ERIC Number: ED116448
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Mar-31
Reference Count: N/A
Syntactic Boundaries and Stress Patterns in Spoken English Texts. Univac Report No. PX 10146.
Lea, Wayne A.
This report covers research conducted between July 1972 and March 1973. Experiments were conducted on the automatic detection of constituent boundaries and location of stressed syllables by analysis of fundamental frequency and energy contours, for recordings of six talkers reading the Rainbow Script, two talkers reading a paragraph composed of monosyllabic words, and ten talkers involved in speaking sentences pertinent to man-computer interaction. A program was implemented which successfully detects over 80 percent of all boundaries between major syntactic constituents, by the use of fall-rise valleys in fundamental frequency contours. A panel of three listeners provided judgments of which syllables were stressed, unstressed, or reduced in the speech texts. Questions yielded more stress level confusions than declaratives or commands. An algorithm was devised for locating stressed syllables as high energy portions of speech with rising or nonfalling fundamental frequency. This algorithm succeeded in locating 85 percent of all syllables that had been perceived as stressed by two or more listeners. Further work will involve implementation of the stressed syllable location algorithm, refinements of syntactic boundary predictions and detection procedures, further tests with designed speech texts, and applications to distinctive features estimation and syntactic parsing. (Author/KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sperry Univac, St. Paul, Minn. Defense Systems Div.