Sandra Ferrari Disner: Linguistic Expert


Prof. Sandra Disner has provided consultation and expert testimony in linguistics on matters concerning:

Trademark Law —

Applying linguistic rigor to issues such as generic status and potential consumer confusion, with considerations of

  • lexicography
  • historical development
  • syntactic flexibility
  • prescribed usage
  • phonetic similarity
  • placement on a psycholinguistic confusion matrix
  • and other modes of linguistic analysis.

Speaker Identification —

Searching the speech signal for acoustic and phonetic indications of similarity, or dissimilarity, between an evidence recording and a speaker’s recorded exemplar.Applying linguistic principles to the determination of the speaker’s dialect, vocal characteristics (such as breathy or nasal), and specific pronunciation traits (such as a retracted [r] or hissed [t]).

Providing guidance for the introduction of phonetic evidence, with respect to
  • minimum required length of the recording
  • minimum spectral range
  • likelihood of mimicry or disguise
  • possible influence of listener expectations
  • overall reliability of earwitness testimony
  • evidence of tampering of the speech signal
  • and other forensic linguistic issues.

Word Use in Text and Discourse —

  • Formal aspects of word and phrase structure and usage
  • Identification of the prevalent usage of a word or phrase
  • Analysis of semantic content

Enhanced Transcription Techniques —

Using digital editing tools and sound spectrography to isolate, analyze and identify unclear words and phrases, or words and phrases of particular importance, in the transcript of a recorded text.

Expert Translation —

Providing insights into the precise lexical meaning and usage of words and phrases in the following list of languages. Dr. Disner has been a U.S. State Department translator of all these languages and has also developed video games and speech synthesis modules in all of them.

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • English

Speech Technology —

Evaluating the output of commercial speech synthesizers and speech recognition devices, with a focus on mispronunciations or mistranscriptions, either systematic or limited to specific words, in all of the abovementioned languages.

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