5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Giving Prosody a Meaning

Christian Lieske (4), Johan Bos (1), Martin Emele (2), Bjorn Gamback(3), C.J. Rupp (1)

(1) Computational Linguistics, University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany (2) Institute of Computational Linguistics, University of Stuttgart, Germany (3) Centre for Speech Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (4) Computer Science Department, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland

Systems for spoken-language understanding can use prosodic information on the speech recognition side as well as the linguistic processing side. In the former case, prosody improves recognition accuracy and speed. In the latter case, it contributes to the computation of meaning. Interfacing prosodic processing to language analysis has so far been mainly concerned with speeding up the parsing process. The actual integration of prosodic information into the semantic part of a language understanding system, or into the transfer part of a translation system, has mostly been left aside. We describe how prosody has been used in the syntactic-semantic and transfer modules of the Verbmobil spoken dialogue translation system. On the syntactic-semantic side, prosody is currently used for the solution of three different problems: insertion of clause boundaries, selection of sentence mood (declarative, question, etc), and assignment of semantic focus. On the transfer side, the prosodic information is allowed to in uence the lexical choice of the system.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lieske, Christian / Bos, Johan / Emele, Martin / Gambac, Bjorn / Rupp, C.J. (1997): "Giving prosody a meaning", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 1431-1434.