Praat is a wonderful software package written and maintained by Paul Boersma and David Weenink of the University of Amsterdam. Available for free, with open source code, there is simply no better package for linguists to use in analyzing speech.

Unfortunately, much of the existing documentation for the software is just that, software documentation, and is not designed to help linguists (who may not necessarily consider themselves to be “phoneticians” or have a strong phonetics background) get the measurements and make the changes that they need and desire for their research.

As such, rather than introducing each menu item and function as such, I’ve instead chosen to describe how to do some of the tasks that linguists want to do without assuming a strong phonetics or programming background. Then, eventually, we’ll discuss some of the more complicated measures and tricks one can perform with Praat.

Of course, no one workshop can discuss the myriad features present in Praat, nor cover all of the quirks of the package, but this workshop will hopefully leave you feeling more at home in Praat, and give you an opportunity to go forth and explore further on your own.