Automatic prosodic variations modelling for language and dialect discrimination

Abstract : This paper addresses the problem of modelling prosody for language identification. The aim is to create a system that can be used prior to any linguistic work to show if prosodic differences among languages or dialects can be automatically determined. In previous papers, we defined a prosodic unit, the pseudo-syllable. Rhythmic modelling has proven the relevance of the pseudo-syllable unit for automatic language identification. In this paper, we propose to model the prosodic variations, that is to say model sequences of prosodic units. This is achieved by the separation of phrase and accentual components of intonation. We propose an independent coding of those components on differentiated scales of duration. Short-term and long-term language-dependent sequences of labels are modelled by n-gram models. The performance of the system is demonstrated by experiments on read speech and evaluated by experiments on spontaneous speech. Finally, an experiment is described on the discrimination of Arabic dialects, for which there is a lack of linguistic studies, notably on prosodic comparisons. We show that our system is able to clearly identify the dialectal areas, leading to the hypothesis that those dialects have prosodic differences.
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IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2007, 15 (6), 〈10.1109/TASL.2007.900094〉
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Jean-Luc Rouas. Automatic prosodic variations modelling for language and dialect discrimination. IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2007, 15 (6), 〈10.1109/TASL.2007.900094〉. 〈hal-00657977〉

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