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EUROCOCOSDA - Europe's voice on the COCOSDA committee

The EUROCOCOSDA (European Interface to COCOSDA) project, supported by the European Commission within the framework of the Telematics Applications research programme, was initiated with the aim of supporting and coordinating European participation in COCOSDA - the International...

The EUROCOCOSDA (European Interface to COCOSDA) project, supported by the European Commission within the framework of the Telematics Applications research programme, was initiated with the aim of supporting and coordinating European participation in COCOSDA - the International Coordinating Committee on Speech Databases and Speech Input/Output Systems Assessment. This recently formed world-level forum - with representatives from about twenty countries, drawn from Europe, North America, China, Japan and the Pacific Rim area - is concerned with the definition and application of multi-language databases and assessment standards and protocols in the field of spoken language engineering. Organized by a number of European universities, EUROCOCOSDA has contributed to reinforcing Europe's position in this important and fast-developing area. Several COCOSDA working meetings have been organized and chaired on European soil - in Berlin in 1993 and Madrid in 1995 - and Europe is heading up one of COCOSDA's three subcommittees (the output committee, responsible for work on voice synthesis). Close collaboration has been established between participants in EUROCOCOSDA and other European projects on speech recognition and processing and voice synthesis and EUROCOCOSDA has become the European pillar of Polyphone, the international telephonic language database set up by COCOSDA but now managed by the American Linguistic Data Consortium. In addition, EUROCOCOSDA has developed TED (Transnational English Database), a corpus containing scraps of spontaneous conversation and readings of written text by native and non-native English speakers (the former in a variety of regional accents), in a standard computer format. The data is stored on CD-ROM, with written text references, and is available to COCOSDA members. It has also coordinated European participation in COCOSDA's NL-Speech project, in the form of News, a multilingual database of newspaper articles and spoken text. EUROCOCOSDA has demonstrated the urgent need for European coordination within the various international organizations and, by fostering European and international cooperation, has paved the way for operations on a larger scale.