Statistical Modelling of Speech Segment Duration by Constrained Tree Regression

Naoto IWAHASHI  Yoshinori SAGISAKA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E83-D    No.7    pp.1550-1559
Publication Date: 2000/07/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Speech and Hearing
speech segmental duration,  statistical modelling,  regression,  

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This paper presents a new method for statistical modelling of prosody control in speech synthesis. The proposed method, which is referred to as Constrained Tree Regression (CTR), can make suitable representation of complex effects of control factors for prosody with a moderate amount of learning data. It is based on recursive splits of predictor variable spaces and partial imposition of constraints of linear independence among predictor variables. It incorporates both linear and tree regressions with categorical predictor variables, which have been conventionally used for prosody control, and extends them to more general models. In addition, a hierarchical error function is presented to consider hierarchical structure in prosody control. This new method is applied to modelling of speech segmental duration. Experimental results show that better duration models are obtained by using the proposed regression method compared with linear and tree regressions using the same number of free parameters. It is also shown that the hierarchical structure of phoneme and syllable durations can be represented efficiently using the hierarchical error function.