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Characterizing Phonetic Transformations and Acoustic Differences Across English Dialects

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4 Author(s)
Nancy F. Chen ; Human Language Technol., MIT Lincoln Lab., Lexington, MA, USA ; Sharon W. Tam ; Wade Shen ; Joseph P. Campbell

In this work, we propose a framework that automatically discovers dialect-specific phonetic rules. These rules characterize when certain phonetic or acoustic transformations occur across dialects. To explicitly characterize these dialect-specific rules, we adapt the conventional hidden Markov model to handle insertion and deletion transformations. The proposed framework is able to convert pronunciation of one dialect to another using learned rules, recognize dialects using learned rules, retrieve dialect-specific regions, and refine linguistic rules. Potential applications of our proposed framework include computer-assisted language learning, sociolinguistics, and diagnosis tools for phonological disorders.

Published in:

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 1 )