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Automatic phonological transcription using forced alignment: FAVE toolkit performance on four non-standard varieties of English
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Forced alignment, a speech recognition software performing semi-automatic phonological transcription, constitutes a methodological revolution in the recent history of linguistic research. Its use is progressively becoming the norm in research fields such as sociophonetics, but its general performance and range of applications have been relatively understudied. This thesis investigates the performance and portability of the Forced Alignment and Vowel Extraction program suite (FAVE), an aligner that was trained on, and designed to study, American English. It was decided to test FAVE on four non-American varieties of English (Scottish, Irish, Australian and Indian English) and a control variety (General American). First, the performance of FAVE was compared with human annotators, and then it was tested on three potentially problematic variables: /p, t, k/ realization, rhotic consonants and /l/. Although FAVE was found to perform significantly differently from human annotators on identical datasets, further analysis revealed that the aligner performed quite similarly on the non-standard varieties and the control variety, suggesting that the difference in accuracy does not constitute a major drawback to its extended usage. The study discusses the implications of the findings in relation to doubts expressed about the usage of such technology and argues for a wider implementation of forced alignment tools such as FAVE in sociophonetic research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 24
Keywords [en]
Forced alignment, FAVE, phonological transcriptions, English varieties, sociophonetics, speech recognition, phonological annotation, speech data
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167843OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-167843DiVA, id: diva2:1302869
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Available from: 2019-05-27 Created: 2019-04-06 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf