8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


Corpus-Based Syntax-Prosody Tree Matching

Dafydd Gibbon

Universitšt Bielefeld, Germany

Empirical study of the syntax-prosody relation is hampered by the fact that current prosodic models are essentially linear, while syntactic structure is hierarchical. The present contribution describes a syntax-prosody comparison heuristic based on two new algorithms: Time Tree Induction, TTI, for building a prosodic treebank from time-annotated speech data, and Tree Similarity Indexing, TSI) for comparing syntactic trees with the prosodic trees. Two parametrisations of the TTI algorithm, for different tree branching conditions, are applied to sentences taken from a read-aloud narrative, and compared with parses of the same sentences, using the TSI. In addition, null-hypotheses in the form of flat bracketing of the sentences are compared. A preference for iambic (heavy rightmost branch) grouping is found. The resulting quantitative evidence for syntax-prosody relations has applications in speech genre characterisation and in duration models for speech synthesis.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gibbon, Dafydd (2003): "Corpus-based syntax-prosody tree matching", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 761-764.