James Scobbie

James Scobbie
Queen Margaret University | QMU · Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences

MA (hons), MSc, PhD

About

118
Publications
37,360
Reads
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2,132
Citations
Citations since 2016
27 Research Items
1172 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Additional affiliations
January 1999 - present
The University of Edinburgh
Description
  • Honorary Fellow (Informatics)
January 1995 - December 2013
Queen Margaret University

Publications

Publications (118)
Article
Full-text available
Ultrasound Tongue Imaging is increasingly used during assessment and treatment of speech sound disorders. Recent literature has shown that ultrasound is also useful for the quantitative analysis of a wide range of speech errors. So far, the compensatory articulations of speakers with cleft palate have only been analysed qualitatively. This study pr...
Article
It has been hypothesized that morphologically-complex words are mentally stored in a decomposed form, often requiring online composition during processing. Morphologically-simple words can only be stored as a whole. The way a word is stored and retrieved is thought to influence its realization during speech production, so that when retrieval requir...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This study has two key aims: first, to provide developmental articulatory norms for the alveolar–velar distinction in 30 English-speaking typically developing (TD) children; second, to illustrate the utility of the reported measures for classifying and quantifying the speech of children with a history of persistent velar fronting as they de...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper is an ultrasound-based articulatory study of the impact of syllable-position and utterance position on tongue shape and tongue-gesture magnitude in liquid consonants in American, Irish and Scottish English. Mixed effects modelling was used to analyse variation in normalised tongue-gesture magnitude for /r/ and /l/ in syllable-onset and c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper is an ultrasound-based articulatory study of the impact of syllable-position and utterance position on tongue shape and tongue-gesture magnitude in liquid consonants in American, Irish and Scottish English. Mixed effects modelling was used to analyse variation in normalised tongue-gesture magnitude for /r/ and /l/ in syllable-onset and c...
Preprint
Full-text available
We introduce UltraSuite, a curated repository of ultrasound and acoustic data, collected from recordings of child speech therapy sessions. This release includes three data collections, one from typically developing children and two from children with speech sound disorders. In addition, it includes a set of annotations, some manual and some automat...
Article
Purpose This study evaluated ultrasound visual biofeedback treatment for teaching new articulations to children with a wide variety of speech sound disorders. It was hypothesized that motor-based intervention incorporating ultrasound would lead to rapid acquisition of a range of target lingual gestures with generalization to untreated words. Metho...
Article
Full-text available
Ultrasound imaging is simple, repeatable, gives real-time feedback, and its dynamic soft tissue imaging may make it superior to other modalities for swallowing research. We tested this hypothesis and measured certain spatial and dynamic aspects of the swallowing to investigate its efficacy. Eleven healthy adults wearing a headset to stabilize the p...
Article
The cross-linguistic tendency of coda consonants to weaken, vocalize, or be deleted is shown to have a phonetic basis, resulting from gesture reduction, or variation in gesture timing. This study investigates the effects of the timing of the anterior tongue gesture for coda /r/ on acoustics and perceived strength of rhoticity, making use of two soc...
Article
Phonetic variation among Scottish members of the UK Parliament may be influenced by convergence to Southern English norms (Carr & Brulard, 2006) or political identity (e.g., Hall-Lew, Coppock, & Starr, 2010). Drawing on a year's worth of political speeches (2011–2012) from 10 Scottish members of the UK Parliament (MPs), we find no acoustic evidence...
Poster
Full-text available
We present a comparative quantification of the primary dorsal gesture in velar stops, comparing the tongue dorsum for /k/ against the tongue shape and location in /t/ - based on midsagittal ultrasound tongue images which have been stabilised using a headset. For a given vowel environment, /t/ provides the baseline against which the active, primary...
Article
The fronting of the two high-back vowels /uː/ and /ʊ/ in Southern British English is very well documented, but mainly in the acoustic domain. This paper presents articulatory (ultrasound) data, comparing the relative tongue position of these vowels in fronting and non-fronting consonantal contexts, i.e., preceding a coronal consonant (food, foot) a...
