Identification of Contrast and Its Emphatic Realization in HMM-based Speech Synthesis

Leonardo Badino, J. Sebastian Andersson, Junichi Yamagishi, Robert A.J. Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The work presented in this paper proposes to identify contrast in the form of contrastive word pairs and prosodically signal it with emphatic accents in a Text-to-Speech (TTS) application using a Hidden-Markov-Model (HMM) based speech synthesis system. We first describe a novel method to automatically detect contrastive word pairs using textual features only and report its performance on a corpus of spontaneous conversations in English. Subsequently we describe the set of features selected to train a HMM-based speech synthesis system and attempting to properly control prosodic prominence (including emphasis). Results from a large scale perceptual test show that in the majority of cases listeners judge emphatic contrastive word pairs as acceptable as their non-emphatic counterpart, while emphasis on non-contrastive pairs is almost never acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. Interspeech 2009
Pages520-523
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009

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