Sixth ISCA Workshop on Speech Synthesis

Bonn, Germany
August 22-24, 2007

Issues of Optionality in Pitch Accent Placement

Leonardo Badino, Robert A. J. Clark

Centre for Speech Technology Research, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

When comparing the prosodic realization of different English speakers reading the same text, a significant disagreement is usually found amongst the pitch accent patterns of the speakers. Assuming that such disagreement is due to a partial optionality of pitch accent placement, it has been recently proposed to evaluate pitch accent predictors by comparing them with multispeaker reference data. In this paper we face the issue of pitch accent optionality at different levels. At first we propose a simple mathematical definition of intra-speaker optionality which allows us to introduce a function for evaluating pitch accent predictors which we show being more accurate and robust than those used in previous works. Subsequently we compare a pitch accent predictor trained on single speaker data with a predictor trained on multi-speaker data in order to point out the large overlapping between intra-speaker and inter-speaker optionality. Finally, we show our successful results in predicting intra-speaker optionality and we suggest how this achievement could be exploited to improve the performances of a unit selection text-to speech synthesis (TTS) system.

Full Paper   Presentation (pdf)

Bibliographic reference.  Badino, Leonardo / Clark, Robert A. J. (2007): "Issues of optionality in pitch accent placement", In SSW6-2007, 252-257.