Will Styler's Homepage
Will Styler

Associate Teaching Professor of Linguistics at UC San Diego

Director of UCSD's Computational Social Science Program

Using Praat for Linguistic Research

Using Praat for Linguistic Research by Will Styler is a practical guidebook and information package designed to help you use the Praat phonetics software package more effectively in Phonetic or Phonological research. Although it was originally written in the Spring/Summer of 2011 for the 2011 Linguistic Institute’s Praat workshop, it’s now available for anybody who’s interested, and is being updated over time, both as Praat changes and as the author adds new information.

The guidebook itself is an 85+ page compilation of walkthroughs, explanations, and tutorials explaining how to use Praat for a variety of measurements and tasks. Although the guide does start with “basic” tasks like opening sound files, measuring duration, formants, pitch, it also covers more “advanced” tasks like source-filter resynthesis, A1-P0 nasality measurement, formula manipulation of sounds and even Praat scripting.

In addition to the guidebook, I’ve also made available a collection of documents, presentations, scripts and sound files which, along with a short syllabus, formed the core of the LSA Praat workshop. The scripts are made freely available for use and code-cannibalism, and the sound files are free for use in teaching oneself to use Praat with the Guidebook and the syllabus/worksheet.

How to contribute

For details on how to contribute corrections, fix issues, or add content, please see the project’s github page at https://github.com/stylerw/usingpraat.

Use and License Information

Using Praat for Linguistic Research is completely free, and is available for use, both privately and as a part of classes. All I ask is that you share this link to share the guide (rather than sharing the PDF itself) so that people end up with the latest versions.

Also, if you’re using the guide in your class or project, I’d love it if you’d send me an email (will at savethe vowels dot org), so I can see where my work is going, and so I can get ideas as to how to improve it for the future.

Using Praat for Linguistic Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) License. More information on this license is available here, but in short, this license means that I’d appreciate if you’d attribute my work to me, and that any derivative works must also be creative commons licensed. Free should stay free.

Any questions, comments, concerns or corrections should be sent to me by email - will (at) savethevowels (dot) org.


Latest Version (1.9.2) released November 19th, 2023

Using Praat for Linguistic Research - PDF

Download the Guide as a PDF. Please check back here regularly for updated versions, and please do not re-post this PDF on your own public-facing course website (as this can result in people and search index finding old versions instead of the newest one).

2011 LSA Institute Workshop Files

The slides, syllabus, and a collection of sound files which, along with the PDF above, formed the core of the 2011 LSA Instituate’s Praat workshop. Download this file (and the scripts below) to play along from home.

Will Styler’s Praat Script Page

This has all of the scripts I distributed with the Praat workshop, and more. Great for cannibalizing code, and learning all the silly things I’ve done in writing my own scripts. The “demo script” referred to in the materials is demo_formant_script.praat.

Praat Scripting for fun and (minimal) profit

This is the presentation given at the 2017 LSA Annual Meeting’s LSA Minicourse, describing the basics of Praat scripting. Although its effectiveness is much reduced without my frantic hand-waving, you might still find it useful or interesting. Use the on-screen arrows or arrow keys to advance the slides.

Institutions and Courses which have used “Using Praat for Linguistic Research”

Please let me know if you’ve used this manual in your course or organization, as the warm-fuzzy feeling that gives me is the only pay I get. These are some of the many institutions which have (at least once!) used ‘Using Praat…’ as part of their teaching curricula.

It has also been cited in 90+ publications.