SPREI: Speech Production Research and Education Initiative

The Speech Production Research and Education Initiative was funded by the Graduate College of the University of Illinois, as part of its Focal Point program, for the purpose of creating a multi-college conversation on the subject of speech production science, technology, clinical practice, and education. This Focal Point Project is a forum that facilitates the study of speech production by connecting many labs and providing students with an integrated view of this topic.

Speech production is a complicated process that starts with cognition as a speaker makes a plan for speech, and follows with muscle commands in which a speaker controls breathing and muscle movements for articulation. In the process, the speaker continuously monitors her speech output and make adjustments. We speak easily and tend to take the system for granted not realizing its importance to health, science, society and the economy. The application of speech knowledge encompasses speech disorders, language preservation, effective language learning, and speech technologies for economic and security applications. Students who are currently being trained in these important research areas need to navigate cross-disciplinary topics to become a new generation of educators in the university, clinic and market-place.

SPREI is the initiator of two key activities in support of multi-college conversation:

  • The course Speech Production Research Education Initiative gave its participating students hands-on experience with EMA, EPG, EGG, pressure and airflow transduction, and a variety of labial and tongue force transducers.
  • The Speech Production Workshop will bring researchers from many colleges and universities together on May 5-6 in order to address problems of statistical and physiological data analysis arising from speech production research.