Ohio Speaks

Get Involved!


We at OhioSpeaks seek to include undergraduates in the research process. There is evidence that when content is familiar to students they have increased comprehension and long-term retention of material increases if meaningful associations can be made between students’ existing knowledge and experiences and content. Because our research questions deal with the undergraduate experience at OSU, you are in an excellent position to provide data, and insights, and in turn our research may tell you something about yourself, and your fellow students.

Ohio Speaks students are not only research subjects, you also get to see later steps in the research process, to give you a better idea of what scientific research is. You will work with your own data, or be presented the results of our analysis of your data.

After you participate in modules, you will be asked if you would like to include your data in the OhioSpeaks corpus. If you do not consent to include your data, you will still be able to participate in the analysis and presentation of results.

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Joining the team


There are a few different ways that undergraduates can join the OhioSpeaks team. One way is to take our course Language and Identity among OSU Students (Linguistics 3604). Students in the course help select a subset of the larger research question to tackle over the course of the semester. Students receive hands-on training in both the practical and theoretical aspects of the sociolinguistic research process and collect real data.


Another way to get involved, ideally after you've taken the course, is through an RAship. RAs are more advanced students who work directly with the research team processing and analyzing data, designing and piloting modules and helping to shape the research program.

For more information about these opportunities, please email us at ohiospeaks@ling.osu.edu.

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What does OhioSpeaks teach?

There are currently OhioSpeaks modules in the following courses:

  • Analyzing the Sounds of Language (LING 2051)
  • Language, Sex, and Gender (LING 2367.01)
  • Language and Advertising (LING 2367.02)
  • Language Across Cultures (LING 3603)
  • Introduction to Language in the Humanities (LING 2000)
  • Spanish Pronunciation (SPAN 3404)

We are always open to developing new modules. Do you have a research question you’d like to use OhioSpeaks to examine? E-mail us at ohiospeaks@ling.osu.edu!

How can OHS help my course?

Technical Tools

OhioSpeaks is able to process language data quickly and (reasonably!) accurately thanks to some great technical tools developed elsewhere:

  • We are able to process a wide range of audio files thanks to mplayer, which converts them to WAV files.
  • We then feed the sound files and the text read into the Penn Forced Aligner.
  • We extract information on duration, f0 and formants using scripts written in Praat.
  • If you don’t want to manage these systems on your own, you might want to consider using Penn's Forced Aligner and Vowel Extraction (FAVE).
  • We normalize, analyse and plot these values using R.
  • If we want help normalizing and plotting vowel data, we use NORM.

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