Miguel Sales Dias

Also published as: Miguel Dias


Casa de la Lhéngua: a set of language resources and natural language processing tools for Mirandese
José Pedro Ferreira | Cristiano Chesi | Daan Baldewijns | Fernando Miguel Pinto | Margarita Correia | Daniela Braga | Hyongsil Cho | Amadeu Ferreira | Miguel Dias
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

This paper describes the efforts for the construction of Language Resources and NLP tools for Mirandese, a minority language spoken in North-eastern Portugal, now available on a community-led portal, Casa de la Lhéngua. The resources were developed in the context of a collaborative citizenship project led by Microsoft, in the context of the creation of the first TTS system for Mirandese. Development efforts encompassed the compilation of a corpus with over 1M tokens, the construction of a GTP system, syllable-division, inflection and a Part-of-Speech (POS) tagger modules, leading to the creation of an inflected lexicon of about 200.000 entries with phonetic transcription, detailed POS tagging, syllable division, and stress mark-up. Alongside these tasks, which were made easier through the adaptation and reuse of existing tools for closely related languages, a casting for voice talents among the speaking community was conducted and the first speech database for speech synthesis was recorded for Mirandese. These resources were combined to fulfil the requirements of a well-tested statistical parameter synthesis model, leading to an intelligible voice font. These language resources are available freely at Casa de la Lhéngua, aiming at promoting the development of real-life applications and fostering linguistic research on Mirandese.

Multimodal Corpora for Silent Speech Interaction
João Freitas | António Teixeira | Miguel Dias
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

A Silent Speech Interface (SSI) allows for speech communication to take place in the absence of an acoustic signal. This type of interface is an alternative to conventional Automatic Speech Recognition which is not adequate for users with some speech impairments or in the presence of environmental noise. The work presented here produces the conditions to explore and analyze complex combinations of input modalities applicable in SSI research. By exploring non-invasive and promising modalities, we have selected the following sensing technologies used in human-computer interaction: Video and Depth input, Ultrasonic Doppler sensing and Surface Electromyography. This paper describes a novel data collection methodology where these independent streams of information are synchronously acquired with the aim of supporting research and development of a multimodal SSI. The reported recordings were divided into two rounds: a first one where the acquired data was silently uttered and a second round where speakers pronounced the scripted prompts in an audible and normal tone. In the first round of recordings, a total of 53.94 minutes were captured where 30.25% was estimated to be silent speech. In the second round of recordings, a total of 30.45 minutes were obtained and 30.05% of the recordings were audible speech.

The EASR Corpora of European Portuguese, French, Hungarian and Polish Elderly Speech
Annika Hämäläinen | Jairo Avelar | Silvia Rodrigues | Miguel Sales Dias | Artur Kolesiński | Tibor Fegyó | Géza Németh | Petra Csobánka | Karine Lan | David Hewson
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

Currently available speech recognisers do not usually work well with elderly speech. This is because several characteristics of speech (e.g. fundamental frequency, jitter, shimmer and harmonic noise ratio) change with age and because the acoustic models used by speech recognisers are typically trained with speech collected from younger adults only. To develop speech-driven applications capable of successfully recognising elderly speech, this type of speech data is needed for training acoustic models from scratch or for adapting acoustic models trained with younger adults’ speech. However, the availability of suitable elderly speech corpora is still very limited. This paper describes an ongoing project to design, collect, transcribe and annotate large elderly speech corpora for four European languages: Portuguese, French, Hungarian and Polish. The Portuguese, French and Polish corpora contain read speech only, whereas the Hungarian corpus also contains spontaneous command and control type of speech. Depending on the language in question, the corpora contain 76 to 205 hours of speech collected from 328 to 986 speakers aged 60 and over. The final corpora will come with manually verified orthographic transcriptions, as well as annotations for filled pauses, noises and damaged words.


Building High Quality Databases for Minority Languages such as Galician
Francisco Campillo | Daniela Braga | Ana Belén Mourín | Carmen García-Mateo | Pedro Silva | Miguel Sales Dias | Francisco Méndez
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'10)

This paper describes the result of a joint R&D project between Microsoft Portugal and the Signal Theory Group of the University of Vigo (Spain), where a set of language resources was developed with application to Text―to―Speech synthesis. First, a large Corpus of 10000 Galician sentences was designed and recorded by a professional female speaker. Second, a lexicon with phonetic and grammatical information of over 90000 entries was collected and reviewed manually by a linguist expert. And finally, these resources were used for a MOS (Mean Opinion Score) perceptual test to compare two state―of―the―art speech synthesizers of both groups, the one from Microsoft based on HMM, and the one from the University of Vigo based on unit selection.