Perception of prosodic variation for speech synthesis using an unsupervised discrete representation of F0

Zack Hodari, Catherine Lai, Simon King


In English, prosody adds a broad range of information to segment sequences, from information structure (e.g. contrast) to stylistic variation (e.g. expression of emotion). However, when learning to control prosody in text-to-speech voices, it is not clear what exactly the control is modifying. Existing research on discrete representation learning for prosody has demonstrated high naturalness, but no analysis has been performed on what these representations capture, or if they can generate meaningfully-distinct variants of an utterance. We present a phrase-level variational autoencoder with a multi-modal prior, using the mode centres as "intonation codes". Our evaluation establishes which intonation codes are perceptually distinct, finding that the intonation codes from our multi-modal latent model were significantly more distinct than a baseline using k-means clustering. We carry out a follow-up qualitative study to determine what information the codes are carrying. Most commonly, listeners commented on the intonation codes having a statement or question style. However, many other affect-related styles were also reported, including: emotional, uncertain, surprised, sarcastic, passive aggressive, and upset.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-197

Cite as: Hodari, Z., Lai, C., King, S. (2020) Perception of prosodic variation for speech synthesis using an unsupervised discrete representation of F0. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 965-969, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-197.


@inproceedings{Hodari2020,
  author={Zack Hodari and Catherine Lai and Simon King},
  title={{Perception of prosodic variation for speech synthesis using an unsupervised discrete representation of F0}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={965--969},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-197},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-197}
}