Universiteit van Amsterdam

Neural network models for articulatory gestures

Satellite workshop at LabPhon 17


Articulation has been formalised as dynamic articulatory gestures, i.e., a target-driven pattern of articulator movements (e.g., Browman & Goldstein, 1986). Such a pattern unfolds in time and space and could therefore also be seen as a spatial sequence of analytically relevant articulatory landmarks such as timepoint of peak velocity and target achievement. Seeing such sequences as sequences of vectors (of spatial coordinates) make them potentially learnable with algorithms for sequence modelling.

Current developments of machine learning offer greatly improved power for sequence learning and prediction. Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) or their extension Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM, Hochreiter & Schmidhuber, 1997) allows efficient training over short and even long time intervals (Gers, Schraudolph & Schmidhuber, 2002). Such networks have been used for acoustic modelling, but their application in articulation research has been mainly been limited to ultrasound data, and applied less to the classification of two-dimensional articulator movement curves as obtained from EMA or ROI analyses of MRI data.

However, promising approaches to acoustics-to-EMA mapping tentatively suggest that articulatory movement allow meaningful modelling using deep neural networks (e.g., Liu et al., 2005, Chartier et al., 2018)

This workshop aims at bringing together researchers interested in such modelling and to foster research collaborations (also sharing of datasets) . Possible topics for papers are:


Tomas O Lentz, University of Amsterdam (lentz at uva dot nl) and Marianne Pouplier, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (pouplier at phonetik dot uni-muenchen dot de)


Note: Due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, both the main conference and our satellite will go virtual instead of taking place in Vancouver. This workshop therefore offers three pre-recorded presentations of 30 minutes, available during (and through) the main LabPhon conference, and one online discussion session.

Presentations (prerecorded)

Note: recorded 30 minute presentations will be made available online through the main conference infrastructure before the main conference starts.

Discussion session (live, using Zoom)

You can send questions on the presentations, or discussion topics, to the organizers (details see above), or ask them in person to the presenters at the online session. Please register for both the main conference and our workshop to be kept up to date and to receive further information (e.g., the Zoom link) for the discussion session.

Date and time

9th of July, 2020, (used to be 1:30pm-17:00pm) changed to 12:45pm-1:30pm (Vancouver time)


If you attend LabPhon 17, you can attend this workshop for free. Please register using this form.