Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

Generating Alternative Pronunciations from a Dictionary

Filipp Korkmazskiy, Chin-Hui Lee

Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, NJ, USA

We propose a language independent method for alterna-tive word pronunciation generation using a language specific dictionary. A set of optimal alternative word pronunciations can be generated from a word spelling by usingstatistically significant associations between strings of let-ters and strings of phonemes extracted from a dictionary.The proposed method does not require any prior knowledge about the language nor does it need a collection ofthe speech training data. The alternative pronunciationswere used in the recognition experiments. Even thoughthe experiments showed comparable to a baseline systemrecognition performance they indicated that produced alternative pronuncations could be used for a pronunciationnetwork initialization. This pronunciation network can befurther adjusted by a small amount of speech adaptationdata. The important advantage of the proposed method isits ability to automatically learn about a language phono-logical structure. This knowledge can be used while designing complex multilingual systems when informationabout the languages is limited and speech data for a specific language are unavailable or restricted.

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Bibliographic reference.  Korkmazskiy, Filipp / Lee, Chin-Hui (1999): "Generating alternative pronunciations from a dictionary", In EUROSPEECH'99, 491-494.