Date of Original Version



Working Paper

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Software internationalization, the process of making software easier to localize for specific languages, has deep implications when applied to speech technology, where the goal of the task lies in the very essence of the particular language.

A great deal of work and fine-tuning normally goes into the development of speech software for a single language, say English. This tuning complicates a port to different languages. The inherent identity of a language manifests itself in its lexicon, where its character set, phoneme set, pronunciation rules are revealed. We propose a decomposition of the lexicon building process, into four discrete and sequential steps:

(a) Transliteration code points from Unicode.
(b) Orthographic standardization rules.
(c) Application of grapheme to phoneme rules.
(d) Application of phonological rules.

In following these steps one should gain accessibility to most of the existing speech/language processing tools, thereby internationalizing one's speech technology. In addition, adhering to this decomposition should allow for a reduction of rule conflicts that often plague the phoneticizing process.

Our work makes two main contributions: it proposes a systematic procedure for the internationalization of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. It also proposes a particular decomposition of the phoneticization process that facilitates internationalization by non-expert informants.