A synthesis scheme for British English intonation

N. Willems, R. Collier, J. ‘t Hart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A synthesis scheme is proposed that provides British English utterances with a variety of acceptable artificial F0 contours. It is based on the acoustic analysis of a large corpus of (semi-) spontaneous utterances and on the perceptual evaluation of synthetic F0 contours that have been stylized and standardized. The scheme consists of three parts: (a) an explicit description of the perceptually relevant F0 changes, i.e., the pitch movements, as found in the corpus; (b) combination rules that specify the possible sequences of pitch movements in contours at the clause level; and (c) rules of sequence that govern the concatenation of pitch contours at the level of the sentence. The algorithm has been implemented in the form of a computer program that provides any input utterance with fully specified F0 values, which can be merged with its other source parameters in a (linear predictive code) LPC speech file. Thus the program can be incorporated in a text-to-speech system or be used as a research tool. A representative sample of synthetic F0 contours, generated by the program, has been evaluated in a formal listening experiment with 30 native British subjects. The results indicate that the artificial pitch contours sound as acceptable as their natural counterparts. PAcsn umbe4rs3:.7 2.J4a3,. 72.A4r 3.70.F4q 3.71.Gv.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1250-1261
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Volume84
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1988

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