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FW: Pronunciation lexicon

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 10:09:43 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B7ADDE9@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Phill Jenkins sent this to the IG list earlier today. I'm forwarding it
to the working group because it bears on our requirements under
Guideline 3.1.
I'll take an action item to review the links Phill has provided. If
anyone else has time to look at them, that would be great.

"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Phill Jenkins
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 9:56 am
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Pronunciation lexicon

The W3C Voice Browser Working Group <http://www.w3.org/Voice/>  aims to
develop specifications to enable access to the Web using spoken
interaction. They have published a requirements document, which is a set
of requirements studies for voice browsers, and provides details of the
requirements for markup used for specifying application specific
pronunciation lexicons. 

Application specific pronunciation lexicons are required in many
situations where the default lexicon supplied with a speech recognition
or speech synthesis processor does not cover the vocabulary of the
application. A pronunciation lexicon is a collection of words or phrases
together with their pronunciations specified using an appropriate
pronunciation alphabet. 


There are local pronunciation rules that Text-to-speech (TTS)
synthesizers will never be able to get right all the time unless there
is a lexicon for pronunciation.  For example, 'UT' can be pronounced as
U.T., Utah, or ut.    If it is part of a U.S. mail address, UT is
pronounced as the State of Utah, but if you're from Austin Texas, it is
used as the abbreviation for the University of Texas, pronounced U.T..
Although the lexicon spec is being worked on by the W3C voice browser
group, I know of no commitment from the screen reader vendors to support
it even if the author marks it up in the HTML. 

However, there is still a need for a best practices document for editors
to use that would include guidelines about the best copy text for screen
readers and TTS synthesizers.  For example, I rarely insert punctuation
into the Alt attribute; I try to not leave lone periods following a URL
because the trailing period gets pronounced as a 'dot' instead of being
treated as punctuation; and there are others. 

I think a best practices document would be a good project to work on for
the WAI Education & Outreach Working group. 

Phill Jenkins
IBM Worldwide Accessibility Center
Received on Monday, 14 February 2005 16:09:44 UTC

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