Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

A Semi Automatic Method for the Characterization of Spanish Intonation Contours

Jorge A. Gurlekian (1), Marcela Leticia Riccillo (2), Alejandro Renato (3), Jose Alvarez (2)

(1) Laboratory of Sensory Research (CONICET), (2) Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, (3) Facultad de Medicina, UBA, Spain

The purpose of this work is to present a method to characterize Spanish Intonation Patterns (SIP) and to describe its principal features. A semi automatic method was developed, which consisted in the stylization of SIP and coding of pitch movements. A preliminary corpus of 120 sentences were collected and recorded by two native speakers of Buenos Aires (one female, one male). In the stylization process, smoothing of the row F0 contours in two stages and a polynomial approximation by straight-line segments were applied. A perceptual test assessed the intonation quality obtained for sentences using the stylized f0 contours. Subjects reported no differences with natural ones. In the coding process, the micro and macro prosodic features of the SIP were represented. Spanish ToBI notations were defined and combined with a hierarchy structure according to the ERB-rate scale. This notation strategy was applied to the corpus, resulting in a set of sentence labels. We applied this set of sentence labels to an equivalent text corpus and tested the quality of the predicted F0 contours by concatenating interpolated demi-syllables. The quality of the synthetic speech obtained, suggest the convenience to extend the method to a larger corpus.

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Bibliographic reference.  Gurlekian, Jorge A. / Riccillo, Marcela Leticia / Renato, Alejandro / Alvarez, Jose (1999): "A semi automatic method for the characterization of Spanish intonation contours", In EUROSPEECH'99, 719-722.