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Acquiring Pronunciation Data for a Placenames Lexicon in a Less-Resourced Language / Briony Williams; Rhys Jones

Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08)

Swansea University Author: Jones, Rhys

Abstract

We describe a procedure for generating pronunciations for a place-name dictionary for Welsh. For many such less-resourced languages, phoneticians with expertise in the language do not exist, so direct editing of pronunciations cannot occur. We describe a method where, if a native speaker and a text-...

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Published in: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08)
Published: Marrakech, Morocco European Language Resources Association (ELRA) 2008
Online Access: http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2008/pdf/55_paper.pdf
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa11776
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Abstract: We describe a procedure for generating pronunciations for a place-name dictionary for Welsh. For many such less-resourced languages, phoneticians with expertise in the language do not exist, so direct editing of pronunciations cannot occur. We describe a method where, if a native speaker and a text-to-speech synthesiser is available, pronunciations can be edited without detailed knowledge of the language's phonology. Our key development is the use of 're-spelling' to indicate, in a linguistically-naïve manner, the required pronunciation. These drive a set of specially-adapted letter-to-sound rules, thus generating the desired pronunciation. A speech synthesiser gives audio feedback to the native speaker and verifies that the pronunciation is correct, and a graphical user interface links the database backend, the speech synthesiser and the native speaker editor. This method has been used to generate a pronunciation database for Welsh placenames.
Keywords: Lexicon, lexical database, Speech synthesis, Text-to-speech systems, Tools, systems, applications
College: College of Arts and Humanities