The Seventh ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Speech Synthesis

Kyoto, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

Joint Prosodic and Segmental Unit Selection for Expressive Speech Synthesis

Christophe Veaux, Pierre Lanchantin, Xavier Rodet

IRCAM – CNRS STMS, Analysis-Synthesis Team, Paris, France

One problem in concatenative speech synthesis is how to incorporate prosodic factors in the unit selection. Imposing a predicted prosodic contour as target specification is errorprone and does not benefit from the natural variability contained in the database. This paper introduces a method that searches for the optimal unit sequence by maximizing a joint likelihood at both segmental and prosodic level. At the segmental level, the concatenation cost and target cost are reformulated in terms of conditional and a priori probabilities which are combined with probabilistic models of fundamental frequency and duration at the syllable level and the phrase level. A generalized version of the Viterbi algorithm is used to take into account the long-term dependencies introduced by the prosodic models during the search of the optimal unit sequence. This method has been implemented in a unit selection synthesizer using an expressive speech database and a subjective evaluation shows an improvement in the prosodic quality, although the overall quality is only slightly enhanced.

Index Terms: speech synthesis, unit selection, prosody

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Veaux, Christophe / Lanchantin, Pierre / Rodet, Xavier (2010): "Joint prosodic and segmental unit selection for expressive speech synthesis", In SSW7-2010, 323-327.