[Elsnet-list] 2nd CfP: ParaLing'07: Paralinguistic Speech - between models and data

Marc Schröder schroed at dfki.de
Thu Feb 1 13:25:10 CET 2007

(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

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"

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 easier.


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		Chinese Academy of Sciences, 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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