4aSC20. KIDS: A database of children's speech.
Session: Thursday Morning, December 5
Author: Maxine S. Eskenazi
Location: Carnegie Mellon Univ., 206 Cyert Hall, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15243
A database of children reading age- and reading-level-appropriate text
aloud has been collected. This labeled data, to be distributed in the near
future, was primarily intended to be used in CMU's LISTEN tutor, which
employs speech recognition to monitor children's reading and then helps correct
errors. The speaker population was therefore chosen to represent good and poor
readers and to incorporate dialects of the speakers for whom the reading coach
is intended. Phonemic balance could not be achieved (although it has been
calculated) since the primary concern in recording children reading is to
present sentences that can effectively be read by first through third graders.
The text is a series of sentences that was adapted from text in the Weekly
Reader series---most of the adaptation concerned the lack of the accompanying
images. The text was chosen for its intrinsic interest and widespread use.
Several trial recording sessions were used to develop a protocol that kept
extraneous noises produced by the children at a minimum. This and other problems
inherent in recording children reading will be discussed. Novel techniques
developed for labeling this kind of speech will also be presented. [This work
was funded by NSF Grant No. IRI-9528984.]
ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996