Article
Full-text available
The fronting of the high-back /uː/ and /ʊ/, as currently seen in Southern British English (SBE), is a rare opportunity to study two similar sound changes at different stages of their phonetic development: /uː/-fronting is a more advanced change than /ʊ/-fronting. Since the fronting in both vowels is restricted from applying before a following final...
Poster
Full-text available
In einer Interventionsstudie mit 20 Kindern wird die Effektivität von visuellem Ultraschall-Biofeedback in der Therapie verschiedener Sprechstörungen untersucht. Die Studie umfasst mehrere standardisierten Tests (multiple Baselines), um die Sprach-, und Sprechfähigkeiten der Kinder vor, während und nach der sprachtherapeutischen Intervention zu erh...
Article
While some sound changes occur in environments defined in purely phonological terms, others may become sensitive to morphological boundaries. In this paper, we investigate the phonetic nature of this latter diachronic development: does it happen through small gradient increments, or is there a categorical shift from one allophone to another? We foc...
Poster
Full-text available
Das Ziel der Studie ist es, kinematische Prozesse in der flüssigen Sprache von Stotte-rern anhand von dynamischen Ultraschalldaten zu quantifizieren und mit denen von Kontrollsprechern zu verglichen. Stottern ist eine Unterbrechung im Redefluss und wird häufig in drei Hauptsymptome unterteilt: Wiederholungen (/k-k-kafe/), Verlängerungen (/ʃ:::u:/)...
Article
Full-text available
Some languages, such as many varieties of English, use short-lag and long-lag VOT to distinguish word-and syllable-initial voiced vs. voiceless stop phonemes. According to a popular view, the optimal VOT category boundary between the two types of stops moves towards larger values as articulation rate becomes slower (and speech segments longer), and...
Article
Acoustic and articulatory studies demonstrate covert contrast in perceptually neutralised phonemic contrasts in both typical children and children with speech disorders. These covert contrasts are thought to be relatively common and symptomatic of phonetic speech disorders. However, clinicians in the speech therapy clinic have had no easy way of id...
Article
We present a new approach to the investigation of dynamic ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI) data, applied here to analyse the subtle aspects of the fluency of people who stutter (PWS). Fluent productions of CV syllables (C = /k/; V = /ɑ, i, ə/) from three PWS and three control speakers (PNS) were analysed for duration and peak velocity relative to ar...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we introduce recently released, publicly available resources, which allow users to watch videos of hidden articulators (e.g. the tongue) during the production of various types of sounds found in the world’s languages. The articulation videos on these resources are linked to a clickable International Phonetic Alphabet chart ([Intern...
Presentation
Full-text available
see also https://www.facebook.com/pg/CASL.QMU/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155591780139803 Abstract: Articulatory techniques have continued to improve over the last decade. For example, there are now high frame rate ultrasound-audio systems capable of capturing aspects of speech production suitable for dynamic research [1], joining Electromagnetic...
Article
Cleft Palate (CP) assessments based on phonetic transcription are the "gold standard" therapy outcome measure, despite reliability difficulties. Here we propose a novel perceptual evaluation, applied to ultrasound-visual biofeedback (U-VBF) therapy and therapy using visual articulatory models (VAMs) for two children with repaired submucous CP. Thre...
Poster
Full-text available
Quantifying lingual kinematics in relation to passive articulators is as crucial and elementary as it is challenging for ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI) research. In UTI, generally only the active tongue is observable, with passive articulatory structures such as the hard and soft palate being invisible almost all of the time. The fact that the ton...
Chapter
Full-text available
We discuss accent mixture and the creation of idiosyncratic phonological systems in acquisition, with a focus on Scottish English. Such mixing is in addition to the relatively stable sociolinguistic systems of variation expected within a speech community, and arises when parents have radically different accents from each other or from the child’s p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Converging, albeit inconsistent, empirical evidence suggests that the morphological structure of a word influences its pronunciation. We investigated this issue using Ultrasound Tongue Imaging in the context of an experimental cognitive psychology paradigm. Scottish speakers were trained on apparently homophonous monomorphemic and bimorphemic novel...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigate the contribution that lingual gesture delay makes to lenition of postvocalic /r/. This study uses a socially-stratified, audio-ultrasound corpus of Scottish English containing recordings from two sociolects; one with postvocalic /r/ weakening and the other with strengthening. We quantify auditory strength of rhoticity and the timing...
