Gulf Arabic Conversational Telephone Speech, Transcripts

Item Name: Gulf Arabic Conversational Telephone Speech, Transcripts
Author(s): Appen Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2006T15
ISBN: 1-58563-401-8
ISLRN: 647-896-139-023-9
Release Date: September 19, 2006
Member Year(s): 2006
DCMI Type(s): Text
Data Source(s): telephone conversations
Language(s): Gulf Arabic
Language ID(s): afb
License(s): LDC User Agreement for Non-Members
Online Documentation: LDC2006T15 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Appen Pty Ltd, Sydney, and Australia. Gulf Arabic Conversational Telephone Speech, Transcripts LDC2006T15. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2006.


Gulf Arabic Conversational Telephone Speech, Transcripts is a database containing transcripts of 975 Gulf Arabic speakers taking part in spontaneous telephone conversations in Colloquial Gulf Arabic. A total of 976 conversation sides are provided (one speaker appears on two distinct calls). The average duration per side is about 5.7 minutes.

The data was collected and transcribed in 2004 by Appen Pty Ltd., Sydney, Australia.

Each transcript file is a tab-delimited flat table, where each line contains information and text for a single contiguous utterance, presented via the following fields:

  1. beginning time stamp in seconds, in square brackets ("[5.7189]")
  2. ending time stampe in seconds, in square brackets
  3. channel/speaker-ID ("A:" or "B:")
  4. "consonant skeleton" orthography for the utterance, in UTF-8
  5. "diacritized" orthography for the utterance, in ASCII

The ASCII field is the Buckwalter transliteration of the fully "vowelized" (pronunciation) form of the utterance. Within fields 4 and 5, word boundaries are marked by space characters in the normal way, following common practices of Arabic orthographic convention (e.g. all definite articles and many conjunctions and prepositions are attached as prefixes to the following word).

Transcript tokens enclosed in single parentheses -- e.g. "(DHk)" -- represent annotation marks for non-speech events or conditions, such as laughter, noise, etc. Multi-token strings within single parentheses involve words in some other language (typically English) or some other Arabic dialect.

Double parentheses, either with or without tokens enclosed within them -- e.g. "(())", "((word))" or "((word1 word2))" -- represent regions where the transcriber was unable to tell for sure what was said.

The "consonant skeleton" orthography is intended to reflect common orthographic practice in written Arabic (i.e. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)), but without being bound strictly by the specific spellings of MSA words. That is, there may be novel (dialect-specific) words and changes of consonant quality (hence altered spelling) in words that are cognate between MSA and Gulf Arabic.

The "vowelized" orthography is restricted to a character set that allows words to be rendered coherently in Arabic script (with all diacritics present as needed to represent short vowels, etc), but is intended to reflect the perceived pronunciation of each token. As a result, a given word (type), having a multiple occurrences in the text with identical "skeletal" spellings, may have multiple distinct "vowelized" spellings. In some cases, these different spellings simply reflect pronunciation variants, while in other cases, they represent distinct morphological forms (with distinct contextual meanings) where the semantic differences are conveyed solely by the the short vowels (i.e. the diacritics).


For an example of the data in this publication, please view this screen capture.

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