Automatische spraakherkenning en taalkundig onderzoek.
(English translation: Automatic speech recognition and linguistic research.)
C. Cucchiarini & H. Strik (1996)
A2RT, Dept. of Language & Speech, University of Nijmegen
P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands
GRAMMA/TTT, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 1-16.
Phonetic transcriptions play a major role in many linguistic disciplines because they often
provide the data for further analysis. However, making phonetic transcriptions is not only
extremely time-consuming, but also error-prone. The need to obtain correct transcriptions of
speech is felt in the field of speech technology too. For this reason speech technologists have
been looking for ways of improving the quality of transcriptions. In view of the positive
results that have been obtained in speech technology in the last few years, it is legitimate to
try and find out whether the research techniques developed for speech technology can be
applied in order to facilitate linguistic research, for instance by partly automating the process
of transcribing speech. In this paper, the possibility of employing speech recognition
techniques in linguistic research is explored. After having explained how a continuous speech
recognizer works, we go on to discuss how the recognizer's performance can be improved by
modelling pronunciation variation. We then report on a small-scale experiment aimed at
determining whether the speech recognizer is able to select the variant that was actually
realized when it can choose from among several pronunciation variants of the same word.
Since the results of this pilot experiment are very promising (a 94% success rate was
obtained), we go on to discuss how the method used in this experiment could be further
improved and eventually employed to the advantage of linguistic research.