Research
Full-text available
Visual biofeedback tools, such as Electropalatography (EPG), are recommended for assessing and treating speech sound disorders (SSDs) associated with Cleft Palate (CP). However, EPG is not suitable for all clients, due to dependencies on stable dentition and timing of palatal repair. Ultrasound is becoming increasingly popular for its use in treati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We describe an asymmetric categorical pattern of onset-coda allophony for English /r/, the post-alveolar rhotic approximant, drawing on published and unpublished information on over 100 child, teenage and adult speakers from prior studies. Around two thirds of the speakers exhibited allophonic variation that was subtle: onset and coda /r/ were typi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We study the effect that phonetic onset has on acoustic and articulatory reaction times. An acoustic study by Rastle et al. (2005) shows that the place and manner of the first consonant in a target affects acoustic RT. An articulatory study by Kawamoto et al. (2008) shows that the same effect is not present in articulatory reaction time of the lips...
Article
Abstract Growing evidence suggests that speech intervention using visual biofeedback may benefit people for whom visual skills are stronger than auditory skills (for example, the hearing-impaired population), especially when the target articulation is hard to describe or see. Diagnostic ultrasound can be used to image the tongue and has recently be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents articulatory data on silent preparation in a standard Verbal Reaction Time experiment. We have reported in a previous study [6] that Reaction Time is reliably detectable in Ultrasound Tongue Imaging and lip video data, and between 120 to 180 ms ahead of the standard acoustics-based measurements. The aim of the current study was...
Article
We know that fine phonetic variation is exploited by speakers to construct and index social identity (Hay and Drager 2007). Sociophonetic work to date has tended to focus on acoustic analysis, e.g. Docherty and Foulkes (1999); however, some aspects of speech production are not readily recoverable from an acoustic analysis. New articulatory analysis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The tongue moves silently in preparation for speech. We analyse Ultrasound Tongue Imaging (UTI) data of these pre-speech to speech phases from five speakers, whose native languages (L1) are English (n = 3), German, and Finnish. Single words in the subjects' respective L1 were elicited by a standard picture naming task. Our focus is to automate the...
Chapter
New articulatory analysis techniques, such as ultrasound tongue imaging allow researchers to identify fine-grained articulatory variation that appears to be covert, but is nonetheless socially indexical. In this chapter, we consider rhoticity in the western and eastern Scottish Central Belt using auditory and articulatory analysis techniques. We co...
Chapter
This paper presents the rewards of a sociophonetic journey by focusing on fine-grained variation in Scottish English coda /r/. We synthesize the results of some 15 years of research and provide a sociophonological account of variation and change in this feature. We summarize observations on coda /r/ in Scottish English across the twentieth century,...
Chapter
Increasing attention is being paid in sociolinguistics to how fine phonetic variation is exploited by speakers to construct and index social identity (Hay and Drager 2007). To date, most sociophonetic work on consonants has made use of acoustic analysis to reveal unexpectedly subtle variation which is nonetheless socially indexical (e.g. Docherty a...
Article
This paper presents impressionistic, electroglottographic and acoustic data exploring the distribution of glottalic and pulmonic airstream in word-final Scottish English obstruents. We explore the relationship between these airstream mechanisms and aspirated or glottalised phonatory settings of individual speakers near this obstruent locus. We addr...
Article
We demonstrate the workability of an experimental facility that is geared towards the acquisition of articulatory data from a variety of speech styles common in language use, by means of two synchronized electromagnetic articulography (EMA) devices. This approach synthesizes the advantages of real dialogue settings for speech research with a detail...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Modern Greek has a typical five-vowel system, /i, e, a, o, u/. Several studies, mainly acoustic, have examined the effect of stress and consonantal context on vowel quality. However, there is no consensus regarding the influence of these parameters on vowel quality, as some of the studies report minimal differences between stressed and unstressed v...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We know that fine phonetic variation is exploited by speakers to construct and index social identity (Hay and Drager 2007). Sociophonetic work to date has tended to focus on acoustic analysis, e.g. Docherty and Foulkes (1999); however, some aspects of speech production are not readily recoverable from an acoustic analysis. New articulatory analysis...
