8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Antwerp, Belgium
August 27-31, 2007

Automatic Detection and Classification of Disfluent Reading Miscues in Young Children's Speech for the Purpose of Assessment

Matthew Black (1), Joseph Tepperman (1), Sungbok Lee (1), Patti Price (2), Shrikanth S. Narayanan (1)

(1) University of Southern California, USA
(2) PPrice Speech and Language Technology, USA

This paper explores the importance of disfluent reading miscues (sounding-out, hesitations, whispering, elongated onsets, question intonations) in automating the assessment of children's oral word reading tasks. Analysis showed that a significant portion (21%) of the speech obtained from grades K-2 children from predominantly Spanish-speaking families contained at least one disfluent reading miscue. We discovered human evaluators rated the fluency nearly as important as accuracy when judging the overall reading ability of a child. We devised a lexical method for automatically detecting the sounding-out, hesitation, and whispering disfluencies, which achieved a 14.9% missed detection and 8.9% false alarm rate. We were also able to discriminate 69.4% of the sound-outs from other disfluencies with a 28.5% false alarm rate, a promising and novel result.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Black, Matthew / Tepperman, Joseph / Lee, Sungbok / Price, Patti / Narayanan, Shrikanth S. (2007): "Automatic detection and classification of disfluent reading miscues in young children's speech for the purpose of assessment", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 206-209.