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Automatic Prosodic Event Detection Using Acoustic, Lexical, and Syntactic Evidence

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2 Author(s)
Ananthakrishnan, S. ; Signal & Image Process. Inst. (SIPI), Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA ; Narayanan, S.S.

With the advent of prosody annotation standards such as tones and break indices (ToBI), speech technologists and linguists alike have been interested in automatically detecting prosodic events in speech. This is because the prosodic tier provides an additional layer of information over the short-term segment-level features and lexical representation of an utterance. As the prosody of an utterance is closely tied to its syntactic and semantic content in addition to its lexical content, knowledge of the prosodic events within and across utterances can assist spoken language applications such as automatic speech recognition and translation. On the other hand, corpora annotated with prosodic events are useful for building natural-sounding speech synthesizers. In this paper, we build an automatic detector and classifier for prosodic events in American English, based on their acoustic, lexical, and syntactic correlates. Following previous work in this area, we focus on accent (prominence, or ldquostressrdquo) and prosodic phrase boundary detection at the syllable level. Our experiments achieved a performance rate of 86.75% agreement on the accent detection task, and 91.61% agreement on the phrase boundary detection task on the Boston University Radio News Corpus.

Published in:

Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 1 )