Mari Ostendorf+, Jeremy G. Kahn*, Dustin Hillard+

+UW Department of Electrical Engineering
*UW Department of Linguistics

Spontaneous speech: Challenges and opportunities for parsing

UW/Microsoft Symposium, 10/28/05

Recent advances in automatic speech recognition (ASR) provide new opportunities for natural language processing of speech, including applications such as 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 text, posing challenges that include the absence of punctuation and the presence of disfluencies and ASR errors. At the same time, prosodic cues in speech can provide disambiguating context beyond that available from punctuation. This talk looks at means of leveraging prosody and uncertainty models to improve parsing (and recognition) of spontaneous speech, and outlines challenges in speech processing that impact parsing.

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