Voices of Berkeley

As a part of the On the Same Page program, new freshmen and transfer students in the UC Berkeley incoming class of 2011 were invited to participate in a phonetic research project. The project used tools of automatic speech recognition and acoustic phonetics to explore the phonetic diversity of the incoming class. This project provided researchers with a valuable snap-shot of speech patterns at Cal in 2011, which we hope to compare to future snapshots at Cal and perhaps also at other universities. Check the stats page for a report on how many students participated in the project.

The class map lets you listen to students from all over California, the US, and the world. About 90% of the students who participated in the project consented to have their recordings posted on the map. Each participant is represented by a map marker pinned to his/her home town, with the audio files linked to the marker.

The voice match page uses technology from automatic speech recognition to find voices that are similar to each other. It will pick a random participant and show similar voices to that person. As more voices are added the matches are updated, so come back often!

On the vowel space page you can see an acoustic analysis of of the vowel sounds of participants and read about our analysis strategy.

Geeking out

Students were also invited to geek out by participating in a set of follow-up experiments.

The levels of Language

"Voices of Berkeley" is a phonetics project. It focuses on the sounds of language - such as voice similarity, and acoustic properties of vowels. This is obviously a small corner of the linguistic world. Linguists study language at many different levels, including the patterns found in sentences and words, the use of language in society, the change of language over time, and the mental organization of language. Visit the Department of Linguistics for more information about Linguistics studies at Berkeley.