INTERSPEECH 2009
10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

Assessing Context and Learning for isiZulu Tone Recognition

Gina-Anne Levow

University of Chicago, USA

Prosody plays an integral role in spoken language understanding. In isiZulu, a Nguni family language with lexical tone, prosodic information determines word meaning. We assess the impact of models of tone and coarticulation for tone recognition. We demonstrate the importance of modeling prosodic context to improve tone recognition. We employ this less commonly studied language to assess models of tone developed for English and Mandarin, finding common threads in coarticulatory modeling. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of semi-supervised and unsupervised tone recognition techniques for this less-resourced language, with weakly supervised approaches rivaling supervised techniques.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Levow, Gina-Anne (2009): "Assessing context and learning for isizulu tone recognition", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 716-719.