Fourth ISCA ITRW on Speech Synthesis

August 29 - September 1, 2001
Perthshire, Scotland

Hierarchical Structure and Word Strength Predication of Mandarin Prosody

Greg P. Kochanski, Chilin Shih, and Hongyan Jing

Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, NJ, USA

We use Stem-ML to build an automatic learning system for Mandarin prosody that allows us to make quantitative measurements of prosodic strengths. Stem-ML is a phenomenological model of the muscle dynamics and planning process that controls the tension of the vocal folds. Becnse Stem-ML describes the interactions between nearby tones or accents, we were able to use a highly constrained model with only one accent template for each lexical tone category, and a single prosodic strength per word. The model accurately reproduces the intonation of the speaker, capturing 87% of the variance of F0. The result reveals strong alternating metrical patterns in words, and shows that the speaker uses word strength to mark a hierarchy of boundaries.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kochanski, Greg P. / Shih, Chilin / Jing, Hongyan (2001): "Hierarchical structure and word strength predication of Mandarin prosody", In SSW4-2001, paper 130.