Developing an Embosi (Bantu C25) Speech Variant Dictionary to Model Vowel Elision and Morpheme Deletion

Jamison Cooper-Leavitt, Lori Lamel, Annie Rialland, Martine Adda-Decker, Gilles Adda


This paper investigates vowel elision and morpheme deletion in Embosi (Bantu C25), an under-resourced language spoken in the Republic of Congo. We propose that the observed morpheme deletion is morphological, and that vowel elision is phonological. The study focuses on vowel elision that occurs across word boundaries between the contact of long/short vowels (i.e. CV[long] # V[short].CV), and between the contact of short/short vowels (CV[short] # V[short].CV). Several different categories of morphemes are explored: (i) prepositions ( ya, mo), (ii) class-noun nominal prefixes ( ba, etc.), (iii) singular subject pronouns ( ngá, nɔ, wa). For example, the preposition, ya, regularly deletes allowing for vowel elision if vowel contact occurs between the head of the noun phrase and the previous word. Phonetically motivated speech variants are proposed in the lexicon used for forced alignment (segmentation) enabling these phenomena to be quantified in the corpus so as to develop a dictionary containing relevant phonetic variants.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1280

Cite as: Cooper-Leavitt, J., Lamel, L., Rialland, A., Adda-Decker, M., Adda, G. (2017) Developing an Embosi (Bantu C25) Speech Variant Dictionary to Model Vowel Elision and Morpheme Deletion. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 3911-3915, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1280.


@inproceedings{Cooper-Leavitt2017,
  author={Jamison Cooper-Leavitt and Lori Lamel and Annie Rialland and Martine Adda-Decker and Gilles Adda},
  title={Developing an Embosi (Bantu C25) Speech Variant Dictionary to Model Vowel Elision and Morpheme Deletion},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={3911--3915},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1280},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1280}
}