Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar


HSS Seminar


Integrating computational programming and linguistic insights



Pramod Kumar Pandey


Centre for Linguistics, Jawaharlal Nehru University


July 10, 2015  at  4:00 PM


 Venue :  Conference Room 2


The present talk is concerned with reporting work on developing a software module for generating a pronunciation lexicon for Standard Hindi to be used as a preprocessor by text-to-speech (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems in voice browser applications. The software is developed to be used as a SSML document following the specifications of World Wide Consortium (W3C). The module extends the provisions for the specification of prosodic features in the pronunciations of words by automatically generating structures with syllable labeling yielding surface phonetic outputs with stress placement. The automaton follows the Non-Deterministic Finite Automata (NDFA/NFA) or Finite State Transducer model.  The software developed takes written Hindi words (in Devnagari Script) as input and yields output at various levels including levels of syllabified transcription, labeled transcription and surface level phonetic transcription with stress marks.

The talk will be concerned with showing how syllable-based processes and stress in a language such as Hindi can be successfully automated by integrating the exigencies of writing a computer programme and the basic insights of Metrical Stress Theory. A review of existing literature on generating word-pronunciation is presented before discussing  the issue of the need to integrate theoretical insights with the demands of computer programming. The contribution is based on work on pronunciation lexicon, but extends extend beyond the scope of a pronunciation lexicon and has general applicability for automating syllable-based processes and stress patterns in South Asian languages.

Brief Bio-sketch of the speaker

Pramod  Pandey is Professor at the Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His research interests include Phonetics and Phonology, Morphology, Linguistic Theory, Second Language Varieties, Writing Systems, and Research Methodology. He has published several articles in international journals such as Lingua and Journal of Linguistics, and in books. Formerly, a guest scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Germany), Prof Pandey won the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency Fellowship (Italy). His recent book is entitled Sounds and their patterns in Indic languages (2 vols, published bu Foundation, an imprint of Cambridge University Press).

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