Modeling Improved Prosody Generation from High-Level Linguistically Annotated Corpora

Gerasimos XYDAS  Dimitris SPILIOTOPOULOS  Georgios KOUROUPETROGLOU  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E88-D   No.3   pp.510-518
Publication Date: 2005/03/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Corpus-Based Speech Technologies)
Category: Speech Synthesis and Prosody
Keyword: 
prosody modeling,  text-to-speech,  linguistic meta-information,  synthetic prosody evaluation,  

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Summary: 
Synthetic speech usually suffers from bad F0 contour surface. The prediction of the underlying pitch targets robustly relies on the quality of the predicted prosodic structures, i.e. the corresponding sequences of tones and breaks. In the present work, we have utilized a linguistically enriched annotated corpus to build data-driven models for predicting prosodic structures with increased accuracy. We have then used a linear regression approach for the F0 modeling. An appropriate XML annotation scheme has been introduced to encode syntax, grammar, new or already given information, phrase subject/object information, as well as rhetorical elements in the corpus, by exploiting a Natural Language Generator (NLG) system. To prove the benefits from the introduction of the enriched input meta-information, we first show that while tone and break CART predictors have high accuracy when standing alone (92.35% for breaks, 87.76% for accents and 99.03% for endtones), their application in the TtS chain degrades the Linear Regression pitch target model. On the other hand, the enriched linguistic meta-information minimizes errors of models leading to a more natural F0 surface. Both objective and subjective evaluation were adopted for the intonation contours by taking into account the propagated errors introduced by each model in the synthesis chain.