Article
For a century, phoneticians have noted a vowel merger in middle-class Scottish English, in the neutralisation of prerhotic checked vowels /ɪ/, /ʌ/, /ɛ/ to a central vowel, e.g. fir, fur, fern [fəɹ], [fəɹ] [fəɹn], or [fɚ], [fɚ], [fɚn]. Working-class speakers often neutralise two of these checked vowels to a low back [ʌ] vowel, fir, fur, both pronoun...
Article
Speakers possess a natural capacity for lip reading; analogous to this, there may be an intuitive ability to "tongue-read." Although the ability of untrained participants to perceive aspects of the speech signal has been explored for some visual representations of the vocal tract (e.g. talking heads), it is not yet known to what extent there is a n...
Article
Full-text available
The present study comprises a phonetic analysis of the lateral phoneme /l/ in the first (L1) and second language (L2) of 10 late German–English bilinguals. The primary objective of the study was to compare the predictive power of dynamic systems theory with that of maturational constraints through a phonetic investigation of L1 attrition in the lat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
We investigate some ways in which speech production alters to make speech sounds more intelligible to a listener. This single speaker pilot study uses ultrasound tongue imaging and videos of lips to investigate the underlying articulatory processes used to distinguish six different monophthongal vowels in Scottish English in a consistent b__p frame...
Article
Full-text available
First language attrition refers to the changes which a first language (L1) undergoes when a second language (L2) is acquired in a context in which L1 use is reduced (Cook, 2003; Köpke, 2004). To date, some studies have focused on complete loss of an L1, for example in the case of children whose contact with their initial language ceased after adopt...
Article
This article reviews some competing conceptions of a discrete interface, and considers the possibility that phonology and phonetics overlap on cognitive and theoretical levels, and superficially, on the empirical level. Additionally, it provides a very general model of the interface that may enable the reader to evaluate the overlapping and competi...
Article
We explore the vowel space, with a particular focus on the phonetic location (and phonological interpretation) of the vowel /u/ (GOOSE, FOOT) in Scottish accented English, using a socially-stratified articulatory and acoustic corpus of fifteen teenage speakers of both sexes (ECB08). The articulatory data consists of midsagittal tongue contours extr...
Chapter
The article covers the factors that need to be considered in data collection and analysis related to sociophonetics. The recording methodologies are generally employed for acoustic phonetic analysis, obtaining stimuli for perception studies, or the development of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. The map task is used to elicit relatively...
Article
Full-text available
A study is described that employs ultrasound to measure the effects of gravity on production of vowels. The materials are designed to encourage consistent production over repetitions. A recording and analysis protocol is described which allows for correction for probe movement or rejection of data where correction is not possible. Results indicate...
Conference Paper
The distribution of fine-grained phonetic variation can be observed in the speech of members of well-defined social groups. It is evident that such variation must somehow be able to propagate through a speech community from speaker to hearer. However, technological barriers have meant that close and direct study of the articulatory links of this sp...
Article
The sociolinguistic modelling of phonological variation and change is almost exclusively based on auditory and acoustic analyses of speech. One phenomenon which has proved elusive when considered in these ways is the variation in postvocalic /r/ in Scottish English. This study therefore shifts to speech production: we present a socioarticulatory st...
Article
Full-text available
Preaspiration of fricatives and glottalisation of syllabic coda stops can be important phonetic correlates of obstruent /±voice/ in some varieties of Scottish English. Within such varieties, this encoding of /±voice/ is based on voice quality (laryngeal settings) and is subject to substantial interspeaker variation. We analyse the occurrence of pre...
Article
Full-text available
We report the development of a database that will contain paired ultrasound and MRI of tongue movements and shapes from 12 adults, illustrated with pilot data from one speaker. The primary purpose of the database will be to evaluate the informational content of ultrasound tongue images on the basis of the richer articulatory structures visible with...
