This set of data on Taiwanese accented Putonghua (PTH) was gathered by San Duanmu at the University of Michigan. The data was recorded in Taiwan from December 1994 to January 1995. Taiwanese accented PTH refers to PTH spoken by people who were born in Taiwan and whose first language is Taiwanese (Southern Min).
A total of 40 speakers; ranging in age, education, birth place and family dialect; were recorded. There were five two-speaker dialogues and 30 single-speaker monologues. The dialogues were about 20 minutes each and the monologues were about 10 minutes each. Dialogues were recorded on two tracks, one for each speaker. Monologues were recorded on one track.
The recordings were done in ordinary, but quiet rooms. The speakers were asked in advance to speak in conversation style, without notes, on any topic they chose, or no topic at all. Most speakers spoke spontaneously and the topic drifted freely. Some speakers talked about their professional work in a rather formal way. One speaker (#20, a public health official) used notes. Overall, the corpus provides an informative sampling of variation in speech style.
The recording tools consisted of a portable DAT (Teac) which recorded at a 44.1 kHz sampling rate at 16 bits linear quantization. The microphones were AudioTechnica lapel microphones with a preamp and XLR connection to the DAT. The XLR helped low noise recordings and the AudioTechnica provided wide bandwidth, flat response over the speech range of interest, was unidirectional to minimize cross-talk and very light in comparison with standard microphones. Both single-speaker monologues and two-speaker dialogues were recorded using this system on standard DAT tape. For publication on CD-ROM, the original DAT recordings were downsampled to a 16 kHz sample rate.
Before recording, all speakers read and signed the "Informed Consent Form," which was written in Chinese and which largely followed the standard format approved by the Human Subject Committee of the University of Michigan. The form stated that the participation in the recording was entirely voluntary and that the speech may be used for linguistic teaching and research purposes.
The speech data are accompanied by transcripts. The monologues have start and end time stamps. The five dialogues are time stamped by speaker turn.
After the publication of this corpus some demographic data was made available to the LDC. To access this data, please go to the demographic table.