5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

German Regional Variants - A Problem for Automatic Speech Recognition?

Nicole Beringer (1), Florian Schiel (1), Peter Regel-Brietzmann (2)

(1) Institute of Phonetics - University of Munich, Germany
(2) Daimler-Benz AG - Ulm, Germany

A well known problem in automatic speech recognition (ASR) is robustness against the variability of speech between speakers. There are several ways to normalise different speakers; one of them is to deal with the problem of regional variation. In this paper we discuss the problem of whether moderate regional variants of German influence the ASR process and whether there is a way to improve performance through knowledge of the regional origin of the unknown speaker. The basic idea is to cluster test speakers into distinct dialectal regions and derive observations about the typical pronunciation within these regions from a classified training set. In a cheating experiment where the origin of the test speakers is known we verify whether the use of the dialect-specific pronunciation forms will improve the overall performance. It turns out that simply using dialect-specific pronunciation does not significantly improve word accuracy on the VERBMOBIL task.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Beringer, Nicole / Schiel, Florian / Regel-Brietzmann, Peter (1998): "German regional variants - a problem for automatic speech recognition?", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0201.