LARC Brown Bag – Digital Talking Books

LSA Secretary Sara Kazemi gave a presentation creating Digital Talking Books (DTBs) using Dolphin Publisher as a part of LARC’s weekly Brown Bag series in the integration of technology with education. LARC is in the process of creating DTBs for foreign language learners, and as a Graduate Assistant at the lab, Sara has produced a Farsi-language DTB using simplified stories of the ancient set of epics, Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh. At the end of the presentation, she shares this DTB to demonstrate what a finished project produced by Dolphin Publisher might look like. Also showcased in an iOS mobile app that is capable of reading these project files, Read2Go.

The presentation was also broadcast over the web using Blackboard collaborate and the recorded archive file may be viewed here.

Anyone who is interested in producing DTBs for educational purposes (e.g. for a foreign language or an ESL class) is welcome to come to the LARC and use our licensed version of Dolphin Publisher to do so. We are currently investigating the prospect of a multi-user educational license for the Read2Go mobile app and are currently searching for a comparable Android OS app. If you have any questions, you can contact Sara.

General Meeting with Presentation by Dr. Bigham

Dr. Bigham’s Presentation

During this meeting, the prime focus was to provide students with a notion of the type of research that is conducted by our new faculty member, Dr. Douglas Bigham. Five recurring (and sometimes co-occurring) themes in Dr. Bigham’s research:

  • Dialect Contact – What happens when people speakers of different dialect varieties speak with one another?
  • Accommodation – People tend to shift certain aspects of the way they speak (e.g. phonology, rate of speech, syntax) to be more consistent with that of their speaking partner.
  • Queer Linguistics – Recognizing sexuality as an important component of linguistic identity in addition to the standard male/female gender dichotomy widely focused upon in past linguistics studies.
  • Performance Speech – Using performance (via sock puppets) to elicit salient vocal features in linguistic identities that might not otherwise arise in free speech.
  • Emerging Adulthood – A stage of life between adolescence and early adulthood. Described as a period of time during which people’s lives are mutable, undetermined, free, transient. Language interaction among emerging adults exhibit features that are a departure from Standard Linguistic Theory.

You can read more about his current and planned projects on the handout he distributed during the meeting and by visiting his website. Last, Dr. Bigham told us about Popular Linguistics Magazine, an online magazine he began as an effort to clarify and explain linguistic concepts, theories, and research to the public. If you have any interest in writing an article for Popular Linguistics, you should take a look at the submission guide.


Now that the T-shirt design has been determined, we will be able to send the design to the T-shirt screeners and find out the actual cost of production and how much we should charge per shirt. An e-mail with instructions on how to order T-shirts will be sent out soon.

Halloween Party

There will be a Halloween costume party at our LSA President’s house in the Hillcrest area on the Friday preceding Halloween (October 28). The party will begin at 9:30 PM. You must dress up or else we will make you tag our corpora. Please, bring your own beverages and some tasty snacks. The exact address of the party will go out over the LSA mailing list with the official invite.