Paolo Mairano

Paolo Mairano
Université de Lille · Département Etudes Anglophones - Angellier

PhD

About

59
Publications
25,012
Reads
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232
Citations
Citations since 2016
31 Research Items
175 Citations
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Introduction
I am currently Maître de Conférences (~Associate Professor) in English Phonetics and Phonology at the University of Lille, with a PhD in linguistics, applied linguistics and linguistic engineering, and a research focus on phonetics and speech. Visit my personal website for details: https://sites.google.com/site/paolomairano/
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - March 2017
The University of Warwick
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2012 - April 2015
Nuance Communications
Position
  • R&D Scientist
September 2010 - September 2012
GIPSA-lab
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
January 2008 - March 2011
Università degli Studi di Torino
Field of study
  • linguistics, applied lingusitics, linguistic engineering
September 2005 - July 2007
Università degli Studi di Torino
Field of study
  • translation and linguistics

Publications

Publications (59)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evaluating L2 pronunciation via acoustic measures is problematic. In the literature, this is sometimes accomplished via fluency metrics (speech rate, average length of IPUs, etc), which however do not capture pronunciation accuracy. Other studies use VOT measurements (only possible if L1 and L2 differ in this respect) or comparison of vowel formant...
Article
Full-text available
It is often claimed that patterns of gemination are different across varieties of Italian. In particular, northern speakers are sometimes said to degeminate, or to produce shorter geminates than central and southern speakers. However, experimental data proving such claims is largely missing. In this article, we perform an analysis of the CLIPS corp...
Article
Full-text available
Orthographic forms (spellings) can affect pronunciation in a second language (L2); however, it is not known whether the same orthographic form can affect both L2 pronunciation and metalinguistic awareness. To test this, we asked 260 speakers of English—first‐language (L1) English speakers, L1 Italian and L2 English sequential bilinguals, and L1 Ita...
Article
Full-text available
Measures of second language (L2) learners' vocabulary size have been shown to correlate with language proficiency in reading, writing and listening skills, and vocabulary tests are sometimes used for placement purposes. However, the relation between learners' vocabulary knowledge and their speaking skills has been less thoroughly investigated, and...
Article
In this study, we present a comparative corpus-based analysis of the English /s/ ~ /z/ voice contrast for learners of three L1s. Acoustic analysis of periodicity and duration for target segments confirms expectations based on L1 transfer and on the Markedness Differential Hypothesis. We found that, due to the absence of phonemic /z/ in Spanish, L1...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mainstream L2 phonology models do not include predictions concerning how the prosodic structure interacts with the acquisition of segments. However, many studies have shown that the realization of pitch accents or melodic contours associated to prosodic boundaries results in the hyper- articulation of segments in correspondence of such prosodic bou...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Training L2 suprasegmental features benefits pronunciation accuracy and comprehensibility, especially through the use of hand gestures. However, studies have mainly looked at the effect of prosodic training in controlled tasks and less is known about spontaneous speech. The present study explores the effect of prosodic training with and without ges...
Article
Full-text available
ItalianL1 speakers of EnglishL2 produce the same English sound as longer if spelled with two than with one letter, following Italian grapheme-phoneme conversion rules. Do Italian listeners perceive short and long sounds in English homophonic word pairs that are spelled with a single letter or a digraph (finish-Finnish; morning-mourning)? In Experim...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the progressive voice assimilation rule in word-final morphemic-s in L2 English. We have analyzed data from the IPCE-IPAC corpus of learner oral productions, by measuring periodicity for all learner realizations of morphemic-s. We have compared three groups, namely 15 L1 French learners, 15 L1 Italian learners, and 10 L1 Spa...
Preprint
It is well-known that individuals can identify novel words in a stream of an artificial language using statistical dependencies. While underlying computations are thought to be similar from one stream to another (e.g. transitional probabilities between syllables), performance are not similar. According to the “linguistic entrenchment” hypothesis, t...
Article
Full-text available
We analyse articulation rate and speech rate, number and duration of pauses for 22 speakers of two Spanish regional varieties (Madrilenian vs Mexican) in three different tasks (read speech, picture description and interview). Our results show that speakers from Madrid have higher articulation rate and speech rate than speakers from Mexico, but that...
Chapter
Abundant literature has shown that emotional speech is characterized by various acoustic cues. However, most studies focused on sentences produced by actors, disregarding more naturally produced speech due to the difficulty in finding suitable emotional data. In our previous work we had performed an analysis of audiobook data in order to see if sen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years there has been growing evidence that measures of vocabulary size are good predictors of L2 competence, and vocabulary tests are therefore often used as a quick evaluation of L2 proficiency level. However, evidence about the correlation between vocabulary size and speaking skills is scant, and the only existing studies investigating...
Article
Full-text available
