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Faking it: Synthetic text-to-speech synthesis for under-resourced languages – Experimental design

By Harold Somers


Speech synthesis or text-to-speech (TTS) systems are currently available for a number of the world’s major languages, but for thousands of the world’s ‘minor ’ languages no such technology is available. While awaiting the development of such technology, we would like to try the stop-gap solution of using an existing TTS system for a major language (the base language) to ‘fake ’ TTS for a minor language (the target language). This paper describes the design for an experiment which involves finding a suitable base language for the Australian Aboriginal language Pitjantjajara as a target language, and evaluating its usability in the real-life situation of providing language technology support for speakers of the target language whose understanding of the local majority language is limited, for example in the scenario of going to the doctor. 1

Year: 2012
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