[Univ of Cambridge]alt[Dept of Engineering]

MIL Speech Seminars 2005-2006

The MIL Speech Seminars occur roughly every two weeks during full term and occasionally during vacations. The purpose of the seminars is to enable researchers in various fields to present recent work that has potential benefits for speech technology.

The MIL Speech Seminar series schedule for Michaelmas Term was:

1st November 2005 Mari Ostendorf (University of Washington) Parsing Spontaneous Speech With recent advances in automatic speech recognition (ASR), there are increasing opportunities for natural language processing of speech, including applications such as speech understanding, summarization and translation. Parsing can play an important role here, but much of current parsing technology has been developed on written text. Spontaneous speech differs substantially from written text, posing challenges for parsing that include the absence of punctuation and the presence of disfluencies and ASR errors. Prosodic cues can help fill in this gap, and there is a long history of linguistic research indicating that prosodic cues in speech can provide disambiguating context beyond that available from punctuation. However, leveraging prosodic cues can be challenging, because of the many roles prosody serves in speech communication. This talk looks at means of leveraging prosody combined with lexical cues and ASR uncertainty models to improve parsing (and recognition) of spontaneous speech. The talk will begin with an overview of studies of prosody and syntax, both perceptual and computational. The focus of the talk will be on our work with a state-of-the-art statistical parser, discussing the issues of sentence segmentation, disfluencies, sub-sentence prosodic constituents, and ASR uncertainty. Finally, we outline challenges in speech processing that impact parsing, including ASR confidence prediciton, tighter integration of ASR and parsing, and portability to new domains.

If you are interested in giving a seminar presentation or if you would like more information about the seminar series please contact Marcus Tomalin