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Current research

The current research agenda of SU-CLaST includes studies on

  • Accent variation in South African English (to be extended to English spoken in Africa ) – with a focus on the implications for the development of robust automatic speech recognition systems within a South African / African application context.

  • Language Learning Technologies. This research focuses on the development of speech based systems to address language learning needs across different language pairs in South Africa – specifically in the field of education. This is a joint project with the Meraka Institute.

  • High quality speech synthesis in African tone languages. This research project is conducted in co-laboration with the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) in Keihanna, Japan. It is sponsored by the bilateral South Africa – Japan joint Research Programme. Examples of speech synthesis in Xhosa

  • High quality speech synthesis in African tone languages
    Funding: National Research Foundation (South Africa – Japan Bilateral Agreement)
    Duration: Two years: June 2006, 2007/8
    The aim is to produce a tangible and working speech synthesis system capable of producing high quality speech in Xhosa and Zulu incorporating tonal and other phenomena that are essential for natural speech communication in these particular languages. The knowledge gathered on general and particular tonal phenomena will lay the foundations for developing similar systems for the other seven official African languages in South Africa.

  • “Mobile Learning Systems”
    MELFA website

  • These research projects all entail basic and applied research in the fields of :

    • automatic speech recognition and speech synthesis

    • natural language processing , and

    • the development of tools for language and speech processing and applications.



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Last updated: 15 April, 2008