11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
September 26-30. 2010

Expectations for Discourse Genre Identification: A Prosodic Study

Nicolas Obin (1), Volker Dellwo (2), Anne Lacheret (3), Xavier Rodet (1)

(1) IRCAM, France
(2) University College London, UK
(3) MoDyCo, France

Speech can be divided into discourse genres based on the contextual environment it occurs in (e.g. political speech, sport commentary speech, etc.). The present study investigated whether listeners can distinguish between speech from different discourse genres on the basis of acoustic prosodic cues only. In a perception experiment with delexicalized speech 70 listeners with varying experience in French (native speakers, non-native speakers, and non-speakers) were asked to identify four different types of discourse genres (church service, political, journal, and sport commentary). Results revealed a fair identification ability with a significant increase in performance with increasing experience in French. Identification confusion was used to cluster discourse genres according to their perceptual similarity. The possible application of the results for the evaluation of speaking style speech synthesis will be discussed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Obin, Nicolas / Dellwo, Volker / Lacheret, Anne / Rodet, Xavier (2010): "Expectations for discourse genre identification: a prosodic study", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 3070-3073.