Interspeech'2005 - Eurospeech

Lisbon, Portugal
September 4-8, 2005

Exploration of Different Types of Intonational Deviations in Foreign-Accented and Synthesized Speech

Matthias Jilka

University of Stuttgart, Germany

The study provides an analysis of the basic manifestations of intonational deviations in foreign-accented (American English accent in German) and synthesized speech. It takes into account the crucial influence of the used model of intonation description and makes a major distinction between individual deviations that cause the impression of foreignness or unnaturalness immediately when they occur, and others that do so only when an accumulation of several such deviations does not allow for a meaningful interpretation anymore. It is argued that this is due to the high variability allowed in prosodic contexts. A closer description of the first group of deviations includes the transfer of categories and of the phonetic realizations of categories as well as a discussion of seemingly unmotivated errors and the most likely causes of intonation errors in synthesized speech. Finally, it is shown that in the case of foreign accent the language-specific manifestations of the presented deviations combine to create a characteristic overall impression of foreignness that is recognizable independently of the segmental content of an utterance.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jilka, Matthias (2005): "Exploration of different types of intonational deviations in foreign-accented and synthesized speech", In INTERSPEECH-2005, 2393-2396.