Towards automatic annotation of prosodic prominence levels in Austrian German

Julian Linke, Anneliese Kelterer, Markus Alexander Dabrowski, Dina El Zarka, Barbara Schuppler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


The creation of prosodic annotations is one of the most diffi-cult and time-consuming aspects of creating a speech database. Generally, only the speech signal and manually created tran-scriptions are available in an early resource development stage.This paper presents a tool for annotating prosodic prominenceat the word level, using exclusively acoustic features (96 f0-,intensity- and durational features). The best performance forseparating prominent from non-prominent words in Austrianread speech was reached with a decision tree with the abso-lute word duration as the only feature. For distinguishing moreprominence levels, a good performance was reached with a ran-dom forest model, similar to the best inter-annotator agreement.Furthermore, we analyzed in detail the feature ranking of therandom forest to give us insights into the relative importanceof the features contributing to prominence in Austrian German:Word duration>f0 range, RMS range. The specific findingsof this study will mainly be relevant for speech scientists andprosody researchers interested in German. Our methodologi-cal approach of analyzing prosodic prominence from a purelyacoustic perspective at the word-level will also be interestingfor researchers focusing on prosody in other languages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Speech Prosody 2020
Subtitle of host publication10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020
Place of PublicationTokyo, Japan
Pages1000 - 1004
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event10th International Conference on Speech Prosody - virtuell, Unknown
Duration: 24 May 202028 May 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
ISSN (Print)2333-2042


Conference10th International Conference on Speech Prosody
Abbreviated titleSpeech Prosody 2020


  • Austrian German
  • Decision trees
  • Prosodic features
  • Prosodic prominence
  • Random forests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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  • Elise Richter

    Schuppler, Barbara (Recipient), Nov 2017

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

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