Speech database is the only type of speech resource we may be able to estimate the costs of production, based on concrete production cases. That is rough speech database. The cost of any Added Value (annotation, transcription, phonetic or prosodic labeling ...) will depend on the manual/semiautomatic/automatic way to proceed and on the corresponding tools available or to be developed. And this refer to Tools in general, whose development costs are those of the software industry (it is essentially a matter of specifications and corrresponding man-months). The production of spoken language lexicons and pronunciation dictionnaries should be comparable to speech databases in term of production costs. An estimate of this cost can hopefully be provided by the ongoing ONOMASTICA project, and perhaps by SPEX from their experience with CLEX.
A current estimation of the minimum cost for database production is 1 Ecu per utterance. But this is the lowest case which may be applicable to large telephone corpora, for which there is no need to move people (even not to pay them), and for which the initial equipment investment is relatively minor. However, these corpora are by nature of telephone speech quality and may not be useful for basic research and technology development. But many other factors can come to increase the cost. At the other extreme, multi-channel recordings in a specific and controled environment with representative selected speakers from all over a country, may be requested for advanced research material. The cost in this case, estimated from completed and available databases, may reach 10 Ecus per utterance (e.g. ten times more than for the telephone corpus.) In fact, more specific corpora, including a variety of articulatory sensors can be substantially more expensive.
So we can argue that the cost scale for the type of widely applicable, general purpose speech data is from 1 to 10 Ecu per utterance, depending on various factors as: