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An approach for detecting prosodic phrase boundaries in spoken English

Brierley, C. and Atwell, E. (2005) An approach for detecting prosodic phrase boundaries in spoken English. Crossroads, 14 (1). ISSN 1528-4972

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Prosodic phrasing is the means by which speakers of any given language break up an utterance into meaningful chunks. The term "prosody" itself refers to the tune or intonation of an utterance, and therefore prosodic phrases literally signal the end of one tune and the beginning of another. This study uses phrase break annotations in the Aix-MARSEC corpus of spoken English as a "gold standard" for measuring the degree of correspondence between prosodic phrases and the discrete syntactic grouping of prepositional phrases, where the latter is defined via a chunk parsing rule using nltk_lite's regular expression chunk parser.

A three-way comparison is also introduced between the "gold standard" chunk parsing rule and human judgment in the form of intuitive predictions about phrasing. Results show that even with a discrete syntactic grouping and a small sample of text, problems may arise for this rule-based method due to uncategorical behavior in parts of speech. Lack of correspondence between intuitive prosodic phrases and corpus annotations highlights the optional nature of certain boundary types. Finally, there are clear indications, supported by corpus annotations, that significant prosodic phrase boundaries occur within sentences and not just at full stops.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Computing (Leeds)
Depositing User: Archana Oates
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 15:31
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2010 15:31
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1349332.1349337
Status: Published
Publisher: ACM New York, NY, USA
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1145/1349332.1349337
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5316

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