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Moreover, notice that all of the data types included in the TIMIT corpus fall into the two basic categories of lexicon and text, which we will discuss below.Even the speaker demographics data is just another instance of the lexicon data type.
Additionally, the design strikes a balance between multiple speakers saying the same sentence in order to permit comparison across speakers, and having a large range of sentences covered by the corpus to get maximal coverage of diphones.The inclusion of speaker demographics brings in many more independent variables, that may help to account for variation in the data, and which facilitate later uses of the corpus for purposes that were not envisaged when the corpus was created, such as sociolinguistics.A third property is that there is a sharp division between the original linguistic event captured as an audio recording, and the annotations of that event.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.Structured collections of annotated linguistic data are essential in most areas of NLP, however, we still face many obstacles in using them.
The goal of this chapter is to answer the following questions: Along the way, we will study the design of existing corpora, the typical workflow for creating a corpus, and the lifecycle of corpus.
Finally, notice that even though TIMIT is a speech corpus, its transcriptions and associated data are just text, and can be processed using programs just like any other text corpus.
Therefore, many of the computational methods described in this book are applicable.
: 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.
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.