PoSTPort (POrting Speech Technologies to other varieties of Portuguese)


Sponsored by: FCT (PTDC/PLP/72404/2006)
Start: January 2008
End: December 2010



Project Leader: Isabel Trancoso

Undergraduate Students:


The goal of this project is porting spoken language technologies originally developed for European Portuguese to other varieties of Portuguese, namely those spoken in South-American and African countries. The two main spoken language technologies that will be investigated are text-to-speech and speech-to-text conversion, commonly known as synthesis and recognition. Instead of porting complete systems, we shall concentrate on the linguistically relevant modules, that are likely to be most affected. The main task of this proposal, therefore, is structured in terms of modules which will be ported and evaluated independently as much as possible. Prior to this main work, however, the project will involve two tasks. In the first one, we shall build the pilot corpus necessary for studying the main linguistic differences and porting to the new varieties. In the second task, we shall characterize the main differences between the studied varieties, starting with the orthographic and syntactic levels, and ending with the phonetic and phonological levels. As an outcome of this task, we shall attempt to define a phonetic alphabet that encompasses all varieties of Portuguese. The fourth task concerns the automatic identification of spoken varieties of Portuguese. This is an important goal by itself and also relevant as a pre-processing stage for switching among recognition systems developed for specific varieties. We plan to implement this identification module by exploring different types of cues, such as phonotactic, acoustic and prosodic ones. The four tasks of the proposal combine linguistic, signal processing and natural language processing knowledge, thus reflecting the importance of an interdisciplinary team.


  • T1 - Pilot Corpus collection
  • T2 - Characterization of main differences
  • T3 - Porting spoken language modules
  • T4 - Automatic identification of spoken varieties
  • T5 - Management



Jean-Luc Rouas, Isabel Trancoso, Céu Viana, Mónica Abreu, Language and variety verification on broadcast news for Portuguese, Speech Communication, Elsevier, vol. 50, n. 11, November 2008

Amália Mendes, A. Estrela (accepted for publication), Constructions with SE in African varieties of Portuguese, Phrasis, Ghent, Academia Press, pp. 83-107

Nelson Neto, Carlos Patrick, Aldebaro Klautau, Isabel Trancoso, Free Tools and Resources for Brazilian Portuguese Speech Recognition, Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 53-68, November 2010, Springer.

Fernando Batista, Helena Moniz, Isabel Trancoso, Nuno Mamede, Bilingual Experiments on Automatic Recovery of Capitalization and Punctuation of Automatic Speech Transcripts, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing .

Invited talks:

Isabel Trancoso, A Broadcast News Processing Chain for Several Varieties of Portuguese, In XXVII Simpósio Brasileiro de Telecomunicações, Brazilian Telecommunications Society, Blumenau, Brazil, September 2009.

Isabel Trancoso, Processing Broadcast News for Several Varieties of Portuguese, LTI Seminar, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, February 2010.

Isabel Trancoso, The Broadcast News Pipeline, ISSC - International Symposium on Speech Communication, Japan, June 2010.

Isabel Trancoso, Como transcrever uma palestra TED?, TEDxISTtagus, July 2010.

International conferences:

M. Nascimento, A. Estrela, A. Mendes, L. Pereira, On the use of comparable corpora of African varieties of Portuguese for linguistic description and teach ing/learning applications, In Proc. Workshop on Building and Using Comparable Corpora, LREC 2008, Marrakech, Morocco, May 2008

Alberto Abad, Isabel Trancoso, The L2F language verification systems for Albayzin-08 evaluation, In V Jornadas en Tecnología del Habla, November 2008

Patrick Silva, Nelson Neto, Aldebaro Klautau, André Adami, Isabel Trancoso, Speech Recognition for Brazilian Portuguese using the Spoltech and OGI-22 Corpora, In XXVI SIMPOSIO BRASILEIRO DE TELECOMUNICACOES, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 2008

Jean-Luc Rouas, Isabel Trancoso, Céu Viana, Mónica Abreu, Portuguese Variety Identification on Broadcast News, In ICASSP 2008 - Int. Conf. on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, IEEE, Las Vegas, USA, April 2008

