Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Syllable-Final /s/ Lenition In The LDC's Callhome Spanish Corpus

Michelle A. Fox

Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

This paper describes a data corpus which is being made available through the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) that codes lenition of syllable-final /s/ in Latin American Spanish in the LDC’s CallHome Spanish corpus. This lenition is a process whereby the /s/ may be aspirated (pronounced [h]) or deleted altogether. Since syllable-final /s/ is frequent in Spanish, lenition has a great effect on overall pronunciation. While previous data collected on syllable-final /s/ lenition has been dialect-specific, the CallHome Spanish corpus contains speech from many speakers of different dialects and provides the type of speech data needed to adequately model the phenomenon. Data analysis indicates that over 40% of instances of syllablefinal /s/ are deleted. The deletion rate is extremely speakerand dialect-dependent and also depends on linguistic factors such as phonetic environment and grammatical status of the /s/, as well as the identity of the individual word.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fox, Michelle A. (2000): "Syllable-final /s/ lenition in the LDC's callhome Spanish corpus", In ICSLP-2000, vol.1, 556-559.