dhr. dr. B.G. (Bart) de Boer


About Bart de Boer

Bart de Boer works at the institute of phonetic sciences on the NWO-vidi project modelling the evolution of speech . Some information about this project can be found on the other pages of this site. Older information and a more complete publication list can be found on his personal page at the artificial intelligence laboratory of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Course: Evolution of Speech

This course is a master's course for students of artificial intelligence and of phonetics.
After following the course, students will have a basic knowledge of the background information of the evolution of speech, and will have studied a number of example computer models of the evolution of speech.
In order to make the course accessible to students from different backgrounds, variants with stronger or weaker focus on computer modeling can be given.

Research: Modeling the evolution of Speech

I investigate the evolution of speech and I use computer models for this purpose. With speech I mean the acoustic signals that are used for communicating language . However, in order to understand evolution it is also sometimes necessary to look at acoustic signals that are not used for language (such as involuntary vocalizations by humans, or animal vocalizations). It is also sometimes necessary to look at non-acoustic signals that are used for language, such as sign language.
Evolution in this project is mostly biological evolution : slow change over the generations of the genetic endowment for using speech. Another type of evolution that occurs in language is cultural evolution, which results in language change. This type of evolution isstudied less directly in this project (at the moment). However, it is clear that the evolution of speech and language can only be understood as a complex interaction between cultural and biological factors.
As evolution is a complex process, computer simulations can be helpful in investigating it. In this project two types of simulation are used: acoustic simulations of vocal tracts and agent-based simulations of interactions in a population of language users. At the moment, the focus of the research is on modeling the vocal tracts of apes and hypothetical human ancestors, but as soon as good models are available, agent-based simulations will be based on them.
This project is funded by a Vidi-grant from the NWO.

LSA 2008 presentation

2013

  • T. Verhoef, S. Kirby & B.G. de Boer (2013). Combinatorial structure and iconicity in artificial whistled languages. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics (pp. 3669-3674). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

  • G. Kootstra, A. Nederveen & B. de Boer (2008). Paying attention to symmetry. In M. Everingham, C.J. Needham & R. Fraile (Eds.), Proceedings of the British Machine Vision Conference 2008 (pp. 1115-1125). Leeds: British Machine Vision Association.
  • B. de Boer (2008). The joy of sacs. In A.D.M. Smith, K. Smith & R. Ferrer i Cancho (Eds.), The evolution of language : proceedings of the 7th International Conference (EVOLANG7), Barcelona, Spain, 12-15 March 2008 (pp. 215-216). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..

2007

  • L. Steels & B.G. de Boer (2007). Embodiment and self-organization of human categories : a case study for speech. In T. Ziemke, J. Zlatev & R.M. Frank (Eds.), Body, Language and Mind I: Embodiment (Cognitive Linguistics Research, 1) (pp. 241-259). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

2013

  • W.H. Zuidema & B.G. de Boer (2013). Modeling in the language sciences. In R.J. Podesva & D. Sharma (Eds.), Research Methods in Linguistics (pp. 428-445). Cambridge University Press.

2012

  • B. de Boer (2012). Infant-directed speech and language evolution. In M. Tallerman & K.R. Gibson (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of language evolution (Oxford handbooks in linguistics) (pp. 322-327). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • B. de Boer (2012). Self-organization and language evolution. In M. Tallerman & K.R. Gibson (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of language evolution (Oxford handbooks in linguistics) (pp. 612-620). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2011

2010

  • M. Schoonhoven, R. Pfau & B. de Boer (2010). Colors on hands: phonological markedness of sign language color terms. In D. Brentari, R. Wilbur, D. Quinto-Pozos, G. Mathur, S. Adams & S. Neumann Solow (Eds.), Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research 10: research methodologies in sign language linguistics (TISLR 10), September 30-October 2, 2010: Purdue University, Stewart Center, West Lafayette, Indiana (pp. 173-175). West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University.

2009

  • B. de Boer (2009). [Review of the book The origin of speech]. Lingua, 119(7), 1106-1109.
  • B. de Boer & W. Zuidema (2009). Models of language evolution: does the math add up? (Preprints, ILLC preprint series, no PP-2009-49). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, Institute of Logic, Language and Computation.

2008

  • B. de Boer (2008). Modeling the acoustics of air sacs. In S. Heimlich & D. Mellinger (Eds.), Acoustic Communication by Animals: Second International Conference : extended abstracts (pp. 47-48). Corvallis, OR (USA): Oregon State University.
  • B. de Boer (2008). Acoustic tubes with maximal and minimal resonance frequencies. In Proceedings of Acoustics '08 (pp. 5063-5068). Paris: Société Francaise d'Acoustique.
  • B. de Boer (2008). The acoustic role of supralaryngeal air sacs. In Proceedings of Acoustics '08 (pp. 5945-5950). Paris: Société Francaise d'Acoustique.
  • B. de Boer (2008). [Review of the book Evolution and Culture]. Artificial Life, 14(2), 223-225.
  • W. Zuidema & B. de Boer (2008). Evolutionary explanations for natural language: criteria from evolutionary biology. (intern rapport, ILLC Preprint Series, no PP-2008-54). onbekend: ILLCcap.[go to publisher's site]
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