Neural Network-Based Modeling of Phonetic Durations

Xizi Wei, Melvyn Hunt, Adrian Skilling


A deep neural network (DNN)-based model has been developed to predict non-parametric distributions of durations of phonemes in specified phonetic contexts and used to explore which factors influence durations most. Major factors in US English are pre-pausal lengthening, lexical stress, and speaking rate. The model can be used to check that text-to-speech (TTS) training speech follows the script and words are pronounced as expected. Duration prediction is poorer with training speech for automatic speech recognition (ASR) because the training corpus typically consists of single utterances from many speakers and is often noisy or casually spoken. Low probability durations in ASR training material nevertheless mostly correspond to non-standard speech, with some having disfluencies. Children’s speech is disproportionately present in these utterances, since children show much more variation in timing.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2102

Cite as: Wei, X., Hunt, M., Skilling, A. (2019) Neural Network-Based Modeling of Phonetic Durations. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 1751-1755, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2102.


@inproceedings{Wei2019,
  author={Xizi Wei and Melvyn Hunt and Adrian Skilling},
  title={{Neural Network-Based Modeling of Phonetic Durations}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={1751--1755},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2102},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2102}
}