About

Hi! I'm a fourth-year PhD Candidate in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University, advised by Dan Jurafsky. My research focuses on data-centric approaches to creating speech and language technologies for digitally-underserved languages and user populations. In recent work, I have been examining how state-of-the-art models trained for major languages can be adapted for speech information retrieval applications related to endangered language documentation and revitalisation.

I am an Affiliate Member of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University (ANU), where I was based prior to Stanford and, where I developed tools and workflows to help clean, process, and transform lexicographical data from several Australian Aboriginal languages (Arabana, Kaytetye, Warlpiri, Warumungu).

I am also affiliated with Stanford SPARQ, where I am part of a research team examining how moderation algorithms and other users respond to reports of discrimination on Nextdoor. I'm excited to spend Summer 2022 interning with the Siri and Language Technologies (SaLT) team at Apple to investigate data selection approaches for improving rare-word speech recognition.

To pay forward the benefits I received from tutoring as a young immigrant kid (lived in 8 countries by 21), I volunteer as a maths tutor in the East Bay with Refugee & Immigrant Transitions. If you are from a historically underrepresented group and are interested in speech and language technology research, feel very free to e-mail if you'd like a chat!

@fauxneticien:

Curriculum Vitae

Education

2018–pres.

PhD, Linguistics

2015–2016

M.Res., Linguistics

Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia)

Thesis: A quantitative analysis of vowel variation in Kaytetye

Supervisor: Michael Proctor

2013–2014

B.A. (Hons. I), French

University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia)

Thesis: Perceptual assimilation and categorical discrimination of French vowels by Australian-English learners of French

Supervisors: Barbara Hanna, Michael Tyler

2007–2011

B.Sc., Mathematics/B.A., Philosophy; French

Other academic experience

Dec 2016

Summer School. ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Melbourne, Australia

Dec 2015

Summer School. ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Sydney, Australia

Feb 2015

Machine Learning Summer School. Sydney, Australia

Feb 2012

Winter School on Multilingualism across the Lifespan. Fribourg, Switzerland

Aug–Dec 2010

Exchange semester. University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Appointments

2019–pres.

Visiting Fellow. College of Asia & the Pacific. Australian National University. Canberra, Australia

2018–pres.

Affiliate Member. ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

2018-2019

Visitor. College of Arts & Social Sciences. Australian National University. Canberra, Australia

Research activity

Conference proceedings

San, N., Bartelds, M., Ògúnrèmí, T., Mount, A., Thompson, R., Higgins, M., Barker, R., Simpson, J., & Jurafsky, D. (2022). Automated speech tools for helping communities process restricted-access corpora for language revival efforts. In To appear in the Proceedings of the 5th workshop on the use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages (ComputEL-5). Available on https://arxiv.org/pdf/2204.07272.pdf
*San, N., *Bartelds, M., Browne, M., Clifford, L., Gibson, F., Mansfield, J., Nash, D., Simpson, J., Turpin, M., Vollmer, M., Wilmoth, S., & Jurafsky, D. (2021). Leveraging pre-trained representations to improve access to untranscribed speech from endangered languages. In Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU). doi: 10.1109/ASRU51503.2021.9688301.
San, N., & Turpin, M. (2021). Text-setting in Kaytetye. In R. Bennett, R. Bibbs, M. Loren Brinkerhoff, M. J. Kaplan, S. Rich, A. Rysling, N. van Handel, & M. Wax Cavallaro (Eds.), Supplemental Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Meeting on Phonology (pp. 1–9). doi: 10.3765/amp.v9i0.4911.
van Esch, D., Foley, B., & San, N. (2019). Future Directions in Technological Support for Language Documentation. In M. Silfverberg (Ed.), Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Computational Methods for Endangered Languages (ComputEL-3) (Vol. 1). Available on https://scholar.colorado.edu/scil-cmel/vol1/iss1/3
Foley, B., Arnold, J., Coto-Solano, R., Durantin, G., Ellison, T. M., van Esch, D., Heath, S., Kratochvíl, F., Maxwell-Smith, Z., Nash, D., Olsson, O., Richards, M., San, N., Stoakes, H., Thieberger, N., & Wiles, J. (2018). Building Speech Recognition Systems for Language Documentation: The CoEDL Endangered Language Pipeline and Inference System (Elpis). In S. S. Agrawal (Ed.), The 6th Intl. Workshop on Spoken Language Technologies for Under-Resourced Languages (SLTU) (pp. 200–204). Available on https://www.isca-speech.org/archive/SLTU_2018/pdfs/Ben.pdf

Articles

Foley, B., van Esch, D., & San, N. (2022). Managing transcription data for automatic speech recognition with Elpis. In A. Berez-Kroeker, B. McDonnell, E. Koller, & L. Collister (Eds.), The Open Handbook of Linguistic Data Management. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. doi: 10.7551/mitpress/12200.003.0041.
Harvey, M., San, N., Carew, M., Strangways, S., Simpson, J., & Stockigt, C. (2019). Pre-stopping in Arabana. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 39(4). doi: 10.1080/07268602.2019.1643290.

