Roux, F.*, Armstrong, B. C.*, & Carreiras, M. (2016---early access online).  Chronset: An automated tool for detecting speech onset.  Behavior Research Methods  * = equal contribution.


Author's self-archived version (.pdf)  (18 pages)

Official version [external link]

This article is supplemented by the following supplemental materials:

Author's self-archived version (.pdf)

Official version [external link]

The online version of Chronset is available at:

The soruce code is also available at the linked site.


The analysis of speech onset times has a longstanding tradition in experimental psychology as a measure of how a stimulus influences a spoken response. Yet the lack of accurate automatic methods to measure such effects forces researchers to rely on time-intensive manual or semiautomatic techniques. Here we present Chronset, a fully automated tool that estimates speech onset on the basis of multiple acoustic features extracted via multitaper spectral analysis. Using statistical optimization techniques, we show that the present approach generalizes across different languages and speaker populations, and that it extracts speech onset latencies that agree closely with those from human observations. Finally, we show how the present approach can be integrated with previous work (Jansen & Watter Behavior Research Methods, 40:744–751, 2008) to further improve the precision of onset detection. Chronset is publicly available online at

Keywords: Speech onset; Reading aloud; Automatic detection; Spectral analysis; Optimization

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