Predicting Consonant Duration with Bayesian Belief Networks

Olga Goubanova, Simon King

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Consonant duration is influenced by a number of linguistic factors such as the consonant s identity, within-word position, stress level of the previous and following vowels, phrasal position of the word containing the target consonant, its syllabic position, identity of the previous and following segments. In our work, consonant duration is predicted from a Bayesian belief network (BN) consisting of discrete nodes for the linguistic factors and a single continuous node for the consonant s duration. Interactions between factors are represented as conditional dependency arcs in this graphical model. Given the parameters of the belief network, the duration of each consonant in the test set is then predicted as the value with the maximum probability. We compare the results of the belief network model with those of sums-of-products (SoP) and classification and regression tree (CART) models using the same data. In terms of RMS error, our BN model performs better than both CART and SoP models. In terms of the correlation coefficient, our BN model performs better than SoP model, and no worse than CART model. In addition, the Bayesian model reliably predicts consonant duration in cases of missing or hidden linguistic factors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterspeech 2005 - Eurospeech
Subtitle of host publication9th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)1990-9772
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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