. In this paper we present an integrated approach for recognizing both the word sequence and the syntactic-prosodic structure of a spontaneous utterance. We take into account the fact that a spontaneous utterance is not merely an unstructured sequence of words by incorporating phrase boundary information into the language model and by providing HMMs to model boundaries. This allows for a distinction between word transitions across phrase boundaries and transitions within a phrase. During recognition, the syntactic-prosodic structure of the utterance is determined implicitly. Without any increase in computational effort, this leads to a 4% reduction of word error rate, and, at the same time, syntactic-prosodic boundary labels are provided for subsequent processing. The boundaries are recognized with a precision and recall rate of about 75% for both. They can be used to reduce drastically the computational effort for parsing spontaneous utterances, as has been shown in the German Verbmob..
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