Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Extension of the European Network in Language and Speech

The project concerns adding two new nodes to the European Network in Language and Speech (ELSNET). Initial work involved identifying research groups active in the natural language processing field in the Ukraine and Russia, to examine their strengths and needs, and to stimulate interaction with the ELSNET. Information was logged about the theoretical platforms used by these researchers in their work, about computational tools developed locally, about publicly available tools and resources used by the groups, etc. This information is used to update ELSNET'S current report on 'Profiles of Language Engineering Organisations in Central and Eastern Europe and Selected New Independent States'. The conclusions of the survey also give a more general overview of the state of natural language processing (NLP) research in Russian and the Ukraine and will be used as input to various of ELSNET'S strategic initiatives, in particular concerning the development of a Pan-European Network in Language and Speech. The second area of research involved carrying out collaborative research and development work. The grammar checker developed at the first phase was extended with the integration of the statistical language processing modules which can be tailored to the needs of a specific user. An interface extension was developed which allows the grammar checker to be used together with other application packages such as MS Word and Word Perfect. The first release is freely available and at least 146 individuals and organizations are using it at the moment. For the further promotion of the program there are plans to install it on share-ware file-servers in Europe, North America and Australia. Theoretical and practical work on speech synthesis and speech recognition has continued and rule-based speech synthesis software was developed and tested on 7 languages. Speech recognition software developed during the first phase was developed further and integrated with a multimodal interface.

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