Workshop "Modeling variability in speech"

Date & Location

October 1st-2nd, Stuttgart, Germany


Antje Schweitzer & Grzegorz Dogil, for the Stuttgart Collaborative Research Center "Incremental Specification in Context" (SFB 732), funded by the DFG.

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The final program is online (see below)! 

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This two-day workshop is aimed at bringing together data-driven research on segmental and prosodic variability and model-driven research including computational modeling and simulations of such variability.

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Recent years have seen an increased interest in segmental and prosodic variation. With regard to production for instance, a shift in experimental data towards more natural or more spontaneous speech has led to greater awareness of variability triggered by coarticulation and reduction.
In perception, studies have observed not only considerable ambiguity in classification, underlining the importance of context in speech perception, but even a remarkable plasticity of ostensibly established category boundaries.
At the same time, computational approaches have shed light on particular aspects of speech production and perception, for example on category formation.

This workshop will explore both segmental and prosodic variability from a variety of perspectives, including a computational one, with a particular focus on addressing the following questions: How does variability inform our understanding of phonological theory and mental representations? In what way can computational methodologies provide further insights into the causes and effects of variability? How does variability impact upon our ability to acquire language, and to learn subsequent languages? What is the role of synchronic variability in language change?

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Invited Speakers

We are happy to welcome the following speakers 


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Important Dates

Deadline for Submission: June 10th, 2015
Notification of Acceptance: July 10th, 2015
Registration: September 10th, 2015
Workshop: October 1-2nd, 2015

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Topics & Call for Papers

We invite oral and/or poster presentations. Please send abstracts (non-anonymous, one page, PDF format) to by June 10th, 2015.

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • mental representations and their role in variation
  • modeling variability in speech production
  • simulation as a means to investigate variation
  • variability and learnability in acquisition (L1 and L2)
  • social and psychological factors in prosodic and segmental variation
  • variability in perception of speech and tone
  • language variability and language change
  • the dimensions of variability in prosody

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Talks and poster sessions are scheduled from 9:30h to 17:00h (Thursday) and from 9:30h to 16:00 (Friday). There will be a tutorial from 17:00h to 18:00h on Thursday.

See the detailed program for more information.



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There will be no registration fee, but we ask participants to confirm their attendance in advance because space will be limited.

The deadline for registering has passed. If you would like to attend anyway, please write to and we will check if we can accommodate more participants. 

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Information for presenters

Oral sessions

We will have 30 minute-slots for oral talks: 20 minutes for the talk itself; 8 minutes for discussion, and 2 minutes for handing over to the next speaker.

Poster sessions

The ideal format for our poster boards is A0 portrait; however it is also possible to attach A0 landscape posters to the boards.

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Organizing Committee

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The workshop will be hosted by the Institute of Natural Language Processing (IMS) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

The IMS is situated in the Forschungszentrum Informatik (FZI) on the campus in Vaihingen.

Public transportation

The IMS can be reached by public transport (S-Bahn) from the city center (lines S1, S2, S3; S-Bahn stop "Universität", 10 minutes from main station). Trains go every 10 minutes during the day, every 5 minutes during rush hour.

Timetable information

If you get lost, you could also order a taxi by phone (0711/566061).

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We've arranged special rates with hotels nearby. Take your pick!
Since the workshop takes place during the "Wasen" (Stuttgart's Oktoberfest), booking early is advisable.

Hotel Unger

  • located directly in the city center, very close to the main station, many tourist attractions and the main shopping areas
  • just few steps from the train station to travel to the university. Trains to IMS take 10 minutes, and run every 5 to 10 minutes until past midnight
  • single room 101,- including breakfast Double room 131,- including breakfast
  • rooms reserved until Sep 2, 6 p.m.
  • reference code for booking: "Variability Workshop"

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 Hotel am Feuersee

  • small hotel at scenic location, just across the street from the Johannes cathedral and a little park with a nice pond, the Feuersee
  • very close to train station "Feuersee", which is two stops (4 minutes) from the main station and two stops (6 minutes) from the university campus and IMS
  • within walking distance from city center and a number of tourist attractions
  • trains to and from main station every 3 to 5 minutes, trains to and from IMS every 5 to 10 minutes, until past midnight
  • single room 85,- incl. breakfast
  • rooms reserved until Aug 15
  • reference code for booking: "Variability Workshop"

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Commundo Tagungshotel

  • business hotel located on the university campus, directly next to the IMS, where the workshop will take place
  • trains from the main station to the hotel and IMS take 10 minutes, and run every 5 to 10 minutes until past midnight
  • alking distance from train station "University" to hotel 3 minutes
  • no nearby tourist attractions
  • single room 109,- including breakfast
  • rooms reserved until Sep 16
  • reference code for booking: "Variability Workshop"

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Businesshotel & Appartements Stuttgart-Vaihingen

  • business hotel at convenient location close to Vaihingen train station, which is approx. 15 minutes from the Stuttgart main station, and just two stops (4 minutes) from the university campus and IMS
  • trains to main station and IMS every 5 to 10 minutes until past midnight
  • single room 79,-
  • rooms reserved until Sep 15
  • reference code for booking: "Variability Workshop"

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Hotel Römerhof, Stuttgart-Vaihingen

  • convenient location within walking distance to IMS (15 minutes) and train station "University" (11 minutes)
  • trains to and from main station every 5 to 10 minutes until past midnight
  • only a small number of rooms allotted to workshop participants
  • judging by customer reviews, the rooms are only ok, but the food is great...
  • single room 77,- incl. breakfast Double room 95,- incl. breakfast
  • very few rooms (!) reserved until Aug 28, 12:00 pm
  • reference code for booking: "Variability Workshop"

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Find us on the Sociolinguistic Events Calendar.