5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

A Keyvowel Approach to the Synthesis of Regional Accents of English

Briony Williams, Stephen Isard

Centre for Speech Technology Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Most English text-to-speech synthesisers offer one of only two accents: General American or RP. Developing a new accent is laborious, since it is not possible to choose one accent as a base form and systematically translate to others. We use the approach of Wells ([1]), categorising vowels in terms of keywords that encode classes of words. Thus it is unnecessary to use a phonemic transcription in either the development or the execution of a synthesiser. The "keyvowel" system can be used throughout the synthesis system, avoiding the need to make accent-specific changes manually. The same linguistic resources can be re-used for each new accent. More fundamentally, the keyvowel system functions as a meta-accent that subsumes vowel-related information in all accents of English.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Williams, Briony / Isard, Stephen (1997): "A keyvowel approach to the synthesis of regional accents of English", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 2435-2438.