Database of contemporary spoken English

Ref No: Nol-2585-11

Recordings of speakers with ‘Standard Southern British English’ pronunciation have been collected and transcribed orthographically by researchers in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge.

The database was recorded with forensic phonetic research in mind, but serves very generally as an extensive source of contemporary spoken English. It comprises studio quality recordings of 100 male speakers aged 18–25 performing four tasks involving different speaking styles: taking part in a simulated police interview; making a telephone call with an ‘accomplice’ (recorded simultaneously and over the public telephone network); reading a passage; and reading a set of sentences.

Compared to alternative databases of comparable size, this database provides, for a tightly homogeneous population of speakers, a spectrum of speaking styles with a substantial number of words and phrases (elicited by design) in common. It is expected to be of interest to companies involved in a variety of speech technologies, and is available to license from the Economic and Social Data Service.

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