Print

tools ok

 

 

 

 

 

PRAAT

PRAAT (‘doing Phonetics by computer’) is a speech analysis software developed by Paul Boersma and David Weenink at the Institute of Phonetic Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. It is a shareware program, downloadable for free use from the PRAAT homepage (www.praat.org or http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/), running under, among others, the most common operating systems – Windows, Macintosh and Linux. The software is regularly up-dated;

 

PRAAT is a highly sophisticated tool for speech analysis with manifold functions in a simple, user-friendly layout. To mention just a few of its basic operations, with PRAAT a speech signal or a ‘speech object’ can be:

 

Since the Help tutorial in PRAAT itself (‘Introduction to Praat’), the Praat beginners’ manual and the Praat short tutorial (in pdf format) are all available on-line on the PRAAT homepage and offer a thorough and complete introduction to the program in English, it seems unnecessary to provide a proper introduction here [1].

 

In order to transcribe with PRAAT you need to be familiar with the following procedures (a detailed description of these steps can be found in French in Delais-Roussarie, Durand, Lyche, Meqqori & Tarrier (2002) :

 

Among the most obvious advantages of working with PRAAT are the following:

 

And if you wish to do more advanced tasks you can also extract labelled segments (e.g. all segments labelled ‘voiceless stop’) and perform a number of sophisticated phonetic and acoustic measurements, including durational, spectrographic, intensity, formant and pitch analyses.

 

TRANSPRAAT

Transpraat (a program developed by A. Meqqori for the French PFC project) converts the coded text files (or ‘textgrids’) created with PRAAT into ‘normal’ text files that you can edit, format and print with your customary word processing tool, such as Microsoft Word. Note, however, that the document will no longer be linked to the original audio signal and PRAAT textgrid. Thus all eventual corrections or modifications in the transcription should be done and recorded in the original textgrid in PRAAT.

 

In a PRAAT textgrid the transcriptions appear within PRAAT-specific codes as illustrated in the following 34 second sequence from a conversation below. In this ‘raw’ textgrid format, the codes link each ‘interval’ to the original sound file:

 

        intervals [10]:

            xmin = 1177.5648270086172

            xmax = 1181.1347845804989

            text = "F: And how did you find Afghanistan, I mean the country?"

        intervals [11]:

            xmin = 1181.1347845804989

            xmax = 1191.169782935204

            text = "RM: Er, it's, it's, er, yeah, it was quite a nice place er, (XX) smelly in some places, the (XX) particularly, er it's very run down and er, "

        intervals [12]:

            xmin = 1191.169782935204

            xmax = 1196.0005442176871

            text = "RM: (stammering) most of the places, like the, the mountains or the farmers and stuff, they're, "

        intervals [13]:

            xmin = 1196.0005442176871

            xmax = 1202.334784580499

            text = "RM: they're generally quite friendly but er, very, very poor, it's like er, stuck in er, the Middle Ages I think."

        intervals [14]:

            xmin = 1202.334784580499

            xmax = 1211.4604081632654

            text = "RM: But er, yeah, it was not bad, (XX) not bad. Very rocky, the mountains, some of the, the mountains we were up were p/ particularly high."

 

The same sequence can be seen below, converted by Transpraat: there are no codes and speaking turns are automatically adjusted.

 

F: And how did you find Afghanistan, I mean the country?

RM: Er, it's, it's, er, yeah, it was quite a nice place er, (XX) smelly in some places, the (XX) particularly, er it's very run down and er, (stammering) most of the places, like the, the mountains or the farmers and stuff, they're,  they're generally quite friendly but er, very, very poor, it's like er, stuck in er, the Middle Ages I think. But er, yeah, it was not bad, (XX) not bad. Very rocky, the mountains, some of the, the mountains we were up were p/ particularly high.

 

The program can be freely downloaded from the PFC site: http://www.projet-pfc.net/?accueil:outilspfc:transpraat, where a manual on its use (which is extremely simple) is also available [2].

 

DOLMEN

Dolmen is a free, open-source cross-platform application for the analysis of linguistic data.  It was designed and is regularly updated by Julien Eychenne for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
 
"It offers a user-friendly interface to manage, annotate and query language corpora. It is particularly well suited for dealing with time-aligned data. The main features it offers are:

 

(see http://julieneychenne.info/files/dolmen_manual.pdf for further information on the toolbox ; in particular check 6.5. if you are a PAC or a PFC user)

 
Dolmen is downloadable at www.julieneychenne.info/dolmen
Any query should be made to Julien Eychenne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


[1] Useful presentations in French of transcription tools in general and PRAAT in particular can be found in Delais-Roussarie (2003 b), Delais-Roussarie, Meqqori & Tarrier (2003).

[2] See also Meqqori & Durand (2003).