8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

Analysis of the Phone Level Contributions to Objective Evaluation of English Speech by Non-Natives

Yasuo Suzuki, Yoshinori Sagisaka, Katsuhiko Shirai, Makiko Muto

Waseda University, Japan

Aiming at automatic estimation of naturalness in timing control of non-native's speech, we have analyzed the timing characteristics of non-native's speech to correlate with corresponding subjective naturalness evaluation scores given by native speakers. In addition to word level statistical characteristics showing the differences between natives and non-natives,we analyzed phone and syllable level statistics to attain an objective measure better fit to natives' judgments.An English speech corpus spoken by Japanese was collected with temporal naturalness judgments by natives. The analysis results showed that timing differences between natives and non-natives in average syllable durations, weak vowel durations and vowel duration of function words were highly correlated with natives' naturalness evaluations. A liner regression model and a regression tree model were employed to estimate naturalness evaluation score from differences between native's speech and non-natives one. The proposed naturalness evaluation model was tested its estimation accuracy using open data.These accuracies were better than one estimated by the model using word statistics only.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Suzuki, Yasuo / Sagisaka, Yoshinori / Shirai, Katsuhiko / Muto, Makiko (2004): "Analysis of the phone level contributions to objective evaluation of English speech by non-natives", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 1673-1676.