Comparing English Worldwide: The International Corpus of English

By Sidney Greenbaum | Go to book overview

19
PROSICE: A Spoken English Database for Prosody Research

MARK HUCKVALE and ALEX CHENGYU FANG


1. INTRODUCTION

Prosody--the study of the intonation, stress, and rhythm of speech--is now assuming a greater importance in phonetics, phonology, and speech technology than ever before. Once regarded as subservient to studies of segmental structure, it is now being seen as providing the 'framework' which holds different levels of phonetic description together. The recent past has seen novel views of the phonology of intonation (e.g. Pierrehumbert, 1980), a new interest in prosodic phrase structure and prominence (e.g. Liberman and Prince, 1977) and the rise of autosegmental or non-linear accounts of phonetic description which integrate metrical structure with phonetic substance (e.g. Clements and Keyser, 1983). The role of prosody is also changing in speech synthesis and recognition. In speech synthesis, the success of concatenative systems--whereby recorded segments of speech are glued together to make novel utterances--has meant that the key issues have changed from segmental to supra-segmental quality ( Klatt, 1987). In speech recognition the increasing emphasis on dialogue systems has meant more research is taking place into the automatic determination of prosodic structure for the purposes of utterance disambiguation (e.g. Wightman and Ostendorf, 1995).

Contemporaneous with the development of prosody research has been the increasing influence of corpus-based research throughout speech technology and experimental phonetics. This has been driven by the huge appetite of current speech recognition research for large quantities of controlled recordings. As an example of this trend in prosody, the prediction of segment durations in speech synthesis is now commonly generated from a multiple regression analysis performed upon a database of transcribed spoken speech ( van Santen, 1993).

The combination of these two trends has created a demand for publicly available corpora of spoken recordings for the scientific research and technological application of prosody. In this chapter we look at the requirements and existing corpora and describe a new spoken English database with novel characteristics. Our database is derived from ICE-GB, the British component of the International Corpus of English (ICE).

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Comparing English Worldwide: The International Corpus of English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Contributors xi
  • List of Figures xiii
  • List of Tables xv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • Part I Introduction 1
  • 1: Introducing ICe 3
  • References 12
  • 2: Learner English Around the World 13
  • References 23
  • Part II Compilation and Annotation 25
  • 3: The Design of the Corpus 27
  • References 35
  • 4: Markup Systems 36
  • Notes 45
  • References 45
  • 5: The Umb Intelligent ICe Markup Assistant 54
  • References 64
  • 6: ICe Annotation Tools 65
  • 7: Developing the ICe Corpus Utility Program 79
  • 8: About the ICe Tagset 92
  • 9: Autasys: Grammatical Tagging and Cross-Tagset Mapping 110
  • 10: An Outline of the Survey's ICe Parsing Scheme 125
  • Reference 139
  • 11: The Survey Parser: Design and Development 142
  • References 157
  • Part III Problems of Implementation 161
  • 12: The New Zealand Spoken Component of ICe: Some Methodological Challenges1 163
  • References 177
  • 13: Second-Language Corpora1 182
  • References 195
  • 14: The International Corpus of English in Hong Kong 197
  • References 213
  • Part IV Applications 215
  • 15: The Corpus as A Research Domain 217
  • 16: ICe and Teaching 227
  • 17: The Sociolinguistics of English in Nigeria and the ICe Project 239
  • 18: Why A Fiji Corpus? 249
  • References 260
  • 19: Prosice: A Spoken English Database for Prosody Research 262
  • References 278
  • Index 281
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