ASA 130th Meeting - St. Louis, MO - 1995 Nov 27 .. Dec 01

4pSC22. Speech variability in the TIMIT database.

Demetrios E. Paneras

Nabil N. Bitar

Carol Y. Espy-Wilson

Elec., Comput. and Systems Eng. Dept., Boston Univ., Boston, MA 02215

In an effort to understand variability occurring in fairly casual speech, two experiments were conducted using the TIMIT test data which consist of 1680 sentences spoken by 112 males and 56 females. In the first experiment, the TIMIT phonetic transcriptions were compared automatically against the phonemic transcriptions provided in an on-line dictionary. In the second experiment, the TIMIT phonetic transcriptions were mapped to the broad classes vowel, sonorant consonant, stop, fricative, and affricate, and compared to the output of an automatic broad classifier. For the types of variability found, the analysis includes: (1) the contexts in which they occur, (2) the frequency at which they occur, and (3) differences in their manifestations as a function of dialect region. Phonological rules generated from this study are discussed in the context of those cited in the literature.