Priyankoo Sarmah

I am Priyankoo, a Professor of Linguistics at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G), India. I studied linguistics and earned my M.A. and M.Phil. from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, India. I completed my Ph.D. from the University of Florida, USA, on tones in Rabha and Dimasa, two Tibet-Burman tone languages spoken in North East India. Before joining IIT-G, I worked at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea, teaching undergrad and grad students phonetics and phonology.

After joining IIT-G in 2011, I have been working on the phonetics of tones and vowels of several North-East Indian languages. I have been interested in the acoustic properties of tones, perception of tones, and statistical modeling of tones. Over the years, I have also ventured into the domain of speech technology development for resource-poor languages and have worked on speech recognition, automatic language, and dialect identification. An in-depth understanding of the acoustic characteristics of speech enables one to build better language technologies for resource-poor languages. At the same time, I believe that using machine learning techniques in speech helps us uncover new speech features in these languages.

I am glad that the Digital Language Typology project was born out of the passion for speech studies that I shared with Juraj and Daniil. It is also heartening to see several students from Helsinki and Guwahati working together on this project! Let’s keep moving ahead!


Juraj Šimko

My name is Juraj, and I am a University Lecturer in Phonetics at the University of Helsinki. Originally from Slovakia, I studied Mathematics in my home country, worked in the IT industry, and eventually completed a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science at the University College Dublin.

I am passionate about speech, both in daily life (well, I do speak quite a lot) and as a research subject. In my scientific career, I have explored many aspects of speech communication: minute details of articulation, phonological quantity in several Finnic languages, speaking in a noisy environment, speech prosody, speech technology, and some more. One of my primary interests in recent years has been figuring out how speech technology can be used as a tool for looking at theoretical investigation in language typology, in particular for less researched, endangered languages.

This project was born from many conversations over the years among three phoneticians, good friends with shared passions and complementary skills. Let’s keep following its progress!


Joona Rajala

My name is Joona, and I’m a first-year student in Phonetics. Since my main interest lies in Speech Technology, I’m also taking courses in the Language Technology track of our master’s program. I have previously studied French and English linguistics as well as Pedagogy and have worked as a language teacher for the past few years. In our project, I’m responsible for applying machine learning to our data collected in India. In my free time, I enjoy going out to restaurants, jogging, and traveling.

Kyan Wayman

My name is Kyan. I have a minor degree in Global Studies and Politics, and I received my BA in Linguistics with a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures from Rutgers University in the USA. I did part of my degree during an exchange at the International Christian College in Tokyo.
At the University of Helsinki, I am working towards an MA in General Linguistics within the Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities program. I have yet to decide on a research topic. Still, my interests include indigenous language rights, minority & endangered languages, language death, and the intersection of gender and LGBTQ+ studies with linguistics.
Within this research project, I am participating in fieldwork and creating interview materials.


Anna Busheva

My name is Anna, I am a second-year MA student at the University of Helsinki. I am studying phonetics in the Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities program, and this project is the basis for my thesis, which is very exciting! I have always been interested in field research and experimental phonetics, so in this project, I am responsible for phonetic background research of Angami and observing fieldwork. I love traveling to unusual places and talking to people, which aligns perfectly with my passion for dialectal phonetics, so this project is an excellent opportunity for me.


Monika Murgová

My name is Monika, and I come from Slovakia. I gained my BA in Dutch language and literature and Baltic studies with a specialization in Finnish language and literature at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. I am now studying General Linguistics in the Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities program at the University of Helsinki. My research concentrates on language attitudes, language death, and the revitalization of minority and endangered languages. I like to paint, read and do yoga in my free time. In this project, I’m a social media person and a photographer, so that’s the reason I’m usually not in the photos.


Daniel Pietschke

Hello there! My name is Daniel. I studied Cognitive Science in Germany, focusing on computational linguistics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

At the University of Helsinki, I am studying in the Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities program as part of the Language Technology track, where I hope to deepen my knowledge and understanding of computational linguistics applications that can be created and optimized.

After my studies, I wish to work with machine translation and develop technologies that help people understand each other better in order to overcome obstacles on the way to creating a more globally connected community. My part of the research project is to work with machine learning models and algorithms and to deliver one-liners whenever someone needs a laugh.


Ida-Lotta Myllylä

My name is Ida-Lotta, and I’m an aspiring phonetician from Helsinki, Finland.

I have a BA degree in linguistics from the University of Helsinki, which I completed with a strong focus on phonetics. I’ve since continued to pursue an MA in phonetics in the international program of Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities. My research interests include the examining and modeling of prosody, clinical phonetics, and the diverse variety of research problems related to atypical phonation, as well as creating experimental designs applicable to phonetics and also cognitive science. This year, I’ve been working as a research assistant at UH. In my free time, I really enjoy traveling, watching films, and reading.

In this project, my responsibilities include observing the fieldwork, phonetic analysis, and also general responsibilities of keeping the team on track and things running smoothly – at least for the most part