phonetic/phonemic transcriptions of speech.

Speech production

For speech production experiments, equipment in Room 52, Room 53, and Room 57 will be useful.

Speech perception

For speech perception experiments, equipment in Room 51, Room 52, and Room 53 will be useful.

Running Experiments

Human Subjects Protocols: Much of the research in the PhonLab involves human subjects and requires approval from the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects. Here is some guidance on how to clear this administrative hurdle.

Experiment Subject Pool: The Lab maintains a spreadsheet of volunteer subjects who have indicated an interest in participating in our experiments. You can use the database to recruit subjects. Most are undergraduates, and they speak a variety of languages. Contact Ronald Sprouse if you are denied access to this spreadsheet.

Volunteer subjects can add themselves to the spreadsheet by filling out this Google form.

Also see lab scheduling to 1) reserve subject workstations for your experiment (required); and 2) create time slots in a database that subjects can visit and sign up for your experiment (optional).

OpenSesame is the standard software package for conducting perception experiments.

Speech database construction

Use some software tools to create a new speech database.

Guidance for wiki editors

There are two ways to access this wiki -- read-only guest access and read/write access for Calnet authenticated users. Gaining read/write access is a two-step process. First, provide Calnet credentials when accessing the base url (contact Ronald Sprouse if access is denied), then follow the wiki's login link to log in as a wiki user (create an account, if necessary, and a simple password is fine since Calnet authentication is also required). You cannot edit the wiki unless you are logged in as a wiki user; Calnet authentication is not enough.

Remember that read-only access to this wiki is provided to the public. Do not include confidential information!

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.