LINGUIST List 7.1518

Sun Oct 27 1996

FYI: Speech Processing, Virtual Institute of Mambila Studies

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>


  1. Stevie Herbert Sackin, Speech Processing Web site
  2., Virtual Institute of Mambila Studies URL

Message 1: Speech Processing Web site

Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 12:05:28 -0000
From: Stevie Herbert Sackin <>
Subject: Speech Processing Web site
Dear all,

We are emailing all the people we have addresses for to announce
the establishment of a new website that demonstrates processing
of speech data. The address is:

One feature of the site is that it allows anyone who is
interested to submit their own speech data for processing. There
are a few limitations which affect who will be able to use it:

1. Speech file format restictions (details are given on the site).
2. To access all facilities we recommend a browser which can handle frames.
3. You need a sound card if you want to hear the speech examples.
4. Uploading your files for processing takes a bit of time so be patient and
please lay off the keys while you're waiting.

We intend extending what is on offer as soon as we can, both in
terms of processing longer files and by offering additional forms
of processing.

At present, the only processing offered is syllabification. There
is an example where we have marked all vowels with a click and
you can hear the speech and superimposed clicks in one of the
demos. Sample data you may wish to submit can be processed in
this way and results accessed at the site. You can also hear a
demonstration of one of our early attempts at automatically
marking out stuttered sections of a child's speech. For the
technically minded, what we compute are the words spoken by the
child (using DTW) and then apply an ANN classifier to each
word. In the example you hear the speech with a tone superimposed
on the bits that are thought to be dysfluent. We are in the
process of updating the software to use the new segment markers
and applying a better ANN classifier so if you are interested
watch this space. When that is released we will try and set it up
so you can try it for yourself (there's no point in letting you
use the current system at present as the new one's much better).

We are interested in comments, requests and so on concerning how
we can improve things so let us know what you think (please fill
in the questionnaire when you visit the site). Please pass this
information on to any friends and colleagues you think might also
be interested.

Incidentally, we have searched around (date 10/10/96) and can't
find any other site that offers online Automatic Speech analysis
facilities over the web (we found a few where you can ftp data
across for processing but that's not the same thing at
all). Granted, we're only offering automatic syllabification at
present but even so, we'd like to claim a world record on
this. If there is anyone out there who knows that we are wrong,
then perhaps they could let us know.

Finally, we would like to mention the Wellcome Trust's role in
this endeavour: Without their support, the development of the
software and opportunity of making this available on the website
would not have been possible.

In the spirit of international co-operation in our mutual
endeavour in understanding the nature of speech, particularly
those concerned with communication breakdown in children, regards
to all.

Peter Howell, Kazan Glenn, Stevie Sackin and James Au-Yeung.
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Message 2: Virtual Institute of Mambila Studies URL

Date: Sun, 27 Oct 1996 16:39:31 GMT
From: <>
Subject: Virtual Institute of Mambila Studies URL

The Virtual Institute of Mambila Studies exists to collate and
connect the different research and researchers with a linguistic
and anthropological interest in the Mambila people of the Nigeria
- Cameroon borderland and their neighbours (e.g Vute, Wawa,
Kwanja, Nizaa, Yamba). Abstracts or full texts of papers are
available at the site.

VIMS was established by David Zeitlyn (anthropology) and Bruce
Connell (linguistics); check it out, send us your comments.
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