The Influence of the Labellerís Regional Background on Phonetic Transcriptions: Implications for the Evaluation of Spoken Language Resources


Evie Coussť, Steven Gillis, Hanne Kloots, Marc Swerts

Centre of Dutch Language and Speech, University of Antwerp




Phonetic transcriptions of spoken language corpora are not an exact written reproduction of the speech signal. They are influenced by a variety of factors such as the transcriberís native categorical perception. What remains unexplored is to what extent variation of perception within the same language exerts any influence on phonetic transcriptions. We report a case study of the labelling of vowel quality performed by native speakers of Dutch from either The Netherlands or Belgium. An analysis of the distribution of vowel quality labels reveals that labellers from The Netherlands have an other preference for certain vowel quality labels than labellers from Belgium. The inter-labeller agreement between is higher between labellers from the same region than between labellers from different regions. From these results, the conclusion can be drawn that labellers from The Netherlands and Belgium have a different perception of vowel quality in Standard Dutch. Thus, the factor regional background of transcribers should be taken into account when evaluating phonetic transcriptions of spoken language resources.


Phonetic transcription, Regional language variation, Perception, Evaluation, Spoken Dutch Corpus

Language(s) Dutch
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