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ERIC Number: EJ1075347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: EISSN-1934-5275
Computational Support for Early Elicitation and Classification of Tone
Bird, Steven; Lee, Haejoong
Language Documentation & Conservation, v8 p453-461 2014
Investigating a tone language involves careful transcription of tone on words and phrases. This is challenging when the phonological categories--the tones or melodies--have not been identified. Effects such as coarticulation, sandhi, and phrase-level prosody appear as obstacles to early elicitation and classification of tone. This article presents open source software that can assist with solving this problem. Users listen to words and phrases of interest, before grouping them into clusters having the same tonal properties. In this manner, it is possible to quickly annotate words of interest in extended recordings, and compare items that may be widely separated in the source audio to obtain consistent labelling. Users have reported that it is possible to train one's ear to pick up on the linguistically salient distinctions. The approach is illustrated with data from Eastern Chatino (Mexico) and Alekano (Papua New Guinea).
National Foreign Language Resources Center at University of Hawaii. Department of Linguistics, UHM Moore Hall 569, 1890 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. Fax: 808-956-9166; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico; Papua New Guinea
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: 0951651