Abundant literature has shown that emotional speech is characterized by various cues at different linguistic levels. This contribution investigates the relation between lexical and prosodic cues of emotions in English using audiobook recordings from the LibriSpeech corpus. In order to quantitatively evaluate lexical cues of emotions, we computed se...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We examine the effects of prosodic strengthening on the acoustic realization of L2 French oral vowels. We analyse 12,283 vowels produced by 20 learners of French (L1 Spanish and English) and 10 native speakers according to different prosodic positions: (i) IP-final (ii) AP-final (obligatory accent) or AP-initial (initial non-obligatory accent) and...
Patent
A text-to-speech (TTS) system includes components capable of supporting the generation of speech output in any of multiple styles, and may switch seamlessly from producing speech output in one style to producing speech output in another style. For example, a concatenative TTS system may include a speech base storing speech units associated with mul...
Article
Full-text available
Bassetti, Sokolović-Perović, Mairano, & Cerni (2018, online first) Orthography-induced length contrasts in the second language phonological systems of L2 speakers of English: Evidence from minimal pairs. Language and Speech. Abstract Research shows that the orthographic forms ('spellings') of second language (L2) words affect speech production in L...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper investigates the effects of lexical stress on vowel durations, vowel space and vowel quality in Spanish. Data come from oral productions of 22 Spanish speakers (10 from Madrid and 12 from Mexico City) performing different tasks. As for durational cues, we found that vowel durations play a role as a cue of lexical stress. Interestingly, o...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has revealed the effects of orthography on the pronunciation of consonant durations in the L2 English of L1 Italian speakers (e.g. the [p] in floppy being pronounced as longer than in copy). In this paper we compared this orthographic effect with an orthography-independent effect of L1 phonology, namely VOT. We measured closure dura...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The role of orthography in adult L2 acquisition is well documented in the literature. Recent work has revealed that spelling can lead learners to produce phonological contrasts which do not exist in the target language, such as pseudo-geminate consonants in L2 English as produced by Italian speakers. In this contribution, we examine pseudo-geminate...
Article
Despite the conspicuous number of studies on the acquisition of L2 segmental patterns, research on L2 prosody is scarce and mostly deals with L2 English. In this paper we characterise the rhythmic patterns of L1 English learners of L2 Italian. We analysed read speech of 24 learners and compared them with data of L1 Italian and L1 English and comput...
Chapter
Abundant literature has shown that emotional speech is characterized by various acoustic cues. However, most studies focused on sentences produced by actors, disregarding ecologically elicited speech due to difficulties in finding suitable emotional data. In this contribution we explore the possibility of using sentiment analysis for the selection...
Article
Possono le coppie minime facilitare l‟apprendimento della pronuncia dell‟italiano L2/LS? In questo articolo si presenta un nuovo strumento di ricerca per le coppie minime, il Minimal Pair Finder (MPF), a partire dal quale sono state proposte delle attività di scoperta, sensibilizzazione e riflessione sull‟uso e sulla pronuncia di [m] e [m:] sia all...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this contribution we address the usage of minimal pairs in L2 pronunciation classes. An informal survey with FL teachers of Italian and English revealed that minimal pairs are considered to be scant and difficult to find. We present here a tool (Minimal Pair Finder) that has been developed with the aim to support teachers and learners in pronunc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is intended to discuss aspects of durational variability of V-to-V intervals in Italian from a phonetically based perspective. Recently, the interest in the phonetic properties underlying rhythm typologies has been growing, also as a consequence of the repeatedly observed weakness of phonological factors in the explanation of rhythmic di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study compares durational measures of accented vs unaccented vowels for data of 5 languages (4 speakers per language read translations of the same passage). Results show clear cross-language differences: accented vowels in our data of British English are more marked in terms of duration than in data of Mexican Spanish and Parisian French (data...
Book
To distinguish between questions and statements, the use of high pitch has been claimed to prevail cross-linguistically. However, the implementation of the high pitch feature may differ across languages and dialects. Terminal rises for questions are probably the most widespread (and French is no exception), but initial high tones and final falls ma...
Article
The present study is carried out in the context of a project whose primary aim is to define the physical components that could help explain what makes a syllable. We examine whether phonetic factors can account for observed universal trends in syllable structure, particularly those that provide an explanation for the Maximum Onset Principle (MOP)....
Article
Full-text available
Open access at: https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/RFRM/issue/view/2884 This paper is intended to discuss aspects of durational variability of V-to-V intervals in Italian from a phonetically based perspective. Recently, the interest in the phonetic properties underlying rhythm typologies has been growing, also as a consequence of the repeatedly obs...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of the paper is to present the results of a perception experiment in which native and non-native listeners were asked to rate the appropriateness of resynthesized questions varying in respect to two aspects: their morphosyntactic structure (presence/absence of an interrogative marker) and the form of their final intonational contour (fallin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The present study is motivated by the observation that TTS samples of concatenative synthesis may often sound as a-rhythmic to the human ear. For this reason, we aimed at comparing samples of speech from real speakers (studio recordings) vs. synthetic samples. We followed a fairly complicated procedure in order to obtain comparable samples, includi...
