15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Towards Automatic Annotation of Temporal Features in Discourse: The Case of Syllabic Duration in Spontaneous French

Cyril Auran, Albert Di Cristo

LPL-CNRS, France

Numerous discourse functions systematically resort to the prosodic resources found in the speakers' management of temporal features. These resources concern pauses, syllabic duration modifications and speech rate. However, the description and modelling of temporal phenomena constitutes a particularly delicate endeavour, mainly because, contrary to intonation and intensity, they cannot be based upon the direct interpretation of analytic representations. The problem is even more important as the aim is to develop tools for the automatic annotation of prosodic phenomena in discourse. This paper presents the methodology and the first results of such a tool, focusing on syllabic duration. The analysis shows that the order of influence of the three parameters retained to account for the perception of subjective duration is: normalised duration > silence > velocity. This paper details their respective influences and discusses the interest of our approach in automatic annotation of syllabic duration in spontaneous speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Auran, Cyril / Cristo, Albert Di (2003): "Towards automatic annotation of temporal features in discourse: the case of syllabic duration in spontaneous French", In ICPhS-15, 2957-2960.