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from the Plum Voice IVR Glossary
A VoiceXML application utilizes grammars to determine what the recognizer should listen for, and so describes the utterances a user may say. An external grammar is an element of grammar that is defined in a file separate from the VoiceXML application file. The grammar is defined in a separate external file and then is incorporated back into the VoiceXML document through referencing. In external grammar, all rules must have a name to operate properly. Developers can use external grammar in tandem with text-to-speech (TTS) or automatic speech recognition (ASR) engines to detect specific words and phrases, including requesting that the caller speak a digit, playing the detected digit to the caller, and clearing the result of the recognition digit.
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