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Automatic Segmentation for Nordic Languages with Autophon

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Automatic segmentation, also known as  automatisk segmentering in Swedish, is a valuable process that converts audio files and corresponding transcripts into time-aligned phonetic annotations. This technique allows researchers and linguists to analyze spoken language more efficiently and accurately. In this article, we will explore the benefits of automatic segmentation and how Autophon, a web app specialized in Nordic languages, facilitates this process.

1. The Significance of Automatic Segmentation

Automatic segmentation plays a crucial role in linguistic research, language documentation, and speech analysis. By aligning audio recordings with their corresponding transcripts, researchers can study various aspects of language, including phonetics, phonology, and prosody. It allows for a deeper understanding of the structure and dynamics of spoken language, enabling the extraction of valuable insights.

1.1 Enhancing Linguistic Research

Automatic segmentation simplifies the time-consuming task of manually aligning audio recordings and transcripts. Researchers can focus more on analyzing the linguistic features of the data rather than spending excessive time on alignment. This boosts productivity and enables more comprehensive studies in various linguistic domains.

1.2 Language Documentation and Preservation

In the field of language documentation, automatic segmentation plays a vital role in preserving endangered and indigenous languages. By accurately aligning audio recordings with transcriptions, linguists can create valuable linguistic resources for future generations. This aids in the preservation and revitalization of languages that may be at risk of extinction.

2. Autophon: Automatic Segmentation for Nordic Languages

Autophon is a beta web app designed specifically for the Nordic languages. It utilizes forced alignment technology to achieve accurate and efficient automatic segmentation of audio files and their corresponding transcripts. The app employs neural networks and the Montreal Forced Aligner to determine the time intervals in the audio file that correspond to each phonetic segment in the transcript.

2.1 How Autophon Works

To utilize Autophon, users need to sign up for an account. Once registered, they can upload their audio files and accompanying transcripts to the web app. Autophon’s backend, powered by the Montreal Forced Aligner, employs language-specific models trained on naturally-occurring spontaneous speech. This ensures accurate alignment for the Nordic languages, including Danish, Norwegian Bokmål, and Swedish.

2.2 Future Plans and Language Support

While currently focused on Nordic languages, Autophon has plans to expand its language support in the future. The team behind Autophon aims to include languages such as Faroese, Finnish, Elfdalian, Greenlandic, Icelandic, Norwegian Nynorsk, and Sami. This broader language support will enable researchers and linguists to utilize automatic segmentation for a wider range of languages and dialects.


Automatic segmentation, or “automatisk segmentering,” is a valuable tool for linguistic research, language documentation, and speech analysis. Autophon, with its specialized focus on Nordic languages, provides researchers with an efficient and accurate web app for automatic segmentation. By utilizing Autophon, researchers can streamline their analysis processes, enhance linguistic research, and contribute to the preservation of endangered languages. As Autophon continues to develop and expand its language support, the possibilities for automatic segmentation across various languages and dialects will continue to grow.


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