A significant variability in pitch accent placement is found when comparing the patterns of prosodic prominence realized by different English speakers reading the same sentences. In this paper we describe a simple approach to incorporate this variability to synthesize prosodic prominence in unit selection text-to-speech synthesis.
The main motivation of our approach is that by taking into account the variability of accent placements we enlarge the set of prosodically acceptable speech units, thus increasing the chances of selecting a good quality sequence of units, both in prosodic and segmental terms.
Results on a large scale perceptual test show the benefits of our approach and indicate directions for further improvements.
Bibliographic reference. Badino, Leonardo / Clark, Robert A. J. / Strom, Volker (2008): "Including pitch accent optionality in unit selection text-to-speech synthesis", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 2118-2121.