Submitted papers

Harvey, M., San, N., Proctor, M., Panther, F., Turpin, M., & Ross, A. Small vowel inventories: The case of Kaytetye.

Invited talks

San, N., & van Esch, D. (2019). Accelerating Transcription of Fieldwork Data using Machine Learning. Fieldwork Forum (FForum), UC Berkeley. October, 3.
San, N. (2018). Quantitative methods in linguistics: an overview. Department of Mathematics & Statistics, La Trobe University, Melbourne. February, 8.

Presentations

Turpin, M., & San, N. (2022). The prosodic word in literary traditions of variable line length. Paper presented at the conference of the Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America.
San, N., Disbray, S., Foley, B., & Simpson, J. (2019). Towards an extensible, open-source picture dictionary template and processing system. Paper presented at the conference of the Australasian Association for Lexicography (AustraLex). Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3404266.
San, N., Carne, M., Carew, M., Harvey, M., Hercus, L., & Simpson, J. (2018). An acoustic analysis of pre-stopping in Arabana. Paper presented at the 18th Australian Languages Workshop (ALW). Marysville, Victoria. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3404271.
San, N. (2017). A corpus-based approach to vocalic contrasts in Kaytetye. Paper presented at the Corpus Workshop of the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Melbourne, Australia.
San, N. (2015). Visualising the articulatory characteristics of Kaytetye coronal consonants. Paper presented at the Building Corpora for Australian Languages workshop. Australian National University, Canberra.
San, N., Proctor, M., Turpin, M., Harvey, M., Ringbauer, K., Ross, A., & Demuth, K. (2015). Variability of vowels in Kaytetye words. Paper presented at the Arandic Phonetics & Phonology Workshop. Alice Springs, NT, Australia.
San, N., Proctor, M., Turpin, M., Harvey, M., Ringbauer, K., Ross, A., & Demuth, K. (2015). An acoustic analysis of Kaytetye vowel variability. Paper presented at the 46th Annual Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society, Western Sydney University, Australia.
San, N., & Turpin, M. (2014). Acoustic correlates of stress in Kaytetye words. Paper presented at the Workshop on Word Stress & Accent. Leiden University, the Netherlands.
San, N., & Turpin, M. (2014). Acoustic correlates of stress in Kaytetye words. Paper presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society (ALS). University of Newcastle, Australia.

Posters

San, N., Bartelds, M., & Jurafsky, D. (2021). Improving Access to Untranscribed Speech by Leveraging Spoken Term Detection and Self-supervised Learning of Speech Representations. Invited non-archival extended abstract presented at SigTyp 2021.
San, N., & Turpin, M. (2020). Text-setting in Kaytetye. Poster presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting on Phonology (Online).
San, N. (2016). Using version control to facilitate a reproducible and collaborative workflow in acoustic phonetics. In C. Carignan & M. D. Tyler (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association conference (pp. 341–344). Available on http://www.assta.org/sst/2016/papers/San_SST2016.pdf
San, N. (2013). The perception of French vowels by Australian-English-speaking learners. Poster presented at the 21st Annual Conference of the Australian Society of French Studies (ASFS). The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Honours and Awards

2016

Summer Research Scholarship (Linguistics). Australian National University

2016

Research Training Pathway Scholarship, Year 2. Macquarie University

2015

Research Training Pathway Scholarship, Year 1. Macquarie University

2014

G.M. Grassie Memorial Prize. University of Queensland

2013–2014

Dean's Commendations for Academic Excellence. University of Queensland

2013

Summer Research Scholarship (Linguistics). University of Queensland

2010

Exchange student allowance. University of Lausanne, Switzerland

2010

Travel grant for exchange studies. University of Queensland

2010

Summer Research Scholarship (Mathematics). University of Queensland

2009

Summer Research Scholarship (Mathematics). University of Queensland

Grants

2019

San, N., Foley, B., Disbray, S., Turpin, M. and Simpson, J. Towards an extensible, open-source picture dictionary template and processing system. Transdisciplinary and Innovation Grant from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. AUD 19,809

