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Tongue control and its implication in pronunciation training

Slim Ouni 1
1 PAROLE - Analysis, perception and recognition of speech
Inria Nancy - Grand Est, LORIA - NLPKD - Department of Natural Language Processing & Knowledge Discovery
Abstract : Pronunciation training based on speech production techniques illustrating tongue movements is gaining popularity. However, there is not sufficient evidence that learners can imitate some tongue animation. In this paper, we argue that although controlling tongue movement related to speech is not such an easy task, training with visual feedback improves its control. We investigated human awareness of controlling their tongue body gestures. In a first experiment, participants were asked to perform some tongue movements composed of two sets of gestures. This task was evaluated by observing ultrasound imaging of the tongue recorded during the experiment. No feedback was provided. In a second experiment, a short session of training was added where participants can observe ultrasound imaging in real time of their own tongue movements. The goal was to increase their awareness of their tongue gestures. A pretest and posttest were carried out without any feedback. The results suggest that without a priori knowledge, it is not easy to finely control tongue body gestures. The second experiment showed that we gained in performance after a short training session and this suggests that providing visual feedback, even a short one, improves tongue gesture awareness.
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Slim Ouni. Tongue control and its implication in pronunciation training. Computer Assisted Language Learning, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2014, 27 (5), pp.439-453. ⟨10.1080/09588221.2012.761637⟩. ⟨hal-00834554⟩

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