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Guidelines for ToBI Labelling

ToBI (for Tones and Break Indices) is a system for transcribing the intonation patterns and other aspects of the prosody of English utterances. It was devised by a group of speech scientists from various different disciplines (electrical engineering, psychology, linguistics, etc.) who wanted a common standard for transcribing an agreed-upon set of prosodic elements, in order to be able to share prosodically transcribed databases across research sites in the pursuit of diverse research purposes and varied technological goals. Silverman et al. (1992) and Pitrelli et al. (1994) describe the motivation for and development of the ToBI system. If you ask for this handbook in hard copy, those papers will be appended as Appendix B. Appendix A (which is included both in the hard copy and in the ASCII file version of this labelling guide) is "The ToBI Annotation Conventions", the definitive summary statement of the symbols and marks used in ToBI transcriptions, and of the conventions that we have agreed upon for their use. The rest of this labelling guide is a more detailed description of the system, with reference to accompanying utterances of two types: example utterances to illustrate points made in the text and exercise utterances to give labellers practice on the points made in the text. These utterances are set off in the text of the labelling guide using the following typographic conventions.