2017

Harvey, M., Hercus, L., Carew, M. and San, N. Metrical prominence and pre-stopping in Arabana. Language Documentation Grant from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. AUD 10,992

Research Assistantships

2017–2018

Warlpiri Lexicography Project. Australian National University. Supervisor: Jane Simpson

2016–2017

Developing Yerrampe: A Kaytetye-to-English multimedia dictionary. Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Supervisor: Myfany Turpin

2014–2015

Investigating tongue shaping of Kaytetye obstruents using ultrasound imaging. Macquarie University. Supervisors: Michael Proctor & Katherine Demuth

Feb–Jun 2014

Examining the acoustic correlates of stress in Kaytetye words. University of Queensland. Supervisor: Myfany Turpin

Software

Teaching

Teaching, as Teaching Assistant

Stanford University

2021

Phonetics, Winter Quarter (Instructor: Meghan Sumner)

2020

Introduction to Phonology, Winter Quarter (Instructor: Arto Anttila)

Macquarie University

2016

Speech Physiology, Semester 1 (Instructor: Michael Proctor)

University of Queensland

2009–2011

Calculus & Linear Algebra I (4 Semesters; Instructor: Phil Isaac)

2009–2011

Calculus & Linear Algebra II (4 Semesters; Instructor: Phil Isaac)

2010

Multivariate Calculus & Differential Equations, Semester 1 (Instructor: Phil Isaac)

2009

Discrete Mathematics I, Semester 2 (Instructor: Murray Elder)

Teaching, as Workshop Instructor

2021

Semi-automated transcription for Language Documentation with Elpis. Co-presented with Ben Foley, Nicholas Lambourne, and Daan van Esch at the 7th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (Online). University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. March, 5-6

2019

Transcription Acceleration for Language Documentation with ELPIS. Co-presented with Ben Foley and Daan van Esch at the 6th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. March, 1-2

2018

Docker: An overview for linguists. Presented at the Transcription Acceleration Project workshop. Melbourne, Australia. February, 4

2017

Visualise your own vowels: A short introduction to Praat for beginners. 1-day tutorial at the Summer School of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Canberra, Australia. November, 29

2017

Formalising data structures with the Nearley toolkit. University of Queensland. September, 28

2017

Introduction to data wrangling using R. University of Melbourne, Australia. May, 1

2015

A beginner’s guide to programming in R and Matlab. Child Language Lab, Macquarie University. May, 4

2014

LaTeX for Linguistics. School of Languages & Comparative Cultural Studies. University of Queensland. Weekly tutorials, April–May

Guest Lectures and Public Outreach

2018

The building blocks of spoken language. Presentation to visiting final-year high schoolers at the National Youth Science Forum. Australian National University. Canberra, Australia. January, 10

Other Teaching Experience

2012

Freelance English language instructor. Passmore College, Marburg, Germany

2011-2012

Foreign language teaching assistant. Ministry of Education, Aurillac, France

Service

Stanford University

2021-pres.

Corpus TA

2021-pres.

Admissions Committee

2019-2020

Colloquium Committee

2018-2019

Social Committee

University of Queensland

2014

Honours students representative, Semester 2. School of Languages and Cultures

Elsewhere

2016

Reviewer, Journal of the Canadian Acoustical Association

Non-academic service

2021-pres.

Volunteer tutor. Refugee and Immigrant Transitions. Oakland

2020-2021

Volunteer tutor. Berkeley Public Schools Fund

2017

Volunteer tutor. Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services. Canberra

2016

Volunteer. Refugee Action Coalition. Sydney

Languages

English (native), French (proficient, CEFR C1), German (conversational, CEFR B2), Burmese (heritage)

Technical Skills

Scripting

R, LaTeX, Matlab, full-stack web development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript + jQuery, Node.js); Docker containerization; configuring Continuous Testing/Continuous Integration services (Travis CI, GitLab)

Data

Familiarity with processing to/from SQL (MySQL/Postgres/MariaDB), XML, JSON, columnar tab-/comma-separated values, Toolbox lexicon files, Praat TextGrid annotation files; writing custom parsers for domain-specific data formats; developing and deploying data-cleaning and -validation pipelines

Personal

Outside academia, I enjoy doing a bunch of things—such as playing fiddle, cycle touring, photographing folks, cooking with friends, and writing creative non-fiction—and sometimes I put those things up on https://things.resunay.com.
https://things.resunay.com