December 1-3 2019

University of Southern Denmark - Campus Sønderborg

Alsion 2

David Abercrombie stated in his seminal Elements of General Phonetics (1967) that speech is essentially "movements made audible" and he continues with showing, throughout his book, that "an air stream [...] is the basis of the whole of the sound, in all its variety, of human speech" (p.24).
Communication is inextricably linked with the generation of voice (in humans and other mammals). Breathing is the basis for this voice generation, and communication rests on a complex pattern of voicing, breathing and non-voicing, i.e. pausing. Therefore, breathing, pausing, and the voice together form the basis for all phonetic and phonological aspects of language.

Advancements in the analysis of interactions and dialogues (both human-human and human-machine), technological developments such as the Respiratory Inductance Plethysmograph (RIP), and the growing interest in social prosody have led to many new insights on how, for example, breathing and speech are coordinated, how systematically and diversely the voice is used in communication and in different speaking styles, how pauses and the perception of (dis)fluent speech are related, and how precisely pauses are prepared, indicated prosodically, and timed with turn-yielding and turn-taking.

The 1st International Seminar on the Foundations of Speech (SEFOS) will be the first event dedicated to the energetic mechanisms, states, and patterns of communication as well as to the multifaceted coloring and communicative functions of the voice. SEFOS aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines, such as phonetics, phonology, psychology, medicine, acoustics, speech technology, and computer linguistics.


Keynote speakers


Plínio A. Barbosa

Dept. of Linguistics, Institute for Language Studies, University of Campinas, Brazil
Stylistic and cross-linguistic differences in the prosodic organization of breathing, stressing, and pausing


Jens Edlund

Edlúnd, Ph.D.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Dept. of Speech, Music and Hearing

Breathing in interaction between humans and between humans, machines and robots


Donna Erickson 

Kanazawa Medical University, Solific Sophia University, Haskins Laboratories
Donna Erickson, Ph.D.


Voice: A multifaceted finely-tuned instrument for any occasion and culture


Call for papers

We invite contributions on all the various aspects of breathing, pausing, and the voice. Reflecting the cross-disciplinary nature of these fields of research, we are particularly pleased about submissions from the entire speech sciences and beyond, i.e., for example, medicine, rhetoric, technology, music, and zoology.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • acoustic and physiological analyses of speech breathing

  • breathing, pausing, and phonation patterns under different mental, emotional, physical conditions

  • pathological/clinical aspects of breathing, pausing, and the voice, including pain.

  • personality traits (including attractiveness), speaking styles, and their links to breathing, pausing, and the voice

  • breathing, pausing, and/or voice patterns in human-machine-interaction and speech technology in general

  • interrelations between breathing, pausing, and the voice

  • interrelations with other features of prosody, such as F0 and intensity

  • silent, fluent, and disfluent pauses, hesitation phenomena

  • breathing, pausing and interaction, turn-taking, discourse control

  • forms and functions of voice quality in communication

  • singing and its relation to phonation and breathing

  • new technological or methodological development on the analysis of breathing, pausing, and the voice

  • recourses and corpora



to be announced!

8:00 - 23:55
to be announced!


Main sponsor

Registration opens 1st of july

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