Tuesday, July 19, 2016

LDC July 2016 Newsletter

Fall 2016 Data Scholarship Program

2015 User Survey Results

New Publications:

Fall 2016 Data Scholarship Program

Applications are now being accepted through Thursday, September 15, 2016 for the Fall 2016 LDC Data Scholarship program. The LDC Data Scholarship program provides university students with access to LDC data at no-cost.

This program is open to students pursuing both undergraduate and graduate studies in an accredited college or university. LDC Data Scholarships are not restricted to any particular field of study; however, students must demonstrate a well-developed research agenda and a bona fide inability to pay. The selection process is highly competitive.

The application consists of two parts:
(1) Data Use Proposal. Applicants must submit a two-page proposal describing their intended use of the data. The proposal should state which data the student plans to use, how the data will benefit their research project, the proposed methodology or algorithm which will be used and how success will be measured.

Applicants should consult the Catalog for a complete list of data distributed by LDC. Due to certain restrictions, a handful of LDC corpora are restricted to members of the Consortium. Applicants are advised to select a maximum of one to two databases.

(2) Letter of Support. Applicants must submit one letter of support from their thesis adviser or department chair. The letter must be signed and printed on letterhead, describe the student and the research, evaluate the probability of success and confirm that the department or university lacks the funding to pay the full non-member fee for the data. 

For further information on application materials and program rules, please visit the LDC Data Scholarship page.

2015 User Survey Results
LDC conducted its fourth user survey in December 2015. This survey built on the previous surveys conducted in 2006, 2007 and 2012 to assess user sentiment and also asked for the evaluation of key LDC-related topics including:
·         Opinions on the new website and usability of the Catalog
·         Use and satisfaction with the enhanced user services and e-commerce system
·         LDC’s Data Management Plan capabilities
·         Suggestions for future publications and preferred data delivery methods
·         Use of web services for data access and processing

Overall, survey respondents were satisfied with LDC’s data, membership options, website, Catalog and enhanced user services. Participants cited the top five most useful corpora received between 2012 and 2015 as OntoNotes Release 5.0TIMITTAC KBP Reference Knowledge BasePenn Discourse Treebank V 2.0, and Multi-Channel WSJ Audio. Three fourths of respondents prefer digital delivery of data and the top three languages for current research demands were identified as English, Chinese and Spanish.

We thank everyone who participated in this survey. Responses will benefit the future of the Consortium and will help LDC to better meet the needs of our members and data licensees.

New Corpora

(1) English Speed Networking Conversational Transcripts was developed at the University of the West of England and contains 388 transcripts of English face-to-face and instant messaging conversations  about business ideas collected in 2014 and 2015 from participants (undergraduate students) playing different power roles.

This corpus was created to examine communication accommodation, specifically, the ways in which an individual's linguistic style is affected by social power and personality. The data was collected in two studies. In the first study, 40 participants had a series of paired five minute face-to-face conversations playing either a high, low or neutral power role. The same procedure was followed in the second study except that participants discussed business ideas via instant messaging.

The face-to-face conversations were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim.

All transcripts are presented as UTF-8 plain text files.

English Speed Networking Conversational Transcripts is distributed via web download.
2016 Subscription Members will automatically receive two copies of this corpus. 2016 Standard Members may request a copy as part of their 16 free membership corpora. Non-members may license this data for US $400.00


(2) Digital Archive of Southern Speech - NLP Version (DASS-NLP) was developed by LDC as an alternate version of Digital Archive of Southern Speech (DASS) (LDC2012S03) suitable for natural language processing and human language technology applications. Specifically, the original audio files have been converted to 16kHz 16-bit flac compressed wav and file names have been normalized to facilitate automatic processing.

DASS was developed by the University of Georgia. It is a subset of the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS), which is in turn part of the Linguist Atlas Project (LAP). DASS-NLP contains approximately 366 hours of English speech data from 30 female speakers and 34 male speakers, along with associated metadata about the speakers, the recordings and maps in .jpeg format relating to the recording locations.

LAP consists of a set of survey research projects about the words and pronunciation of everyday American English, the largest project of its kind in the United States. Interviews with thousands of native speakers across the country have been carried out since 1929. LAGS surveyed the everyday speech of Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas in a series of 914 audio-taped interviews conducted from 1968-1983.

The speakers' average age is 61 years; there are 30 women and 34 men from the Gulf States region represented in this release. The interviews cover common topics such as family, the weather, household articles and activities, agriculture and social conditions.   

Digital Archive of Southern Speech - NLP Version is distributed via web download.

2016 Not-for-Profit Subscription Members will automatically receive two copies of this corpus. 2016 For-Profit Subscription Members will receive two copies provided they have submitted a completed copy of the For-Profit Member User License Agreement for Digital Archive of Southern Speech – NLP Version (LDC2016S05). 2016 Standard Members may request a copy as part of their 16 free membership corpora. This data is being made available at no-cost for non-member organizations under a research license.


(3) GALE Phase 3 and 4 Chinese Broadcast News Parallel Text was developed by LDC. Along with other corpora, the parallel text in this release comprised training data for Phases 3 and 4 of the DARPA GALE (Global Autonomous Language Exploitation) Program. This corpus contains Chinese source text and corresponding English translations selected from broadcast news data collected by LDC between 2006 and 2008 and transcribed and translated by LDC or under its direction.

GALE Phase 3 and 4 Chinese Broadcast News Parallel Text includes 76 source-translation document pairs, comprising 614,608 tokens of Chinese source text and its English translation. Data is drawn from 16 distinct Chinese programs broadcast between 2006 and 2008 by China Central TV, a national and international broadcaster in Mainland China and Phoenix TV, a Hong Kong-based satellite television station. The programs in this release feature news programs on current events topics.

The files in this release were transcribed by LDC staff and/or transcription vendors under contract to LDC in accordance with the Quick Rich Transcription guidelines developed by LDC.

Source data and translations are distributed in TDF format. All data are encoded in UTF-8.

GALE Phase 3 and 4 Chinese Broadcast News Parallel is distributed via web download

2016 Subscription Members will automatically receive two copies of this corpus. 2016 Standard Members may request a copy as part of their 16 free membership corpora. Non-members may license this data for US $1750.00


(4IARPA Babel Cantonese Language Pack IARPA-babel101b-v0.4c was developed by Appen for the IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) Babel program. It contains approximately 215 hours of Cantonese conversational and scripted telephone speech collected in 2011 along with corresponding transcripts.

The Babel program focuses on underserved languages and seeks to develop speech recognition technology that can be rapidly applied to any human language to support keyword search performance over large amounts of recorded speech.

The Cantonese speech in this release represents that spoken in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, and within those provinces, among five dialect groups. The gender distribution among speakers is approximately even; speakers' ages range from 16 years to 67 years. Calls were made using different telephones (e.g., mobile, landline) from a variety of environments including the street, a home or office, a public place, and inside a vehicle.

All audio data is presented as 8kHz 8-bit a-law encoded audio in sphere format. Transcripts are available in two versions: simplified Chinese characters and a romanization scheme based on the Yale system, both encoded in UTF-8.

IARPA Babel Cantonese Language Pack IARPA is distributed via web download

2016 Subscription Members will receive two copies of this corpus provided they have submitted a completed copy of the IARPA User Agreement for Not-for-Profit Members or the IARPA User Agreement for For-Profit Members. 2016 Standard Members may request a copy as part of their 16 free membership corpora. Non-members may license this data for US $25.00 under a research license

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