ESCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on
Speech Input/Output Assessment and Speech Databases

Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
September 20-23, 1989

Application and Comparative Assessment of a Formant Synthesis Chip

Hans W. Zelle

Philips Components Application Laboratory Eindhoven, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

After a brief outline of the three major speech synthesis methods available today, some aspects of the application of a formant synthesis chip are described. It is argued that this type of synthesizer can be used in a large number of applications using fixed or assembled messages and is very well suited as an output stage for text-to-speech systems. Quality assessment of synthetic speech is a complicated matter. It requires a proper experimental setup, something most manufacturers cannot easily provide. Nonsense-word intelligibility scores and results of speech interference tests show that differences between synthesizers of the vocal tract modelling group are very small and often not statistically significant. It is our experience that most customers use a very informal and subjective assessment method to judge the quality of synthesized speech: they only trust their own ears, because everybody considers himself an expert in speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Zelle, Hans W. (1989): "Application and comparative assessment of a formant synthesis chip", In SIOA-1989, Vol.1, 21-26.