Xinjian Li


2020

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AlloVera: A Multilingual Allophone Database
David R. Mortensen | Xinjian Li | Patrick Littell | Alexis Michaud | Shruti Rijhwani | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Alan W Black | Florian Metze | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We introduce a new resource, AlloVera, which provides mappings from 218 allophones to phonemes for 14 languages. Phonemes are contrastive phonological units, and allophones are their various concrete realizations, which are predictable from phonological context. While phonemic representations are language specific, phonetic representations (stated in terms of (allo)phones) are much closer to a universal (language-independent) transcription. AlloVera allows the training of speech recognition models that output phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), regardless of the input language. We show that a “universal” allophone model, Allosaurus, built with AlloVera, outperforms “universal” phonemic models and language-specific models on a speech-transcription task. We explore the implications of this technology (and related technologies) for the documentation of endangered and minority languages. We further explore other applications for which AlloVera will be suitable as it grows, including phonological typology.

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A Summary of the First Workshop on Language Technology for Language Documentation and Revitalization
Graham Neubig | Shruti Rijhwani | Alexis Palmer | Jordan MacKenzie | Hilaria Cruz | Xinjian Li | Matthew Lee | Aditi Chaudhary | Luke Gessler | Steven Abney | Shirley Anugrah Hayati | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Olga Zamaraeva | Emily Prud’hommeaux | Jennette Child | Sara Child | Rebecca Knowles | Sarah Moeller | Jeffrey Micher | Yiyuan Li | Sydney Zink | Mengzhou Xia | Roshan S Sharma | Patrick Littell
Proceedings of the 1st Joint Workshop on Spoken Language Technologies for Under-resourced languages (SLTU) and Collaboration and Computing for Under-Resourced Languages (CCURL)

Despite recent advances in natural language processing and other language technology, the application of such technology to language documentation and conservation has been limited. In August 2019, a workshop was held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA to attempt to bring together language community members, documentary linguists, and technologists to discuss how to bridge this gap and create prototypes of novel and practical language revitalization technologies. The workshop focused on developing technologies to aid language documentation and revitalization in four areas: 1) spoken language (speech transcription, phone to orthography decoding, text-to-speech and text-speech forced alignment), 2) dictionary extraction and management, 3) search tools for corpora, and 4) social media (language learning bots and social media analysis). This paper reports the results of this workshop, including issues discussed, and various conceived and implemented technologies for nine languages: Arapaho, Cayuga, Inuktitut, Irish Gaelic, Kidaw’ida, Kwak’wala, Ojibwe, San Juan Quiahije Chatino, and Seneca.

2019

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Enabling Real-time Neural IME with Incremental Vocabulary Selection
Jiali Yao | Raphael Shu | Xinjian Li | Katsutoshi Ohtsuki | Hideki Nakayama
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Industry Papers)

Input method editor (IME) converts sequential alphabet key inputs to words in a target language. It is an indispensable service for billions of Asian users. Although the neural-based language model is extensively studied and shows promising results in sequence-to-sequence tasks, applying a neural-based language model to IME was not considered feasible due to high latency when converting words on user devices. In this work, we articulate the bottleneck of neural IME decoding to be the heavy softmax computation over a large vocabulary. We propose an approach that incrementally builds a subset vocabulary from the word lattice. Our approach always computes the probability with a selected subset vocabulary. When the selected vocabulary is updated, the stale probabilities in previous steps are fixed by recomputing the missing logits. The experiments on Japanese IME benchmark shows an over 50x speedup for the softmax computations comparing to the baseline, reaching real-time speed even on commodity CPU without losing conversion accuracy. The approach is potentially applicable to other incremental sequence-to-sequence decoding tasks such as real-time continuous speech recognition.