5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Multilingual Speech Recognition for Flexible Vocabularies

Patrizia Bonaventura (1), Filippo Gallocchio (2), Giorgio Micca (3)

(1) CSELT Consultant, Turin, Italy
(2) Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informatica, UniversitÓ di Padova, Italy
(3) CSELT, Turin, Italy

The paper addresses the problem of designing a speech recogniser for multilingual vocabularies. The goal of the research is twofold: future Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) systems, like a speech activated flight information service, are likely to require multilinguality as a major feature; besides, a general language-independent phonetic inventory might be very useful in bootstrapping phonetic models for a new language for which insufficient training data are available. Metrics were introduced in order to measure cross-language phonetic dissimilarities, and a multilingual phonemic inventory was created. Experiments were run on a speech database including Italian (I), Spanish (S), English (E) and German (G) words. Results clearly show that it is possible to reduce the complexity of a multilingual phonetic recogniser by exploiting phonetic commonalities across different languages, without significant losses in WA for multilingual tasks with respect to single language recognition tasks.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bonaventura, Patrizia / Gallocchio, Filippo / Micca, Giorgio (1997): "Multilingual speech recognition for flexible vocabularies", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 355-358.