Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
September 17-21, 2006

Speech Technology for Minority Languages: The Case of Irish (Gaelic)

Ailbhe Ní Chasaide, John Wogan, Brian Ó Raghallaigh, Áine Ní Bhriain, Eric Zoerner, Harald Berthelsen, Christer Gobl

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

The development of speech technology could play an important role in the maintenance and preservation of minority languages, especially where the population of native speakers are dwindling. This paper outlines the efforts within the WISPR project, to develop annotated spoken corpora along with some of the prerequisites for the synthesis of Irish (Gaelic). It details the particular challenges that have confronted us as well as the strategies adopted to overcome them. It highlights the need for gearing our methodologies to these constraints and to maximise the reusability of resources. Our long-term goal is not only to develop these resources for Irish, but also, in parallel, to develop methodologies that will enable the technology to be flexible and suitable to the envisaged end users, e.g., more flexible kinds of synthesisers, with expressive capabilities and multiple voices, including children’s. It is therefore a major consideration to develop resources in such a way that they are in some sense independent of any single methodology (unit selection vs. other modalities for synthesis development).

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe / Wogan, John / Raghallaigh, Brian Ó / Bhriain, Áine Ní / Zoerner, Eric / Berthelsen, Harald / Gobl, Christer (2006): "Speech technology for minority languages: the case of Irish (gaelic)", In INTERSPEECH-2006, paper 1378-Mon1CaP.8.