15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Using a Hybrid Approach to Build a Pronunciation Dictionary for Brazilian Portuguese

Gustavo Mendonça, Sandra Aluisio

Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

This paper describes the method employed to build a machine-readable pronunciation dictionary for Brazilian Portuguese. The dictionary makes use of a hybrid approach for converting graphemes into phonemes, based on both manual transcription rules and machine learning algorithms. It makes use of a word list compiled from the Portuguese Wikipedia dump. Wikipedia articles were transformed into plain text, tokenized and word types were extracted. A language identification tool was developed to detect loanwords among data. Words' syllable boundaries and stress were identified. The transcription task was carried out in a two-step process: i) words are submitted to a set of transcription rules, in which predictable graphemes (mostly consonants) are transcribed; ii) a machine learning classifier is used to predict the transcription of the remaining graphemes (mostly vowels). The method was evaluated through 5-fold cross-validation; results show a F1-score of 0.98. The dictionary and all the resources used to build it were made publicly available.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mendonça, Gustavo / Aluisio, Sandra (2014): "Using a hybrid approach to build a pronunciation dictionary for Brazilian Portuguese", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 1278-1282.