Speaker-Independent Classification of Phonetic Segments from Raw Ultrasound in Child Speech

Manuel Sam Ribeiro, Aciel Eshky, Korin Richmond, Steve Renals

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI) provides a convenient way to visualize the vocal tract during speech production. UTI is increasingly being used for speech therapy, making it important to develop automatic methods to assist various time-consuming manual tasks currently performed by speech therapists. A key challenge is to generalize the automatic processing of ultrasound tongue images to previously unseen speakers. In this work, we investigate the classification of phonetic segments (tongue shapes) from raw ultrasound recordings under several training scenarios: speaker-dependent, multi-speaker, speaker-independent, and speaker-adapted. We observe that models underperform when applied to data from speakers not seen at training time. However, when provided with minimal additional speaker information, such as the mean ultrasound frame, the models generalize better to unseen speakers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICASSP 2019 - 2019 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP)
Place of PublicationBrighton, United Kingdom
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4799-8131-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-8132-8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2019
Event44th International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing: Signal Processing: Empowering Science and Technology for Humankind - Brighton , United Kingdom
Duration: 12 May 201917 May 2019
Conference number: 44

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1520-6149
ISSN (Electronic)2379-190X


Conference44th International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing
Abbreviated titleICASSP 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • ultrasound
  • ultrasound tongue imaging
  • speaker independent
  • speech therapy
  • Child Speech

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