This paper describes a tool for automatic detection of prosodic boundaries (PBs) in French, and evaluates it on a 12 min. speech corpus, using a reference annotation prepared by a trained phonetician.
The phonetic alignment of the corpus is used to identify the nucleus (as the local peak of intensity) within the rhyme of each syllable. After pitch stylization, the following prosodic properties are computed for each syllable: pause presence, syllable lengthening, intra-syllabic pitch movement, and pitch prominence. These features are combined in detection rules. No training corpus is required.
Perceived PBs of 4 strengths (major, intermediate, minor, no boundary) were annotated by an expert, for a test corpus of 8 samples of continuous speech.
The match between reference PBs and detected PBs was evaluated as a classification task. In addition, the contribution of each prosodic feature to boundary detection was estimated.