The TIMIT dialect "shibboleth" sentences were designed to have features showing what geographic and social dialect or style a speaker was in fact using.
The dialect sentences are:
She had your dark suit in greasy wash water all year. (sa1)SRI has provided a table of objective phonetic characteristics for these sentences which contains their transcriptions of these important features for each of the 630 TIMIT subjects. The table is located in the file, "obj_phn.txt".
Don't ask me to carry an oily rag like that. (sa2)
The table is organized into records for each speaker as follows:
a blank line to delimit speaker records, followed by the speaker i.d. on a line by itself, followed by a number of lines each containing: a field i.d. and a field valueNote that when subjects were picked for subsequent corpora such as the Resource Management corpus, this table was used as the basis for clustering them to make sure that the dialectal space was covered.
From the two dialect sentences, eighteen allophonic sites were chosen, which they felt they could transcribe consistently and reliably. In addition, based on the two dialect sentences, each speaker was rated on a number of global characteristics. The sites and global characteristics are listed below, along with the possible values considered, and the symbols used in the data file.
Table 2a: Objective Phonetic Field Definitions field values symbols ----- ------ ------- HADYOUR-Y y y zh zh YOUR-OUR full vowel,r Vr axr axr ax ax DARK-R no r 0 r r DARK-K aspirated release asp no aspirated release nasp SUITIN-TI voiced velic release into syllabic nasal vrel-en t release, glottal stop, syllabic nasal trel-q-en no aspirated release, glottal stop, vowel nasp-q-V flap, vowel dx-V aspirated t, vowel asp-V aspirated t, glottal stop, vowel asp-q-V no aspirated release, glottal stop, syll nas nasp-q-en GREASY-S z z s s WASH-R r r no-r 0 WATER-T t t dx or d dx/d WATER-ER axr axr ax ax ALL-Q initial glottal stop (q) or glottalization q no-q 0 DONTASK-NT q only q released stop, q rel-q no consonants 00 released stop, no q rel-0 (n, no burst t) or nasal flap, q (n-tcl/nx)-q (n, no burst t) or nasal flap, no q (n-tcl/nx)-0 ASK-K k, s ("ax") k-s aspirated release asp no aspirated release nasp TO-T t t dx or d dx/d AN-Q initial glottal stop (q) or glottalization q no-q 0 OILY-Q initial glottal stop (q) or glottalization q no-q 0 LIKE-AI aa aa ay ay THAT-TH dh dh d d THAT-T aspirated release asp no aspirated release nasp UNUSUAL yes yes no no NON-NATIVE yes yes no no PRECISION sloppy sloppy careful careful neutral neutral CREAKY a lot a lot some some no no BREATHY a lot a lot some some no no ROUGH a lot a lot some some no no NASAL a lot a lot some some no no CLOSE-R a lot a lot some some no no DRAWLY a lot a lot some some no no PITCH very high very high high high average average low low very low very low