Past issues

2008-2Communiquer par la parole : des processus complexes
(Oral communication: complex processes)
Click the book to abstract!This issue has been put on line in its integrality on the Cairn portal:
  • Louis-Jean BOË, Hélène LŒVENBRUCK & Anne VILAIN (Grenoble)
    La communication parlée : développements récents de la recherche
    (Research in oral communication: recent developments)
    pp. 5-7
  • Jean-Luc SCHWARTZ, Marc SATO & Luciano FADIGA (Grenoble / Ferrara, Italie / Gênes, Italie)
    The common language of speech perception and action: a neurocognitive perspective
    pp. 9-22

    How do listeners extract phonetic information from the speech signal? More than 50 years after the appearance of the motor theory of speech perception, recent neurophysiological discoveries challenge the view that speech perception relies on purely auditory mechanisms and suggest that the motor system might also be crucial for speech comprehension. The aim of the present chapter is to review these findings in an attempt to define what could be the “common language of perception and action”.

  • Hélène LŒVENBRUCK, Anne VILAIN & Marion DOHEN (Grenoble)
    From gestural pointing to vocal pointing in the brain
    pp. 23-33

    Deixis, or pointing, is the ability to draw the viewer/listener’s attention to an object, a person, a direction or an event. Pointing is involved at different stages of human communication development, in multiple modalities: first with the eyes, then with the finger, then with intonation and finally with syntax. It is ubiquitous and probably universal in human interactions. The role of index-finger pointing in language acquisition suggests that it may be a precursor of vocal pointing or that vocal pointing may be grounded in the same cerebral network as gestural pointing.

  • Susanne FUCHS & Pascal PERRIER (Berlin, Allemagne / Grenoble)
    Understanding speech production: The PILIOS approach
    pp. 35-44

    Understanding and modeling biological and physical mechanisms underlying speech production helps understanding speech motor control and its link to linguistic structure. Two of our recent studies are presented to illustrate this methodological idea. In the first study a realistic biomechanical tongue model is used to explore comprehensively the possible tongue shapes in the mid-sagittal plane. It is shown that the main directions of the tongue deformation observed in different languages are not related to any specific control, but rather to biomechanical and anatomical facts. The second study addresses the ‘trough effect’ observed in tongue shapes for bilabial consonants in VCV sequences. It is suggested that the combined analysis of kinematic and electromyographic data allows questioning previous interpretations of the trough effect with respect to speech motor control.

  • Serge PINTO & Alain GHIO (Aix-Marseille)
    Troubles du contrôle moteur de la parole : contribution de l'étude des dysarthries et dysphonies à la compréhension de la parole normale
    (Disorders in motor control of speech: a contribution to the study of dysarthrias and dysphonias in normal speech comprehension)
    pp. 45-57

    If dysphonia is clearly identified as a phonation disorder, dysarthria is often wrongly restricted to an arthric impairment. Actually, dysarthria is a motor speech disorder, whose origin is a lesion of the central or peripheral nervous system; it involves various possible deteriorations during the motor execution of speech, which influence respiratory, phonatory, resonatory, articulatory, and prosodic aspects of speech production. The distinction between dysphonia and dysarthria based on which anatomical level is lesioned does not accurately explain the duality between these terms; on the other hand, a distinction rather based on the neurological origin of the disorder would seem more adapted to describe as precisely as possible the multiple dysfunctions of voice and speech. In fact, the study of dysarthric and dysphonic speech for the better understanding of normal speech represents an original approach, which considers speech disorder as a model of its own for speech investigation.

