Speech corpus

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For a broader coverage related to this topic, see Corpus linguistics.

A speech corpus (or spoken corpus) is a database of speech audio files and text transcriptions. In Speech technology, speech corpora are used, among other things, to create acoustic models (which can then be used with a speech recognition engine). In Linguistics, spoken corpora are used to do research into Phonetic, Conversation analysis, Dialectology and other fields.

A corpus is one such database. Corpora is the plural of corpus (i.e. it is many such databases).

There are two types of Speech Corpora:

  1. Read Speech - which includes:
    • Book excerpts
    • Broadcast news
    • Lists of words
    • Sequences of numbers
  2. Spontaneous Speech - which includes:
    • Dialogs - between two or more people (includes meetings);
    • Narratives - a person telling a story (one such corpus is the Buckeye Corpus);
    • Map-tasks - one person explains a route on a map to another;
    • Appointment-tasks - two people try to find a common meeting time based on individual schedules.

A special kind of speech corpora are non-native speech databases that contain speech with foreign accent.

See also[edit]


  • Edwards, Jane / Lampert, Martin (eds.) (1992): Talking Data – Transcription and Coding in Discourse Research. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
  • Leech, Geoffrey / Myers, Greg / Thomas, Jenny (eds.) (1995): Spoken English on Computer: Transcription, Markup and Application. Harlow: Longman.

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