Fernando Batista, Isabel Trancoso, Nuno Mamede, Automatic Punctuation and Capitalization for Iberian Languages, In I Joint SIG-IL/Microsoft Workshop on Speech and Language Technologies for Iberian Languages, Porto Salvo, Portugal, September 2009 (Best Student Paper Award)

Plínio Barbosa, Céu Viana, Isabel Trancoso, Cross-variety Rhythm Typology in Portuguese, In Interspeech 2009, Brighton, UK, September 2009

Helena Moniz, Isabel Trancoso, A.I. Mata da Silva, Classification of disfluent phenomena as fluent communicative devices in specific prosodic contexts, In Interspeech 2009, ISCA, pages 1719-1722, Brighton, UK, September 2009

Alberto Abad, Isabel Trancoso, Nelson Neto, Céu Viana, Porting an European Portuguese Broadcast News Recognition System to Brazilian Portuguese, In Interspeech 2009, ISCA, Brighton, UK, September 2009

Fernando Batista, Isabel Trancoso, Nuno Mamede, Comparing Automatic Rich Transcription for Portuguese, Spanish and English Broadcast News, In ASRU - IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop, Merano, Italy, December 2009

Helena Moniz, Fernando Batista, Hugo Meinedo, Alberto Abad, Isabel Trancoso, Ana Isabel Mata da Silva, Nuno J. Mamede, Prosodically-based automatic segmentation and punctuation, Speech Prosody 2010, May. 2010

Oscar Koller, Alberto Abad, Isabel Trancoso, Exploiting variety-dependent Phones in Portuguese Variety Identification, Odyssey 2010 The Speaker and Language Recognition Workshop , June 2010

Fernando Batista, Helena Moniz, Isabel Trancoso, Hugo Meinedo, Ana Isabel Mata da Silva, Nuno J. Mamede, Extending the punctuation module for European Portuguese, Proc. of Interspeech 2010, September 2010

Oscar Koller, Alberto Abad, Isabel Trancoso, Céu Viana, Exploiting Variety-Dependent Phones in Portuguese Variety Identification Applied to Broadcast News Transcription, Interspeech 2010, September 2010

Alberto Abad and Isabel Trancoso, Post-evaluation analysis and improvements with the L2F Language Verification System submitted to NIST LRE 2009, Fala2010, Vigo, Spain, November 2010

Hugo Meinedo, Alberto Abad, Thomas Pellegrini, Isabel Trancoso, João Paulo Neto, The L2F Broadcast News Speech Recognition System, Fala2010, November 2010

Alberto Abad, Oscar Koller, Isabel Trancoso, The L2F Language Verification Systems for Albayzin-2010 Evaluation, Fala2010, Vigo, Spain, November 2010

José Lopes, Isabel Trancoso, Rui Correia, Thomas Pellegrini, Hugo Meinedo, Nuno J. Mamede, Maxine Eskenazi, Multimedia Learning Materials, IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop, Berkeley, USA, December 2010

Helena Moniz, Fernando Batista, Isabel Trancoso, Ana Isabel Mata da Silva, Analysis of interrogatives in different domains, In Towards Autonomous, Adaptive, and Context-Aware Multimodal Interfaces: Theoretical and Practical Issues. Third COST 2102 International Training School, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, pages 136-148, Caserta, Italy, January 2011

Helena Moniz, Ana Isabel Mata da Silva, Isabel Trancoso, Prosodic analysis of disfluent events in a corpus of university lectures, In VLSP 2011, New Tools and Methods for Very-Large-Scale Phonetics Research Workshop, The University of Pennsylvania, pages 86-87, Philadelphia, January 2011

Luís Marujo, Nuno Grazina, Tiago Luís, Wang Ling, Luísa Coheur, Isabel Trancoso, BP2EP - Adaptation of Brazilian Portuguese texts to European Portuguese, In Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation, European Association for Machine Translation, pages 129-136, Leuven, Belgium, May 2011


This demo shows our current Broadcast News recognizer for Brazilian Portuguese.