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: Structure of the Published TIMIT Corpus: The CD-ROM contains doc, train, and test directories at the top level; the train and test directories both have 8 sub-directories, one per dialect region; each of these contains further subdirectories, one per speaker; the contents of the directory for female speaker A fourth feature of TIMIT is the hierarchical structure of the corpus.With 4 files per sentence, and 10 sentences for each of 500 speakers, there are 20,000 files.
It was designed to provide data for the acquisition of acoustic-phonetic knowledge and to support the development and evaluation of automatic speech recognition systems.
First, the corpus contains two layers of annotation, at the phonetic and orthographic levels.
In general, a text or speech corpus may be annotated at many different linguistic levels, including morphological, syntactic, and discourse levels.
As in other chapters, there will be many examples drawn from practical experience managing linguistic data, including data that has been collected in the course of linguistic fieldwork, laboratory work, and web crawling.
The TIMIT corpus of read speech was the first annotated speech database to be widely distributed, and it has an especially clear organization.
Finally, TIMIT includes demographic data about the speakers, permitting fine-grained study of vocal, social, and gender characteristics.
TIMIT illustrates several key features of corpus design.
Like the Brown Corpus, which displays a balanced selection of text genres and sources, TIMIT includes a balanced selection of dialects, speakers, and materials.
For each of eight dialect regions, 50 male and female speakers having a range of ages and educational backgrounds each read ten carefully chosen sentences.
The same holds true of text corpora, in the sense that the original text usually has an external source, and is considered to be an immutable artifact.
Any transformations of that artifact which involve human judgment — even something as simple as tokenization — are subject to later revision, thus it is important to retain the source material in a form that is as close to the original as possible.
Two sentences, read by all speakers, were designed to bring out dialect variation: The remaining sentences were chosen to be phonetically rich, involving all phones (sounds) and a comprehensive range of diphones (phone bigrams).