14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Automatic Transcription of Prosodic Stress for Spontaneous English Discourse

Rosaria Silipo, Steven Greenberg

International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA, USA

The role of duration, amplitude and fundamental frequency of syllabic vocalic nuclei is investigated for marking prosodic stress in spontaneous American English discourse. Local maxima of different evidence variables, implemented as combinations of the three basic parameters - duration, amplitude and pitch -, are supposed to be related with prosodic stress. As reference, two different subsets from the OGI English stories database were manually marked in terms of prosodic stress by two different trained linguists. The ROC curves, built on the training examples, show that both transcribers grant a major role to the amplitude and duration rather than to the pitch of the vocalic nuclei. More complex evidence variables, involving a product of the three basic parameters, allow around 80% primary stressed and 77% unstressed syllables to be correctly recognized in the test files of both transcribers' datasets. The agreement between the two transcribers on a set of common files supplies only slightly higher percentages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Silipo, Rosaria / Greenberg, Steven (1999): "Automatic transcription of prosodic stress for spontaneous English discourse", In ICPhS-14, 2351-2354.