Chilin Shih

East Asian Languages and Cultures
The Beckman Institute
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Publications Courses Language Resources

I joined UIUC in 2003. I am affiliated with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Department of Linguistics, and the Beckman Institute. My work is inter-disciplinary in nature: It is situated in the intersection of linguistics, speech technologies and language teaching.

Text-To-Speech Systems

Before joining UIUC in 2003, I have worked for ten years on multilingual text-to-speech systems at Bell Laboratories, analyzing multilingual prosodic systems and building models to predict prosody from text, including intonation models and duration models. I have built text-to-speech systems in many languages: Mandarin, Romanian, Russian, Hindi, Greek and Navajo. I also worked on some components of Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.

Prosody Tutor

Learning the prosody of a second language is a difficult task. Language learners of Chinese have difficulty acquiring the lexical tones of Chinese, correcting hyper-articulation and expressing paralinguistic meaning in combination with tones. I am building a Prosody Tutor under an NSF grant to address these problems. The Prosody Tutor uses an adaptive approach to prosody tutoring and adjusts teaching materials automatically according to students' previous responses.

Second Language Fluency Evaluation

Are you fluent in a second language? What is fluency and how do native speakers rank it? We employed a multidisciplinary approach that integrates psycholinguistic models of language production, speech and language technology and machine learning methods to investigate the factors affecting second language fluency, the acoustic correlates of fluency, the perception of fluency, the evaluation of fluency and how these findings may enhance second language fluency development. This project is based on data collected from the creative output paradigm that I implemented in the third year and fourth year Chinese language classes at UIUC, where the curriculum centers around public speaking training exercises such as debates, interviews, and speeches.

The Arctic Articulatory Project

The Arctic Articulatory Project is a long-term effort where I plan to collect articulatory movement data using EMA (Electromagnetic Articulograph AG500).