  • Louis-Jean BOË, Lucie MÉNARD, Jihène SERKHANE, Peter BIRKHOLZ, Bernd KRÖGER, Pierre BADIN, Guillaume CAPTIER, Mélanie CANAULT & Nicolas KIELWASSER (Grenoble)
    La croissance de l'instrument vocal : contrôle, modélisation, potentialités acoustiques et conséquences perceptives
    (Growth of the vocal instrument: control, modelisation, acoustic potential and their perceptive consequences)
    pp. 59-80

    In order to accurately follow the growth of the vocal tract and the speech articulators and to infer their motor control and acoustic potentialities, it is essential to have anatomic and physiologic data throughout ontogenesis, from gestation to adulthood. The morphogenesis of the vocal tract, which involves the bony structures, their development, and cranio-facial growth during ontogenesis, is far from linear. The new data provided by genetics help interpreting the process of bony growth and thus of vocal tract reshaping from fetus to adult. To predict the consequences of vocal tract growth on the first speech productions (proto-vocalic and proto-consonantal articulations, babbling), anthropomorphic articulatory models are developed based on articulatory data. The articulatory models can generate realistic acoustic stimuli, which enable the testing of hypotheses about adult and newborn perceptuo-motor processes. These articulatory models can provide phylogenetical cues to the debate around the emergence of speech. The study of vocal tract growth therefore constitutes a key experimental paradigm for speech research.

  • Barbara DAVIS, Sophie KERN, Anne VILAIN & Claire LALEVÉE (Austin, États-Unis / Grenoble)
    Des babils à Babel : les premiers pas de la parole
    (From babbling to Babel: first steps in speech development)
    pp. 81-91

    The first year of development of the human infant is a period during which speech perception and production capacities evolve with very distinct and asynchronous paths. While many studies about perception have revealed extremely precocious processing skills, speech production has been less explored, being a much less manageable field of research. We are reviewing here recent studies about the emergence of speech production capacities, and we will show how longitudinal as well as transversal data can bring out the anatomical and motor constraints that shape the first utterances of babies, and the strategies that these babies elaborate to utter their first linguistic units.

  • Séverine MILLOTTE (Genève, Suisse)
    Le jeune enfant à la découverte des mots
    (Young children discovering words)
    pp. 93-102

    Infants acquiring their native language have to learn, among other things, the words of this language. To this end, they have to extract word forms from the continuous speech stream, therefore they need to segment it. In a first section, we will show that several low-level cues, directly accessible through a surface analysis of the speech signal, may allow young infants to find words in sentences even before the end of their first year of life. In addition, infants have to assign a meaning to these phonological forms. In the second section, we will see that this task may be facilitated by syntactic knowledge. Once again, we will investigate the role of cues that are directly available in the speech signal, function words and prosodic cues.

  • Leonardo Maria SAVOIA & Elisabetta CARPITELLI (Florence, Italie / Grenoble)
    Problèmes de micro-variation phonologique dans les domaines dialectaux de l'Italie septentrionale
    (Problems in phonological micro-variation in dialects of Northern Italy)
    pp. 103-119

    Northern Italian varieties are usually divided by traditional dialectology into closed subgroups according to a rigid areal model based on isoglosses. From this viewpoint, the gallo-italian subgroup is considered a well defined and compact set, separated not only from Southern Italian varieties but also from Northern dialects of Venetia and the Rheto-roman domain. The detailed analysis of fieldwork data the micro-variation approach needs, together with an appropriate phonological theory – in this case, Government Phonology – allows to describe, in an unitary framework, a lot of processes often considered heterogeneous and independent. This perspective reveals unexpected convergences between dialects whose similarities could be made opaque in a taxonomical and historical comparative approach.

  • Gérard BAILLY, Frédéric ELISEI & Stephan RAIDT (Grenoble)
    Boucles de perception-action et interaction face-à-face
    (Perception-action loops and face-to-face interaction)
    pp. 121-131

    This article investigates a blossoming research field: face-to-face communication. The performance and the robustness of the technological components that are necessary to the implementation of face-to-face interaction systems between a human being and a conversational agent – vocal technologies, computer vision, image synthesis, dialogue comprehension and generation, etc. – have now come to maturity. We draw a sketch for a research program centred on the modelling of the many perception-action loops that are involved in the interaction processing and on the dynamic settings of these loops by the many comprehension levels concerning the scene in which human beings, robots and animated conversational agents will inevitably be immersed.

Book reviews
  • On ne parle pas franglais. La langue française face à l'anglais, de P. Bogaards
    par H. Huot
    pp. 133-134