The Evaluation of a Code-Switched Sepedi-English Automatic Speech Recognition System


Amanda Phaladi and Thipe Modipa, University of Limpopo, South Africa


Speech technology is a field that encompasses various techniques and tools used to enable machines to interact with speech, such as automatic speech recognition (ASR), spoken dialog systems, and others, allowing a device to capture spoken words through a microphone from a human speaker. End-to-end approaches such as Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) and attention-based methods are the most used for the development of ASR systems. However, these techniques were commonly used for research and development for many high-resourced languages with large amounts of speech data for training and evaluation, leaving low-resource languages relatively underdeveloped. While the CTC method has been successfully used for other languages, its effectiveness for the Sepedi language remains uncertain. In this study, we present the evaluation of the Sepedi-English code-switched automatic speech recognition system. This end-to-end system was developed using the Sepedi Prompted Code Switching corpus and the CTC approach. The performance of the system was evaluated using both the NCHLT Sepedi test corpus and the Sepedi Prompted Code Switching corpus. The model produced the lowest WER of 41.9%, however, the model faced challenges in recognizing the Sepedi only text.


Automatic Speech Recognition, Sepedi-English, Code-switching & Connectionist Temporal Classification.