Wed, Aug 30, 2006 - Page 15 News List

New software allows puns without speech 新軟體幫你說雙關語

Children laugh at a library in Fort Smith in the US state of Arkansas.
孩童在美國阿肯色州Fort Smith一家圖書館開懷大笑。 (照片:美聯社)

PHOTO: AP

Children who need to use computer devices to speak can now hone their sense of humour, thanks to new software from Scotland that helps them make punning jokes.

Known as the System to Augment Non-speakers' Dialogue Using Puns, or Standup, the software was developed by researchers at Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh universities.

It has already been successfully tested with eight youngsters at a Glasgow school, allowing them to come up with such punning jokes as “What do you call a spicy missile? A hot shot.”

It solves one of the main problems with the computerized speech aids that already exist which, researchers say, might restrict the development of a child's language skills. The old speech aids stick to the basics and don't allow users spontaneity.

“The software makes simple puns by looking for suitable patterns in the words and phrases which are available to it,” said Graeme Ritchie of Aberdeen University's computing science department.

“In this project, the computer acts as a helper to the child by letting (him or her) browse through joke forms and try out words and phrases.”

Annalu Waller, from Dundee University's school of computing, added, “This research shows the importance of providing individuals with novel language.”

“It has been wonderful to see young people with complex communication needs taking ownership of puns and using them to take control of communication.”

The money for Standup comes from the British government's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The software is planned to be ready for use by schools and speech therapists later this year.(AFP)

需要藉由電腦輔助來說話的孩童現在可以訓練自己的幽默感了。這都歸功於蘇格蘭研發的新軟體,可以協助他們運用雙關語笑話。

Today's Words 今天單字

1. hone v.t.

琢磨 (zhuo2 mo2)

例: If you really want to hone a skill, you have to practice it often.

(假如你想磨練某種技能,必須時常練習。)

2. spontaneity n.

自發性 (zi4 fa1 xing4) ,心血來潮 (xin1 xie3 lai2 chao2)

例: You need more spontaneity in your life. Let's get tattoos!

(你的人生需要多一時衝動。我們去刺青吧!)

3. browse v.i.

瀏覽 (liu2 lan3)

例: I love to go to bookstores and browse through the shelves.

(我喜歡到書店,瀏覽書架上的書。)

4. novel adj.

新奇的 (xin1 qi2 de5)

例: When Tim first came to Taipei, eating plain white rice was a novel idea to him.

(提姆剛到台北時,吃白飯對他來說是新奇的觀念。)


這套名為「加強啞者運用雙關語的對話系統」、亦名「Standup」的軟體,是由亞伯丁、丹迪與愛丁堡大學的研究人員共同研發。

格拉斯哥一所學校已有八名孩童成功通過測試,他們想出了如「辛辣的炸彈要怎麼說?答案為『辣砲』(雙關語為『自命不凡的大人物』)」等雙關語笑話。

這套軟體解決了現存電腦化語言輔助的主要問題之一,也就是研究人員說可能會限制孩童語言技巧發展的問題。老式的語言輔助只一味著重基本面,不讓使用者自由發展。

亞伯丁大學電腦科學系的葛藍姆.瑞奇說︰「這套軟體藉由尋找裡頭可用的合適單字與片語模式,創造簡單的雙關語。」

「這套計畫中,電腦藉著讓孩童瀏覽笑話及嘗試單字片語,做為孩童的幫手。」

丹迪大學電腦學院的安娜努.瓦勒補充說︰「這份研究顯示出提供個人新式語言的重要性。」

「看到有複雜溝通需求的孩童對雙關語應用自如,並用雙關語來掌控溝通方式,實在妙極了。」

Standup的經費來自英國官方的工程暨物理科學研究委員會。這套軟體今年下半年就會供學校與語言治療師使用。

(法新社/翻譯︰賴美君)

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