Spectral Features for Perceptually Natural Phoneme Replacement by Another Speaker's Speech

Reiko TAKOU  Hiroyuki SEGI  Tohru TAKAGI  Nobumasa SEIYAMA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E95-A   No.4   pp.751-759
Publication Date: 2012/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.E95.A.751
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Speech and Hearing
individuality,  speech perception,  speech synthesis,  voice quality,  

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The frequency regions and spectral features that can be used to measure the perceived similarity and continuity of voice quality are reported here. A perceptual evaluation test was conducted to assess the naturalness of spoken sentences in which either a vowel or a long vowel of the original speaker was replaced by that of another. Correlation analysis between the evaluation score and the spectral feature distance was conducted to select the spectral features that were expected to be effective in measuring the voice quality and to identify the appropriate speech segment of another speaker. The mel-frequency cepstrum coefficient (MFCC) and the spectral center of gravity (COG) in the low-, middle-, and high-frequency regions were selected. A perceptual paired comparison test was carried out to confirm the effectiveness of the spectral features. The results showed that the MFCC was effective for spectra across a wide range of frequency regions, the COG was effective in the low- and high-frequency regions, and the effective spectral features differed among the original speakers.