Boston University Radio Speech Corpus

Item Name: Boston University Radio Speech Corpus
Author(s): Mari Ostendorf, Patti Price, Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel
LDC Catalog No.: LDC96S36
ISBN: 1-58563-060-8
ISLRN: 601-939-678-076-4
Member Year(s): 1996, 1997
DCMI Type(s): Sound
Sample Type: 1-channel pcm
Sample Rate: 16000
Data Source(s): microphone speech
Application(s): speech synthesis, speech recognition, prosody
Language(s): English
Language ID(s): eng
License(s): LDC User Agreement for Non-Members
Online Documentation: LDC96S36 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Ostendorf, Mari, Patti Price, and Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel. Boston University Radio Speech Corpus LDC96S36. DVD. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 1996.

The Boston University Radio Speech Corpus was collected primarily to support research in text-to-speech synthesis, particularly generation of prosodic patterns. The corpus consists of professionally read radio news data, including speech and accompanying annotations, suitable for speech and language research.

The corpus includes speech from seven (four male, three female) FM radio news announcers associated with WBUR, a public radio station. The main radio news portion of the corpus consists of over seven hours of news stories recorded in the WBUR radio studio during broadcasts over a two year period. In addition, the announcers were also recorded in a laboratory at Boston University. In this, the lab news portion, the announcers read a total of 24 stories from the radio news portion. The announcers were first asked to read the stories in their non-radio style and then, 30 minutes later, to read the same stories in their radio style.

Each story read by an announcer was digitized in paragraph size units, which typically include several sentences. The files were digitized at a 16k Hz sample rate using a 16-bit A/D. The paragraphs were annotated with the orthographic transcription, phonetic alignments, part-of-speech tags and prosodic markers. The orthographic transcripts were generated by hand and include indication of where the speaker took a breath. The phonetic alignments and part-of-speech tags were generated automatically and hand corrected. The prosodic labels were marked by hand and are available only for a subset of the corpus.

A zipped compressed file example.zip is available. Please be aware that this file is slightly larger than 1 Mb (1,278,998 bytes). An additional sample file, LDC1996.tgz and WAV sample are also available.

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