Speed perturbation and vowel duration modeling for ASR in Hausa and Wolof languages

Abstract : Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) for (under-resourced) Sub-Saharan African languages faces several challenges: small amount of transcribed speech, written language normalization issues, few text resources available for language modeling, as well as specific features (tones, morphology, etc.) that need to be taken into account seriously to optimize ASR performance. This paper tries to address some of the above challenges through the development of ASR systems for two Sub-Saharan African languages: Hausa and Wolof. First, we investigate data augmentation technique (through speed perturbation) to overcome the lack of resources. Secondly, the main contribution is our attempt to model vowel length contrast existing in both languages. For reproducible experiments, the ASR systems developed for Hausa and Wolof are made available to the research community on github. To our knowledge, the Wolof ASR system presented in this paper is the first large vocabulary continuous speech recognition system ever developed for this language.
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Elodie Gauthier, Laurent Besacier, Sylvie Voisin. Speed perturbation and vowel duration modeling for ASR in Hausa and Wolof languages. Interspeech 2016, Sep 2016, San-Francisco, United States. ⟨hal-01350057⟩

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