12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Dialect and Accent Recognition Using Phonetic-Segmentation Supervectors

Fadi Biadsy, Julia Hirschberg, Daniel P. W. Ellis

Columbia University, USA

We describe a new approach to automatic dialect and accent recognition which exceeds state-of-the-art performance in three recognition tasks. This approach improves the accuracy and substantially lower the time complexity of our earlier phoneticbased kernel approach for dialect recognition. In contrast to state-of-the-art acoustic-based systems, our approach employs phone labels and segmentation to constrain the acoustic models. Given a speaker's utterance, we first obtain phone hypotheses using a phone recognizer and then extract GMM-supervectors for each phone type, effectively summarizing the speaker's phonetic characteristics in a single vector of phone-type supervectors. Using these vectors, we design a kernel function that computes the phonetic similarities between pairs of utterances to train SVM classifiers to identify dialects. Comparing this approach to the state-of-the-art, we obtain a 12.9% relative improvement in EER on Arabic dialects, and a 17.9% relative improvement for American vs. Indian English dialects. We also see a 53.5% relative improvement over a GMM-UBM on American Southern vs. Non-Southern English.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Biadsy, Fadi / Hirschberg, Julia / Ellis, Daniel P. W. (2011): "Dialect and accent recognition using phonetic-segmentation supervectors", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 745-748.