Copenhagen Speech Event in Denmark

[Note: This post was published in August 2015 but has been dated in order to reflect the actual timing of the events described here.]

In March, 2013, I had the chance to join the Copenhagen Speech Event in Denmark. This was actually a pair of conferences, SJUSK 2013 and ExAPP 2013 in succession. I was a great trip, though extremely cold: When visiting the little mermaid statue, I took off my gloves for one minute to take a photo, but couldn't feel them again for nearly half an hour.

Anyway, at the conference, I talked about the current status of the corpus analysis, which continues to support the idea that in order to properly interpret the second language behavior of speakers, we need to have information about their first language speech performance (slides here).  There were several other good talks on related topics of hesitation phenomena and other topics of degraded speech (what is apparently called 'sjusk' in Danish). I was particularly interested in a talk by Kapranov from Stockholm University who looked at silent pause distribution in EFL speech. He basically found a bimodal distribution suggesting a distinction between shorter and longer pauses.  Also, for reasons other than hesitation phenomena, I was especially interested in a talk by Hougaard about an accessible and searchable database of news videos with aligned transcripts (NewsScape).  I think this would make it much easier to find language samples for teaching.