[Elsnet-list] Speech Communication / Special Issue on Processing Under-Resourced Languages

besacier laurent.besacier at imag.fr
Sat Nov 19 17:11:55 CET 2011

The creation of language and acoustic resources, for any given spoken 
language, is typically a costly task. For example, a large amount of 
time and money is required to properly create annotated speech corpora 
for automatic speech recognition (ASR), domain-specific text corpora for 
language modeling (LM), etc. The development of speech technologies 
(ASR, Text-to-Speech) for the already high-resourced languages (such as 
English, French or Mandarin, for example) is less constrained by this 
issue and, consequently, high-performance commercial systems are already 
on the market. On the other hand, for under-resourced languages, the 
above issue is typically the main obstacle.

Given this, the scientific community's concern with porting, adapting, 
or creating language and acoustic resources or even models for 
low-resourced languages has been growing recently and several algorithms 
and methods of adaptation have been proposed and experimented with. In 
the mean time, workshops and special sessions have been organized on 
this domain.

This special issue focuses on research and development of new tools 
based on speech technologies for less-resourced national languages, 
mainly, used in the following large geographical regions: Eastern 
Europe, South and Southeast Asia, West Asia, North Africa, Sub-Saharan 
Africa, South and Central America, Oceania. The special issue is open to 
present problems and peculiarities of targeted languages in application 
to spoken language technologies, including automatic speech recognition, 
text-to-speech, speech-to-speech translation, spoken dialogue systems in 
an internationalized context. When developing speech-based technologies 
researchers are faced with many new problems from lack of audio 
databases and linguistic resources (lexicons, grammars, text 
collections), to inefficiency of existing methods for language and 
acoustical modeling, and limited infrastructure for the creation of 
relevant resources. They often have to deal with novel linguistic 
phenomena that are poorly studied or researched from a speech technology 
perspective (for instance, clicks in southern African languages, tone in 
many languages of the world, language switching in multilingual systems, 
rich morphology, etc).

Well-written papers on speech technologies for targeted languages are 
encouraged, and papers describing original results (theoretical and/or 
experimental) obtained for under-resourced languages, but important for 
well-elaborated languages too, are invited as well. Good papers from any 
countries and any authors may be accepted if they present new speech 
studies concerning the languages of interest of the special issue. 
Submissions from countries where issues related to under-resourced 
languages are a practical reality, are strongly encouraged for this 
special issue.

*Important Dates:*
Submission deadline: 1st August 2012
Notification of acceptance: 1st February 2013
Final manuscript due: April 2013
Tentative publication date: Summer 2013

Etienne Barnard
/North-West University, South Africa/
Laurent Besacier
/Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble, France/
Alexey Karpov
/SPIIRAS, Saint-Petersburg, Russia/
Tanja Schultz
/University of Karlsruhe, Germany/

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