5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Prediction of Word Prominence

Christina Widera, Thomas Portele, Maria Wolters

Institut für Kommunikationsforschung und Phonetik (IKP), University of Bonn, Germany

Control of prosody is essential for the synthesis of natural sounding speech. Text-to-speech systems tend to accent too many words when taking into account only the distinction between open-class and closed-class words. In the prominence-based approach [1], the degree of accentuation of a syllable is described in terms of a gradual prominence parameter. This paper presents the calculation of the prominence level of words based on their word class, the classes of the surrounding words, and their position in a clause. Rules predicting word prominence are derived from statistical analysis of a prosodic database. The hand-crafted rules are compared with the results of several machine learning algorithms on the same material. Furthermore, a perceptual test and an analysis of the resulting speech signals are carried out

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Widera, Christina / Portele, Thomas / Wolters, Maria (1997): "Prediction of word prominence", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 999-1002.