13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Pauses and Respiratory Markers of the Structure of Book Reading

Gérard Bailly, Cécilia Gouvernayre

GIPSA-lab, UMR 5216 CNRS/INPG/U. Stendhal/UJF, Grenoble, France

The automatic reading of books by text-to-speech synthesizers requires not only the adequate encoding of the many levels of information and discourse structures by acoustic signals but also the proper patterns of breathing, so that to pace information and organize discourse at an ecological rhythm.
   We analyze here the locations and durations of more than 2000 pauses produced by voice donor who has read several audiobooks, freely available via the website. Since the voice was recorded by a close microphone, we also characterized the acoustic markers of inhalation and show that the delay between end of phonation and air intake can be considered an additional marker of thematic continuity between the two adjacent speech chunks that complements well-documented prosodic cues such as the preboundary tone or the pause duration.

Index Terms: prosody, pause, respiration, prediction of pause locations and durations

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bailly, Gérard / Gouvernayre, Cécilia (2012): "Pauses and respiratory markers of the structure of book reading", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 2218-2221.