ISCA International Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE 2011)

Venice, Italy
August 24-26, 2011

Using Speech Synthesis to Simulate an Interlanguage and Learn the Italian Lexicon

Rodolfo Delmonte, Francesco Stiffoni

Department of Language Studies, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy

We present work carried out to simulate an interlanguage for English speakers learning Italian with a speech synthesizer made available by Apple. The lexicon is made of the most frequent 30,000 word forms of Italian as extracted from corpora and other similar Frequency Lists. The synthesizer has been filtered by a program in C-language that addresses the internal system of rules running on Apple’s MacinTalk speech synthesizer that allows to modify phones and rhythm. By applying different sets of rules it is possible to simulate knowledge of the phonotactics, phonology and prosody in such a way as to mimic the condition of different stages of an English learner of Italian. Correct pronunciation is produced by an adequately modified Apple’s synthesis for Mexican Spanish.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Delmonte, Rodolfo / Stiffoni, Francesco (2011): "Using speech synthesis to simulate an interlanguage and learn the Italian lexicon", In SLaTE-2011, 25-28.