InterSpeech 2021

Leveraging Phone Mask Training for Phonetic-Reduction-Robust E2E Uyghur Speech Recognition
(3 minutes introduction)

Guodong Ma (Xinjiang University, China), Pengfei Hu (Tencent, China), Jian Kang (Tencent, China), Shen Huang (Tencent, China), Hao Huang (Xinjiang University, China)
In Uyghur speech, consonant and vowel reduction are often encountered, especially in spontaneous speech with high speech rate, which will cause a degradation of speech recognition performance. To solve this problem, we propose an effective phone mask training method for Conformer-based Uyghur end-to-end (E2E) speech recognition. The idea is to randomly mask off a certain percentage features of phones during model training, which simulates the above verbal phenomena and facilitates E2E model to learn more contextual information. According to experiments, the above issues can be greatly alleviated. In addition, deep investigations are carried out into different units in masking, which shows the effectiveness of our proposed masking unit. We also further study the masking method and optimize filling strategy of phone mask. Finally, compared with Conformer-based E2E baseline without mask training, our model demonstrates about 5.51% relative Word Error Rate (WER) reduction on reading speech and 12.92% on spontaneous speech, respectively. The above approach has also been verified on test-set of open-source data THUYG-20, which shows 20% relative improvements.