We present an initial investigation into the acoustic realisation of tone in continuous utterances in Sepedi (a language in the Southern Bantu family). An analytic model for the generation of appropriate pitch contours given an utterance with linguistic tone specification is presented and evaluated. By comparing the model output to speech data from a small tone-marked corpus we conclude that the initial implementation presented here is capable of generating pitch contours exhibiting some realistic properties and identify a number of aspects that require further attention. Lastly, we present some initial perceptual results when integrating the proposed model into a Hidden Markov Model-based speech synthesis system.
Bibliographic reference. Niekerk, Daniel R. van / Barnard, Etienne (2010): "An intonation model for TTS in sepedi", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 2182-2185.