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We investigate cross-lingual acoustic modelling for low resource languages using the subspace Gaussian mixture model (SGMM). We assume the presence of acoustic models trained on multiple source languages, and use the global subspace parameters from those models for improved modelling in a target language with limited amounts of transcribed speech. Experiments on the GlobalPhone corpus using Spanish, Portuguese, and Swedish as source languages and German as target language (with 1 hour and 5 hours of transcribed audio) show that multilingually trained SGMM shared parameters result in lower word error rates (WERs) than using those from a single source language. We also show that regularizing the estimation of the SGMM state vectors by penalizing their ℓ1-norm help to overcome numerical instabilities and lead to lower WER.
Date of Conference: 11-15 Dec. 2011