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American babble request

Dear Colleagues,

Please excuse the mass mailing. We are writing to ask if any of you know of
a source of good-quality recordings of North American, Chinese-accented, or
Indian-accented English speech which could be used to make babble. We would
also be interested in hearing about suitable material in other accents of

We are looking to make speech babble by combining up to 12 people reading.
(We have an old copy of the babble used in the SPIN test, but the recording
quality is poor.)

We are looking for high quality recordings (at least 22 kHz SR, good s/n
ratio, no extraneous noise,) of individuals reading prose fluently for
about 30 minutes or more each. They should preferably read different
materials. A book the speaker enjoys would be ideal. Unrelated sentences,
as in TIMIT, is not ideal.

We would prefer each person's speech to be recorded separately, so we could
combine different numbers of talkers. But it could be acceptable for the
recordings to be already combined.

For North American English, the dialect is not crucial, and a mixture of
dialects would be acceptable. However, we would prefer a more homogeneous
dialect, e.g. General American or regional dialects from the south,
midwest, north east, Canada etc. For Chinese and Indian English, a common
native language would be ideal, but not essential. Regional dialect within
those and other foreign language(s) is probably not important for current

If anyone could help us out in any way, we would be very grateful. We have
already recorded speakers of British English (mostly Southern Standard
British English) and made into a 12-talker babble which we would be happy
to share in return.

We look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes,

Antje Heinrich
Sarah Hawkins

Antje Heinrich, PhD
Research Associate
Department of Linguistics
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge CB39DA, UK
+44 1223 760814