Phonetically aided syntactic parsing of spoken language

Zeeshan Ahmed, Peter Cahill, Julie Carson-Berndsen; Proceedings of KONVENS 2012 (Main track: oral presentations), pp. 137-144, September 2012.


The paper presents a technique for parsing a speech utterance from its phonetic representation. The technique is different from a conventional spoken language parsing techniques where a speech utterance is first transcribed at word-level and a syntactic structure is produced from the transcribed words. In a word-level parsing approach, an error caused by a speech recognizer propagates through the parser into the resultant syntactic structure. Furthermore, sometimes transcribed speech utterances are not parse-able even though lattices or confusion networks are used. These problems are addressed by the proposed phonetically aided parser. In the phonetically aided parsing approach, the parsing is performed from a phonetic representation (phone sequence) of the recognized utterance using a joint modeling of PCFG and n-gram language model. The technique results in better parsing accuracy then word-level parsing when evaluated on spoken dialog parsing task in this paper.

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