Academic Commons

Presentations (Communicative Events)

Bootstrapping Phonetic Lexicons for New Languages

Maskey, Sameer R.; Black, Alan W; Tomokiyo, Laura M.

Although phonetic lexicons are critical for many speech applications, the process of building one for a new language can take a significant amount of time and effort. We present a bootstrapping algorithm to build phonetic lexicons for new languages. Our method relies on a large amount of unlabeled text, a small set of ’seed words ’ with their phonetic transcription, and the proficiency of a native speaker in correctly inspecting the generated pronunciations of the words. The method proceeds by automatically building Letter-to-Sound (LTS) rules from a small set of the most commonly occurring words in a large corpus of a given language. These LTS rules are retrained as new words are added to the lexicon in an Active Learning step. This procedure is repeated until we have a lexicon that can predict the pronunciation of any word in the target language with the accuracy desired. We tested our approach for three languages: English, German and Nepali.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Interspeech 2004
Published Here
May 31, 2013
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.