Time to Rhyme: The CMU Pronouncing Dictionary and You

03:30 PM - 04:25 PM on August 15, 2015, Room 704

Allison Parrish

Audience level:


I recently made a Python module called Pronouncing, which is an easy and fun interface for the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary. In this talk, I'll show you how to use the library for creative English text generation tasks: counting syllables, finding rhymes, and matching meter.


You’ve got a project that deals with English text, and you’d like to know how particular words are pronounced. Maybe you need to know how many syllables there are in a word, or you want to find text that rhymes, or you want to generate text that has a particular meter. But there’s a problem: it’s impossible know how an English word is pronounced given only its spelling! What to do? Fortunately, there’s the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary—a free, plain-text database of computer-readable phonetic information about thousands and thousands of English words. In this talk, you’ll learn where to find this magical dictionary, how to parse it, and how to use the data contained therein. I'll show how you can a new Python module that I wrote—called Pronouncing—to accomplish tasks like counting syllables, searching for words according to their phonetic characteristics, and generating rhymes.