Taiwanese syllable-based synthesis units database

Y. J. Sher, K. C. Chung, C. H. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Speech communication is most common in human beings. Currently, Taiwanese or Min-Nan spoken language is used by more than 75% of the people in Taiwan and approximated 50 million populations in the world. Although several written forms of Taiwanese have been proposed and used, there is lack of modern DSP research and development in Taiwanese speech communication. This has led to the detriment of Taiwanese culture, education and training of native language, and communication-aided technology development for the disabled. This study is aimed to develop a Taiwanese syllable-based synthesis units database by applying phonology' principles and DSP. Instead of intonation pronunciation, Taiwanese is a tone language with basic vowels, consonants, fundamental tone and other 7 tones. The single-tone database, consisting of 522 syllables, is determined from syllables screening by using the existed Chinese characters mapping to Taiwanese spoken words. Then an infinite-vocabulary TTS synthesis system is developed by applying DSP transformation of single-tone to other 7 tones on the database. An approach for the storage of corresponding acoustic waveform database has been through recording the synthesis units with syllable-based embedded sentences (SBES). Selection criteria of SBES are based on a set of syllables consisting of the desired syllables without regarding to the semantics of sentences, and clear speech signal boundary for syllables' segmentation. During the recording process, speed, frequency, duration, and intensity of synthesis units are made as consistent as possible. The results of 522 single-tone syllables database have been shown to include synthesis units for all of the possible Taiwanese semantic syllables. The established infinite-vocabulary Taiwanese TTS system would be valuable to both provision of fundamental research and scientific applications in Taiwanese language. This research should provide fundamental database for speech analysis, synthesis, and recognition in modern Taiwanese Language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Volume19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Phonology and DSP
  • Synthesis units database
  • Taiwanese language
  • Text-to- Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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