First International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 90)
Converting a word or a written text from characters to phonemes is one of the first steps done in text-to-speech synthesis. The first part of this process is a text normalization replacing numbers, abbreviations and acronyms, by their full text equivalents. The second step is grapheme to phoneme conversion. Phonetics can also be used to search a file using a phonetic index when the spelling of the name (client file for example) or of the word (look-up in a dictionary) is not certain. In the last case, phonetics can be used to correct spelling mistakes in a text or to find a word in a dictionary without knowing how to write it. A specialized programming language has been designed to write the rules. This allows the rules to be easily defined, revised and expanded independandly of the program (compiler and interpreter). For French, the lastest version consists of approximately 500 rules and is used in different products (synthesizers, CDROM). A different set of rules could be defined for proper names or for other languages: English, Spanish, etc.
Bibliographic reference. Divay, Michel (1990): "A written text processing expert system for text to phoneme conversion", In ICSLP-1990, 853-856.