Article
Full-text available
RÉSUMÉ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Cet article aborde la question suivante : peut-on mettre en évidence un transfert prosodique du corse (une langue italo-romane) vers le français parlé en Corse, où le français est maintenant la langue dominante ? Un corpus de phrases...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates whether a prosodic transfer can be highlighted from Corsican (an Italo-Romance language) to French spoken in Corsica, where French is now the dominant language. A corpus of transparent sentences such as la touriste trouve la caserne (French) or a turista trova a caserna (Corsican) was designed and the productions of bilingua...
Article
Full-text available
It has long been assumed that the stress-timed vs. syllable-timed dichotomy is based on perceptual impressions of speech rhythm. However, experimental tests are rare in the literature and not all of them have successfully found perceptual evidence for speech rhythm categorization. Experimental protocols have been very different, sometimes testing n...
Book
Il y a désormais 10 ans que le projet AMPER (Atlas Multimédia Prosodique de l’Espace Roman) a été lancé par le Centre de Dialectologie de Grenoble. Depuis, de nombreuses équipes de recherche en Europe et en Amérique du Sud ont intégré le projet et mené des enquêtes de terrain dans le vaste domaine linguistique roman. Ce numéro hors-série de Géolin...
Article
Full-text available
The most frequently used rhythm metrics have been applied to V and C durations for 57 samples read by speakers of 21 languages to check for a rhythm categorization. Even though the variability between samples of the same language is remarkable, overall data reflect a scalar distribution of languages belonging to the traditional categories of stress...
Article
Full-text available
The most frequently used variables for language rhythm categorisation have been measured for some tonal languages. Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai and Vietnamese are languages which ground their prosodic properties on phonological tones and are supposed to reserve secondary role to stress whose functions are controversially bounded to prominence patterns...
Article
This thesis is mainly concerned with rhythm typology, that is to say with the categorisation of languages into rhythm classes. Studies in this field go back to Pike (1945) and Abercrombie (1967), who introduced the dichotomy of stress-timed vs. syllable-timed languages (the former supposedly exhibiting isochrony at the foot level, the latter at syl...
Article
Full-text available
Cet article présente certaines propriétés phonétiques de l'intonation du corse (une langue italo-romane du groupe toscan) dans le cadre de l'Atlas Multimédia Prosodique de l'Espace Roman (AMPER). La méthodologie AMPER est fondée sur une même stratégie de récolte et d'analyse de données en vue de décrire la prosodie d'énoncés simples a...
Article
Le but de cet article est de contribuer à l'étude de la variabilité rythmique ; en particulier, on a examiné le taux de variation existant parmi différentes variétés de la même langue en utilisant les corrélats acoustiques qui ont été récemment proposés par plusieurs auteurs. Les données qu'on a utilisées se composent d'échantillons de roumain, fra...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the work that has been done concerning the phonetic transcriptions for the New Dictionary of Italian Anglicisms directed by Prof. Pulcini (University of Turin): the dictionary contains both transcriptions of how Italians pronounce anglicisms and of how the corresponding English words are pronounced by native speakers of English...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
1. SOMMARIO Basandosi sulle teorie di percezione del parlato da parte dei bambini (si veda Mehler et al., 1996), Ramus et al. (1999) hanno proposto tre correlati ritmici (ΔC, ΔV and %V) che permetterebbero di distinguere i due gruppi di lingue. Questo nuovo approccio alla tipo-logia ritmica ha dato un impulso alla ricerca in questo campo cosicché,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper deals with the acoustic correlates of stress-timed and syllable-timed languages proposed by (8). An experiment has been conducted in order to verify the validity of the three correlates usin g data of 4 languages (and some of their varieties). The novelty of this study consists in the fact that the segmentation of the acoustic data (base...

Questions

Questions (4)
Question
I need to convert manually annotated IPA transcriptions into digital format. Does anybody know of an OCR system able to recognise IPA symbols (even just for English phonemes)?
Question
Does anybody know a free web service for creating simple tests running online and with audio? This can even just be a survey tool which lets you add audio. No reaction time is needed.
I know it is possible to do this easily in PHP+HTLM5, but I need a service that can be used by students who have no experience with programming...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The main aims of the project can be summarized as follows: to give a better picture of spoken English in its unity and diversity (geographical, social and stylistic); to test existing theoretical models in phonology, phonetics and sociolinguistics from a synchronic and diachronic point of view, making room for the systematic study of variation; to favour communication between specialists in speech and in phonological theory; to provide corpus-based data and analyses which will help improve the teaching of English as a foreign language.
Project
To investigate whether the orthographic forms (spellings) of second language sounds and words affect second language phonology, that is to say the production (pronunciation), perception and metaphonological awareness of second language speakers.