Article
Full-text available
We present tongue-palate contact (EPG) and acoustic data on English sibilant assimilation, with a particular focus on the asymmetry arising from the order of the sibilants. It is generally known that /s#ʃ  / sequences may display varying de-grees of regressive assimilation in fluent speech, yet for /  ʃ  #s/ it is widely assumed that no assimilatio...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the trade-off between temporal and spatial resolution in ultrasound tongue images at fast frame rates. The fastest lingual speech movements are investigated using a variety of echo pulse densities. Benefits and drawbacks of using higher frame rates are considered. Faster frame rates reduce distortion of the shape of the tongue d...
Article
The EPSRC-funded Edinburgh Speech Production is built around two synchronized Carstens AG500 electromagnetic articulographs (EMAs) in order to capture articulatory∕acoustic data from spontaneous dialogue. An initial articulatory corpus was designed with two aims. The first was to elicit a range of speech styles∕registers from speakers, and therefor...
Article
Full-text available
The DoubleTalk articulatory corpus was collected at the Edinburgh Speech Production Facility (ESPF) using two synchronized Carstens AG500 electromagnetic articulometers. The first release of the corpus comprises orthographic transcriptions aligned at phrasal level to EMA and audio data for each of 6 mixed-dialect speaker pairs. It is available from...
Article
A pre-vocalic connected speech context is said to enable the resyllabification of word-final consonants into an onset, thus conditioning alternations. We present EPG data on English word-final /l/, measuring the extent of alveolar contact and the rate of vocalisation, the extent of dorsal retraction (representing “darkness”), and the timing of alve...
Article
Full-text available
While it is well known that languages have different phonemes and phonologies, there is growing interest in the idea that languages may also differ in their ‘phonetic setting’. The term ‘phonetic setting’ refers to a tendency to make the vocal apparatus employ a language-specific habitual configuration. For example, languages may differ in their de...
Chapter
IntroductionDefining Sociophonetic VariationSociophonetic Studies of Speech ProductionSociophonetic Studies and Speech PerceptionMethodological IssuesTheoretical Implications of Sociophonetic StudiesWider Applications of SociophoneticsConclusion References
Article
Scottish English is often cited as a rhotic dialect of English. However, in the 70s and 80s, researchers noticed that postvocalic /r/ was in attrition in Glasgow (Macafee, 1983) and Edinburgh (Romaine, 1978; Johnston and Speitel 1983). Recent research (Stuart-Smith, 2003) confirms that postvocalic /r/ as a canonical phonetically rhotic consonant is...
Article
Full-text available
We compare two methods of acquiring ultrasound tongue images. A new system capable of recording directly from the cineloop image buffer at a high frame rate and which is more accurately synchronized with audio is compared with an optimised method of recording images via the NTSC video output of an ultrasound machine. As a focus for this comparison...
Article
Full-text available
We present a methodological study evaluating Inter-Speech Postures, i.e. vocal-tract configurations achieved in the silent preparation for speech which have been claimed to be indicative of articulatory settings. The term articulatory setting refers to a characteristic use of the articulators believed to shape the overall phonetic realisation of a...
Article
Full-text available
Phonological-phonetic sound systems are abstrac- tions away from substance, so while they are grounded in biological capacity, they also reflect phonetically un-natural relationships arising from a variety of linguistic factors. Sociolinguistic varia- tion is one of these non-biological factors. Pilot articulatory results are presented from derhoti...
Article
Full-text available
English l-sandhi involves an allophonic alternation in alveolar contact for word-final /l/ in connected speech (4). EPG data for five Scottish Standard English and five Southern Standard British English speakers shows that there is individual and dialectal variation in contact patterns. We analysed vocalisation rate (% of tokens with no alveolar co...
Chapter
All sounds are variable, but some are more variable than others. Does hyper-variation mean a greater disposition for sociolinguistically relevant conditioning, or, alternatively, a tendency for relatively greater noisiness in the distribution of unconditioned variants? Whatever the case, there should clearly be a special interest in the sociolingui...