Barbara Schuppler


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Towards Building an Automatic Transcription System for Language Documentation: Experiences from Muyu
Alexander Zahrer | Andrej Zgank | Barbara Schuppler
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Since at least half of the world’s 6000 plus languages will vanish during the 21st century, language documentation has become a rapidly growing field in linguistics. A fundamental challenge for language documentation is the ”transcription bottleneck”. Speech technology may deliver the decisive breakthrough for overcoming the transcription bottleneck. This paper presents first experiments from the development of ASR4LD, a new automatic speech recognition (ASR) based tool for language documentation (LD). The experiments are based on recordings from an ongoing documentation project for the endangered Muyu language in New Guinea. We compare phoneme recognition experiments with American English, Austrian German and Slovenian as source language and Muyu as target language. The Slovenian acoustic models achieve the by far best performance (43.71% PER) in comparison to 57.14% PER with American English, and 89.49% PER with Austrian German. Whereas part of the errors can be explained by phonetic variation, the recording mismatch poses a major problem. On the long term, ASR4LD will not only be an integral part of the ongoing documentation project of Muyu, but will be further developed in order to facilitate also the language documentation process of other language groups.


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GRASS: the Graz corpus of Read And Spontaneous Speech
Barbara Schuppler | Martin Hagmueller | Juan A. Morales-Cordovilla | Hannes Pessentheiner
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

This paper provides a description of the preparation, the speakers, the recordings, and the creation of the orthographic transcriptions of the first large scale speech database for Austrian German. It contains approximately 1900 minutes of (read and spontaneous) speech produced by 38 speakers. The corpus consists of three components. First, the Conversation Speech (CS) component contains free conversations of one hour length between friends, colleagues, couples, or family members. Second, the Commands Component (CC) contains commands and keywords which were either read or elicited by pictures. Third, the Read Speech (RS) component contains phonetically balanced sentences and digits. The speech of all components has been recorded at super-wideband quality in a soundproof recording-studio with head-mounted microphones, large-diaphragm microphones, a laryngograph, and with a video camera. The orthographic transcriptions, which have been created and subsequently corrected manually, contain approximately 290 000 word tokens from 15 000 different word types.