5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Phonological Elements As A Basis For Language-Independent ASR

Geoff Williams (1), Mark Terry (2), Jonathan Kaye (3)

(1) SOAS, University of London/RMS Inc, USA
(2) RMS Inc, USA
(3) SOAS, University of London, UK

This paper proposes a novel architecture for language-independent ASR based on government phonology (GP). We use experimental data to show that phoneme-based recognisers perform poorly on languages other than the original target, rendering such systems inadequate for multi-lingual speech recognition, a result we attribute to the inadequacy of the phoneme as a linguistic unit. In the proposed GP model, recognition targets are a small set of sub-segmental primes, or "elements", found in all languages, which have been previously shown to be robustly detected in a language-independent manner. Well-formedness constraints are captured by simple parameter settings which can be easily encoded as rules and applied as top-down constraints in a speech recogniser. Hence, given a set of trained element detectors, a recogniser for any given language can in principle be rapidly built by selection of the appropriate lexicon and constraints. We describe the design of experimental architectures for our GP-based system.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Williams, Geoff / Terry, Mark / Kaye, Jonathan (1998): "Phonological elements as a basis for language-independent ASR", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0622.