Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Analysis-by-Synthesis in Prosody Research

Rüdiger Hoffmann

Chair for System Theory and Speech Technology, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

It was early recognized in the history of speech technology, that prosody plays an essential role in the communication process and that it is therefore necessary to include prosodic components into the speech-based systems for man-computer interaction. Recent text-to-speech (TTS) systems show prosodic components at an elementary level (intonation and duration) for good comprehensibility, but it is also obvious that these components are not powerful enough to produce speech with high naturalness and personality. On the other hand, systems for automatic speech recognition (ASR) consider the prosody more or less implicitly, and we have only few examples where prosodic features are explicitly used for improving the recognition results. This talk is an attempt to give a more general view on the inclusion of prosody in speech technology. During the last decade, reconsidering the paradigm of analysis-by-synthesis (AbS) in speech technology has produced some algorithmic progress in TTS and in ASR as well. The system UASR (Unified Approach for Speech Synthesis and Recognition) of the TU Dresden was designed to demonstrate the AbS approach in a hierarchical way. It is now time to discuss how prosodic components could be included in such systems. The inclusion of rhythmic phenomena seems to be the most difficult but also very promising subtask. Possibly speech processing can benefit from musical signal processing where the identification of rhythm is a very natural task.

Index Terms: History of speech technology, Analysis-by- Synthesis, UASR, cognitive systems, hierarchical systems, speech dialogue systems

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hoffmann, Rüdiger (2012): "Analysis-by-synthesis in prosody research", In SP-2012, 1-6.