Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Making Sense of Variations: Introducing Alternatives in Speech Synthesis

Nicolas Obin (1), Christophe Veaux (2), Pierre Lanchantin (3)

(1) IRCAM-CNRS-9912-STMS, Paris, France
(2) Centre for Speech Technology Research, Edinburgh, UK
(3) Cambridge University Engineering Department, Cambridge, UK

This paper addresses the use of speech alternatives to enrich speech synthesis systems. Speech alternatives denote the variety of strategies that a speaker can use to pronounce a sentence - depending on pragmatic constraints, speaking style, and specific strategies of the speaker. During the training, symbolic and acoustic characteristics of a unit-selection speech synthesis system are statistically modelled with context-dependent parametric models (GMMs/HMMs). During the synthesis, symbolic and acoustic alternatives are exploited using a generalized Viterbi algorithm (GVA) to determine the sequence of speech units used for the synthesis. Objective and subjective evaluations supports evidence that the use of speech alternatives significantly improves speech synthesis over conventional speech synthesis systems.

Index Terms: speech synthesis, speech prosody, speech alternatives.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Obin, Nicolas / Veaux, Christophe / Lanchantin, Pierre (2012): "Making sense of variations: introducing alternatives in speech synthesis", In SP-2012, 179-182.