Japanese Pronunciation Instruction System Using Speech Recognition Methods

Chul-Ho JO  Tatsuya KAWAHARA  Shuji DOSHITA  Masatake DANTSUJI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E83-D   No.11   pp.1960-1968
Publication Date: 2000/11/25
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Speech and Hearing
Keyword: 
speech recognition,  CALL,  HMM,  articulatory category,  formant,  

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Summary: 
We propose a new CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) system for non-native learners of Japanese using speech recognition methods. The aim of the system is to help them develop natural pronunciation by automatically detecting their pronunciation errors and then providing effective feedback instruction. An automatic scoring method based on HMM log-likelihood is used to assess their pronunciation. Native speakers' scores are normalized by the mean and standard deviation for each phoneme and are used as threshold values to detect pronunciation errors. Unlike previous CALL systems, we not only detect pronunciation errors but also generate appropriate feedback to improve them. Especially for the feedback of consonants, we propose a novel method based on the classification of the place and manner of articulation. The effectiveness of our system is demonstrated with preliminary trials by several non-native speakers.