R.: Pronunciation variant selection for spontaneous speech synthesis - A summary of experimental results


To make synthesized speech more natural and col-loquial the regularity of synthesized speech has to be overcome and spontaneous speech effects have to be in-tegrated into the synthesis process. In a first step to-wards spontaneous speech we introduced different dura-tion control methods in speech synthesis. In this paper we summarize the results of previous works (see for instance [1]) of changing the speaking rate indirectly by controlling the grapheme-to-phoneme conversion through different pronunciation variant selec-tion algorithms. The presented results of listening exper-iments show a significant improvement in the category colloquial impression. To evaluate the quality of the most outstanding vari-ant selection approach compared to the canonical synthe-sis (as the state-of-the-art system), we performed a new listening test on longer speech samples. The variant syn-thesis applying a pronunciation variant sequence model achieved a significant lower listening effort and a higher overall rate (MOS) compared to the canonical synthesis. 1

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