Antra Klavinska


pdf bib - Boosting the Common Voice Corpus for Low-Resource Languages
Roberts Dargis | Arturs Znotins | Ilze Auzina | Baiba Saulite | Sanita Reinsone | Raivis Dejus | Antra Klavinska | Normunds Gruzitis
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Open speech corpora of substantial size are seldom available for less-spoken languages, and this was recently the case also for Latvian with its 1.5M native speakers. While there exist several closed Latvian speech corpora of 100+ hours, used to train competitive models for automatic speech recognition (ASR), there were only a few tiny open datasets available at the beginning of 2023, the 18-hour Latvian Common Voice 13.0 dataset being the largest one. In the result of a successful national crowdsourcing initiative, organised jointly by several institutions, the size and speaker diversity of the Latvian Common Voice 17.0 release have increased more than tenfold in less than a year. A successful follow-up initiative was also launched for Latgalian, which has been recognized as an endangered historic variant of Latvian with 150k speakers. The goal of these initiatives is not only to enlarge the datasets but also to make them more diverse in terms of speakers and accents, text genres and styles, intonations, grammar and lexicon. They have already become considerable language resources for both improving ASR and conducting linguistic research. Since we use the Mozilla Common Voice platform to record and validate speech samples, this paper focuses on (i) the selection of text snippets to enrich the language data and to stimulate various intonations, (ii) an indicative evaluation of the acquired corpus and the first ASR models fine-tuned on this data, (iii) our social campaigns to boost and maintain this initiative.