[Elsnet-list] CfP: ParaLing'07: Paralinguistic Speech - between models and data

Marc Schröder schroed at dfki.de
Fri Dec 1 13:50:02 CET 2006

(apologies if you receive this more than once)

          ParaLing'07: International workshop on
     "Paralinguistic speech - between models and data"
             Thursday 2 - Friday 3 August 2007
                   Saarbrücken, Germany

                  in association with the
     16th International Conference on Phonetic Sciences,
           Saarbrücken, Germany, 6-10 August 2007

Summary of the call for participation

This two-day workshop is concerned with the general area of paralinguistic
speech, and will place special emphasis on attempts to narrow the gap
between "models" (usually built making strong simplifying assumptions) and
"real data" (usually showing a high degree of complexity).

Papers are invited in a broad range of topics related to paralinguistic
speech. Papers can be submitted for oral or poster presentation; acceptance
for oral presentation is more likely for papers that explicitly address the
general theme of the workshop, i.e. "bridging" issues.

There are at least two different versions of bridging: a weak one and a
strong one. The weak, more modest one aims at a better mutual
understanding, the strong one at profiting from each other's work. We do
not know yet whether after these two days, we really will be able to profit
from each other in our own work; however, we do hope that we will have
reached a level of mutual understanding that will make future co-operation


Research on various aspects of paralinguistic and extralinguistic speech
has gained considerable importance in recent years. On the one hand, models
have been proposed for describing and modifying voice quality and prosody
related to factors such as emotional states or personality. Such models
often start with high-intensity states (e.g., full-blown emotions) in clean
lab speech, and are difficult to generalise to everyday speech. On the
other hand, systems have been built to work with moderate states in
real-world data, e.g. for the recognition of speaker emotion, age, or
gender. Such models often rely on statistical methods, and are not
necessarily based on any theoretical models.

While both research traditions are obviously valid and can be justified by
their different aims, it seems worth asking whether there is anything they
can learn from each other. For example: "Can models become more robust by
incorporating methods used for dealing with real-world data?"; "Can
recognition rates be improved by including ideas from theoretical models?";
"How would a database need to be structured so that it can be used for
both, research on model-based synthesis and research on recognition?" etc.

While the workshop will be open to any kind of research on paralinguistic
speech, the workshop structure will support the presentation and creation
of cross-links in several ways:

- papers with an explicit contribution to cross-linking issues will
stand a higher chance to be accepted as oral papers;
- sessions and proceedings will include space for peer comments and
answers from authors;
- poster sessions will be organised around cross-cutting issues rather
than traditional research fields, where possible.

We therefore encourage prospective participants to place their research
into a wider perspective. This can happen in many ways; as illustrations,
we outline two possible approaches.

1. In application-oriented research, such as synthesis or recognition, a
guiding principle could be the requirements of the "ideal" application: for
example, the recognition of finely graded shades of emotions, for all
speakers in all situations; or fully natural-sounding synthesis with freely
specifiable expressivity; etc. This perspective is likely to highlight the
hard problems of today's state of the art, and a cross-cutting perspective
may lead to innovative approaches yielding concrete steps to reduce the
distance towards the "ideal".

2. A second illustration of attaining a wider perspective would be to
attempt to cross-link work in generative modelling (e.g., expressive speech
synthesis) and analysis (e.g., recognition of expressivity from
speech). Researchers on generation are invited to investigate the relevance
of their work for analysis, and vice versa. What methodologies, corpora or
descriptive inventories exist that could be shared between analysis and
generation, or at least mapped onto each other? If certain parameters have
proven to be relevant in one area, to what degree is it possible to
transfer them to the other area? Issues of relevance in this area may
include, among other things, personalisation, speaker dependency
vs. independency, links between voice conversion in synthesis and speaker
calibration in (automatic) recognition or (human) perception, etc.


Paper are invited in all areas related to paralinguistic speech,
including, but not limited, to the following topics:

- prosody of paralinguistic speech

- voice quality and paralinguistic speech

- synthesis of paralinguistic speech (model-based, data-driven, ...)

- recognition/classification of paralinguistic properties of speech

- analysis of paralinguistic speech (acoustics, physiology, ...)

- assessment and perception of paralinguistic speech

- typology of paralinguistic speech (emotion, expression, attitude,
physical states, ...)

While all papers must be related to paralinguistic speech, papers
making the link with a related area, e.g. investigating the interaction
of the speech signal with the meaning of the verbal content, are
explicitly welcome.

1st call for papers                          1 December 2006
2nd call for papers                          1 February 2007
Deadline for full-paper submission          15 April (strict deadline!)
Notification of acceptance                   1 June
Final version of accepted papers            15 June
Workshop                                   2-3 August 2007


The workshop will take place at DFKI on the campus of Saarland
University, Germany; on the same campus, the International Conference
of Phonetic Sciences will take place during the following week.

Workshop registration fees: To be calculated, but will be around ~150 EUR


The workshop will consist of oral and poster presentations. Submitted
papers will stand a higher chance of being accepted as oral presentations
when the relevance to the workshop theme is evident.

Final submissions should be 6 pages long, and must be in English.
Word+Latex+OpenOffice templates will be made available on the workshop


Marc Schröder, DFKI GmbH, Saarbrücken, Germany
Anton Batliner, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Christophe d'Alessandro, LIMSI, Paris, France


Noam Amir, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Véronique Aubergé, ICP, Grenoble, France
Tanja Bänziger, U. Geneva, Switzerland
Louis ten Bosch, U. Nijmegen, Netherlands
Felix Burkhardt, T-Systems, Germany
Nick Campbell, ATR, Tokyo, Japan
Roddy Cowie, QUB, Belfast, UK
Laurence Devillers, Limsi, France
Ellen Douglas-Cowie, QUB, Belfast, UK
Thierry Dutoit, Mons, Belgium
Raul Fernandez, IBM, USA
Christer Gobl, TCD, Dublin, Ireland
Julia Hirschberg, Columbia University, USA
Hideki Kawahara, Wakayama University, Japan
Jody Kreiman, UCLA, USA
Sacha Krstulovic, DFKI, Germany
Diane Litman, U. Pittsburgh, USA
Parham Mokhtari, ATR, Tokyo, Japan
Roger Moore, U. Sheffield, UK
Christian Müller, ICSI, Berkeley, USA
Thierry Moudenc, France Telecom, France
Shrikanth Narayanan, UCLA, USA
Elmar Nöth, U. Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Björn Schuller, Tech. Univ. Munich, Germany
Izhak Shafran, OGI, Portland, USA
Elizabeth Shriberg, SRI, Menlo Park, USA
Jianhua Tao, Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China
Jürgen Trouvain, U. Saarland, Germany
Enrico Zovato, Loquendo, Italy

Dr. Marc Schröder, Senior Researcher
DFKI GmbH, Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Here. Now. Real, first-person experience. Am I there to witness it?

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