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Learning Lexicons From Speech Using a Pronunciation Mixture Model

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3 Author(s)
McGraw, I. ; Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci. Dept., Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Badr, I. ; Glass, J.R.

In many ways, the lexicon remains the Achilles heel of modern automatic speech recognizers. Unlike stochastic acoustic and language models that learn the values of their parameters from training data, the baseform pronunciations of words in a recognizer's lexicon are typically specified manually, and do not change, unless they are edited by an expert. Our work presents a novel generative framework that uses speech data to learn stochastic lexicons, thereby taking a step towards alleviating the need for manual intervention and automatically learning high-quality pronunciations for words. We test our model on continuous speech in a weather information domain. In our experiments, we see significant improvements over a manually specified “expert-pronunciation” lexicon. We then analyze variations of the parameter settings used to achieve these gains.

Published in:

Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )