Mirjam Broersma


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Simulating Spanish-English Code-Switching: El Modelo Está Generating Code-Switches
Chara Tsoukala | Stefan L. Frank | Antal van den Bosch | Jorge Valdés Kroff | Mirjam Broersma
Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics

Multilingual speakers are able to switch from one language to the other (“code-switch”) between or within sentences. Because the underlying cognitive mechanisms are not well understood, in this study we use computational cognitive modeling to shed light on the process of code-switching. We employed the Bilingual Dual-path model, a Recurrent Neural Network of bilingual sentence production (Tsoukala et al., 2017), and simulated sentence production in simultaneous Spanish-English bilinguals. Our first goal was to investigate whether the model would code-switch without being exposed to code-switched training input. The model indeed produced code-switches even without any exposure to such input and the patterns of code-switches are in line with earlier linguistic work (Poplack,1980). The second goal of this study was to investigate an auxiliary phrase asymmetry that exists in Spanish-English code-switched production. Using this cognitive model, we examined a possible cause for this asymmetry. To our knowledge, this is the first computational cognitive model that aims to simulate code-switched sentence production.


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The Demo / Kemo Corpus: A Principled Approach to the Study of Cross-cultural Differences in the Vocal Expression and Perception of Emotion
Martijn Goudbeek | Mirjam Broersma
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'10)

This paper presents the Demo / Kemo corpus of Dutch and Korean emotional speech. The corpus has been specifically developed for the purpose of cross-linguistic comparison, and is more balanced than any similar corpus available so far: a) it contains expressions by both Dutch and Korean actors as well as judgments by both Dutch and Korean listeners; b) the same elicitation technique and recording procedure was used for recordings of both languages; c) the same nonsense sentence, which was constructed to be permissible in both languages, was used for recordings of both languages; and d) the emotions present in the corpus are balanced in terms of valence, arousal, and dominance. The corpus contains a comparatively large number of emotions (eight) uttered by a large number of speakers (eight Dutch and eight Korean). The counterbalanced nature of the corpus will enable a stricter investigation of language-specific versus universal aspects of emotional expression than was possible so far. Furthermore, given the carefully controlled phonetic content of the expressions, it allows for analysis of the role of specific phonetic features in emotional expression in Dutch and Korean.