Discourse Structure in Spoken Language: Studies on Speech Corpora

Christine H. Nakatani, Julia Hirschberg, and Barbara J. Grosz

A better understanding of the intonational charaeteristics of spoken discourse may lead to new empirical techniques for identifying discourse structure from speech, as well as new algorithms for enhancing the naturalness of synthetic speech. This paper summarizes results of pilot studies that demonstrate reliable correlations of discourse and speech properties, and reports findings on a new corpus of direction-giving monologues, collected in both spontaneous and read speaking styles. Preliminary analyses of the direction-giving corpus show that the availability of speech significantly affects the reliability of discourse segmentation for a set of trained discourse labelers.

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