Automatic Generation of Synthesis Units for Trainable Text-to-Speech Systems

Proc. of the Int. Conf. on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing |

Whistler Text-to-Speech engine was designed so that we can automatically construct the model parameters from training data. This paper will describe in detail the design issues of constructing the synthesis unit inventory automatically from speech databases. The automatic process includes (1) determining the scaleable synthesis unit which can reflect spectral variations of different allophones; (2) segmenting the recording sentences into phonetic segments; (3) select good instances for each synthesis unit to generate best synthesis sentence during run time. These processes are all derived through the use of probabilistic learning methods which are aimed at the same optimization criteria. Through this automatic unit generation, Whistler can automatically produce synthetic speech that sounds very natural and resembles the acoustic characteristics of the original speaker.