Nationwide Speech Project

Item Name: Nationwide Speech Project
Author(s): Cynthia G. Clopper, David B. Pisoni
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2007S15
ISBN: 1-58563-449-2
ISLRN: 686-386-828-766-0
Release Date: September 17, 2007
Member Year(s): 2007
DCMI Type(s): Sound
Sample Type: pcm
Sample Rate: 44100
Data Source(s): microphone speech
Application(s): speech recognition, sociolinguistics, natural language processing, linguistic analysis, language modeling
Language(s): English
Language ID(s): eng
License(s): Nationwide Speech Project Agreement
Online Documentation: LDC2007S15 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Clopper, Cynthia G., and David Pisoni. Nationwide Speech Project LDC2007S15. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2007.
Related Works: View


This corpus represents part of the work of the Nationwide Speech Project (NSP) conducted by the authors at Indiana University. The purpose of the NSP was to collect a large amount of speech produced by male and female talkers representing the primary regional varieties of American English: New England, Mid-Atlantic, North, Midland, South and West. This release contains approximately 60 hours of speech or nearly one hour of speech from each of 60 white American English speakers --including five male and five female talkers from the six dialect regions -- reading words and sentences. The corpus can be used for perceptual and acoustic experiments designed to explore the role of variation in spoken language processing. Such applications include speech science experiments and sociolinguistic or sociophonetic research.


The speakers were recruited from the Indiana University community; they were all 18-25 years old at the time of recording, had lived exclusively in one region prior to age 18, and both parents of each speaker were also raised in the same region. Further demographic information about the speakers is provided in the file talkers.txt. The materials include 102 high predictability sentences and five repetitions of each of 10 hVd words. The high predictability sentences are 5-8 words in length and the final word in each sentence is highly predictable based on the preceding semantic context. The 10 hVd words are: heed, hid, hayed, head, had, hod, hud, hoes, hood and who'd.

Participants were recorded one at a time by an experimenter in a sound attenuated booth (IAC Audiometric Testing Room, Model 402). Both the experimenter and the participant sat in the sound booth during testing. During the recording session, the participant was seated in front of a ViewSonic LCD flatscreen monitor (ViewPanel VG151) which mirrored the screen of a Macintosh Powerbook G3 laptop. The participant wore a Shure head-mounted microphone (SM10A) that was positioned approximately one inch from the left corner of the talker's mouth. The microphone output was fed to an Applied Research Technology microphone tube pre-amplifier. The output gain on the pre-amplifier was adjusted by the experimenter while the participant read the Grandfather Passage as a warm-up before recording began. The output of the microphone pre-amplifier was connected to a Roland UA-30 USB audio interface which digitized the signal and transmitted it via USB ports to the laptop where each utterance was recorded in an individual AIFF 16-bit digital sound file at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz (converted to .wav format files for this release) The experimenter held the laptop on her lap and wore headphones connected to the Roland device so that she could hear the same audio signal that inputted into the laptop for recording.


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