Robert Jimerson


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Morphological Segmentation for Seneca
Zoey Liu | Robert Jimerson | Emily Prud’hommeaux
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Indigenous Languages of the Americas

This study takes up the task of low-resource morphological segmentation for Seneca, a critically endangered and morphologically complex Native American language primarily spoken in what is now New York State and Ontario. The labeled data in our experiments comes from two sources: one digitized from a publicly available grammar book and the other collected from informal sources. We treat these two sources as distinct domains and investigate different evaluation designs for model selection. The first design abides by standard practices and evaluate models with the in-domain development set, while the second one carries out evaluation using a development domain, or the out-of-domain development set. Across a series of monolingual and crosslinguistic training settings, our results demonstrate the utility of neural encoder-decoder architecture when coupled with multi-task learning.


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Fully Convolutional ASR for Less-Resourced Endangered Languages
Bao Thai | Robert Jimerson | Raymond Ptucha | Emily Prud’hommeaux
Proceedings of the 1st Joint Workshop on Spoken Language Technologies for Under-resourced languages (SLTU) and Collaboration and Computing for Under-Resourced Languages (CCURL)

The application of deep learning to automatic speech recognition (ASR) has yielded dramatic accuracy increases for languages with abundant training data, but languages with limited training resources have yet to see accuracy improvements on this scale. In this paper, we compare a fully convolutional approach for acoustic modelling in ASR with a variety of established acoustic modeling approaches. We evaluate our method on Seneca, a low-resource endangered language spoken in North America. Our method yields word error rates up to 40% lower than those reported using both standard GMM-HMM approaches and established deep neural methods, with a substantial reduction in training time. These results show particular promise for languages like Seneca that are both endangered and lack extensive documentation.