Interspeech 2018 Special Session: Speech Techologies for Code-switching in Multilingual Communities

Special Session Description

Speech technologies exist for many high resource languages, and attempts are being made to reach the next billion users by building resources and systems for many more languages. Multilingual communities pose many challenges for the design and development of speech processing systems. One of these challenges is​ code-switching​, which is the switching of two or more​ ​languages​ ​at​ ​the​ ​conversation,​ ​utterance​ ​and​ ​sometimes​ ​even​ ​word​ ​level.

In addition to conversational speech, code-switching is now found in text in social media, instant messaging and blogs in multilingual communities. Monolingual natural language and speech systems fail when they encounter code-switched speech and text. There is also a lack of linguistic data and resources for code-switched speech and text, although one or more of the languages being mixed could be high-resource. Code-switching provides various interesting challenges to the speech community, such as language modeling for mixed languages, acoustic modeling of mixed language speech, pronunciation modeling and language identification from speech.

We conducted the inaugural special session on code-switching at Interspeech 2017, which was organized as a double session spanning 4 hours. We received several high-quality submissions from research groups all over the world, out of which 9 papers were selected as oral presentations. At the end of the oral presentations, we conducted a panel discussion between researchers in academia and industry about challenges in research, building systems and collecting code-switched data. Our special session was attended by several researchers from academia and industry working on linguistics, NLP and speech technologies.

Topics of interest for this special session will include but are not limited to: 

  • Speech Recognition of code-switched speech
  • Language Modeling for code-switched speech
  • Speech Synthesis of code-switched text
  • Speech Translation of code-switched languages
  • Spoken Dialogue Systems that can handle code-switching
  • Speech data and resources for code-switching
  • Language Identification from speech