4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Does Lexical Stress or Metrical Stress Better Predict Word Boundaries in Dutch?

David van Kuijk

Department of Language and Speech, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands / Max-PIanck-Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

For both human and automatic speech recognizers it is difficult to segment continuous speech into discrete units such as words. Word segmentation is so hard because there seem to be no self-evident cues for word boundaries in the speech stream. However, it has been suggested that English listeners can profit from the occurrence of full vowels (i.e. vowels with metrical stress) in the speech stream to make a first good guess about the location of word boundaries. The CELEX-database study described here investigates whether such a strategy is also feasible for Dutch, and whether the occurrence of full vowels or the occurrence of vowels with primary word stress (i.e. vowels with lexical stress) is a better cue for word boundaries. The CELEX-counts suggest that for Dutch metrical stress seems to be a better predictor of word boundaries than lexical stress.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kuijk, David van (1996): "Does lexical stress or metrical stress better predict word boundaries in Dutch?", In ICSLP-1996, 1585-1588.