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The GlobalPhone corpus developed in collaboration with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) was designed to provide read speech data for the development and evaluation of large continuous speech recognition systems in the most widespread languages of the world, and to provide a uniform, multilingual speech and text database for language independent and language adaptive speech recognition as well as for language identification tasks.
The entire GlobalPhone corpus enables the acquisition of acoustic-phonetic knowledge of the following 20 spoken languages: Arabic (ELRA-S0192), Bulgarian (ELRA-S0319), Chinese-Mandarin (ELRA-S0193), Chinese-Shanghai (ELRA-S0194), Croatian (ELRA-S0195), Czech (ELRA-S0196), French (ELRA-S0197), German (ELRA-S0198), Hausa (ELRA-S0347), Japanese (ELRA-S0199), Korean (ELRA-S0200), Polish (ELRA-S0320), Portuguese (Brazilian) (ELRA-S0201), Russian (ELRA-S0202), Spanish (Latin America) (ELRA-S0203), Swedish (ELRA-S0204), Tamil (ELRA-S0205), Thai (ELRA-S0321), Turkish (ELRA-S0206), Vietnamese (ELRA-S0322).
In each language about 100 sentences were read from each of the 100 speakers. The read texts were selected from national newspapers available via Internet to provide a large vocabulary (up to 65,000 words). The read articles cover national and international political news as well as economic news. The speech is available in 16bit, 16kHz mono quality, recorded with a close-speaking microphone (Sennheiser 440-6) and same recording equipment for all languages. The transcriptions are internally validated and supplemented by special markers for spontaneous effects like stuttering, false starts, and non-verbal effects like laughing and hesitations. Speaker information like age, gender, occupation, etc. as well as information about the recording setup complement the database. The entire GlobalPhone corpus contains over 450 hours of speech spoken by more than 1900 native adult speakers.
Data is shortened by means of the shorten program written by Tony Robinson, available from Softsound's web page: http://www.softsound.com/ linux distributions, or simulated versions such as cygwin. Alternatively, the data could be delivered unshorten.
The Thai part of GlobalPhone was collected between July and August 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand. Data was collected from 98 speakers in total, of which 65 were female, 27 were male. For six speakers the gender is not documented. The speakers were undergraduate and graduated students at the age of 18 to 25 years. Each speaker read about 160 utterances from newspaper articles, corresponding to roughly 20 minutes of speech per person, in total we recorded 14039 utterances. The speech was recorded using a close-talking microphone Sennheiser HM420 in a push-to-talk scenario. All data were recorded at 16kHz and 16bit resolution in PCM format. The data collection took place in two small and one medium-size room with very low background noise. The text data used for recording mainly came from the news posted in newspaper websites as listed below. We followed the standard GlobalPhone protocols and focused on national and international politics and economics news (see [SCHULTZ 2002]). In sum, 14039 utterances were spoken, corresponding to 260,000 words, covering a vocabulary of 7,400 words. The latter numbers depend on the segmentation of Thai script into words, which by definition is rather arbitrary since Thai script does not provide any segmentation. For speech recognition purposes a segmentation into word segments could be provided. The Thai data are organized in a training set of 82 speakers, a development set of 8 speakers (spk IDs 023, 025, 028, 037, 045, 061, 073, 085), and an evaluation set of 8 speakers (spk IDs 101-108). More details on corpus statistics, collection scenario, and system building based on the Thai part of GlobalPhone can be found under [Suebvisai et al., 2005].
Thai Newspaper sources:
[Schultz 2002] Tanja Schultz (2002): GlobalPhone: A Multilingual Speech and Text Database developed at Karlsruhe University, Proceedings of the International Conference of Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2002, Denver, CO, September 2002.
[Suebvisai et al., 2005] Sinaporn Suebvisai, Paisarn Charoenpornsawat, Alan W Black, Monika Woszczyna, Tanja Schultz (2005): Thai Automatic Speech Recognition. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 2005.
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