A Timing Model for Fast French

Keller, Eric and Zellner, Brigitte (1996) A Timing Model for Fast French. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Models of speech timing are of both fundamental and applied interest. At the fundamental level, the prediction of time periods occupied by syllables and segments is required for general models of speech prosody and segmental structure. At the applied level, complete models of timing are an essential component of any speech synthesis system. Previous research has established that a large number of factors influence various levels of speech timing. Statistical analysis and modelling can identify order of importance and mutual influences between such factors. In the present study, a three-tiered model was created by a modified step-wise statistical procedure. It predicts the temporal structure of French, as produced by a single, highly fluent speaker at a fast speech rate (100 phonologically balanced sentences, hand-scored in the acoustic signal). The first tier models segmental influences due to phoneme type and contextual interactions between phoneme types. The second tier models syllable-level influences of lexical vs. grammatical status of the containing word, presence of schwa and the position within the word. The third tier models utterance-final lengthening. The complete segmental-syllabic model correlated with the original corpus of 1204 syllables at an overall r = 0.846. Residuals were normally distributed. An examination of subsets of the data set revealed some variation in the closeness of fit of the model. The results are considered to be useful for an initial timing model, particularly in a speech synthesis context. However, further research is required to extend the model to other speech rates and to examine inter-speaker variability in greater detail.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Subjects:Linguistics > Computational Linguistics
ID Code:885
Deposited By: ZellnerKeller, Dr. Brigitte
Deposited On:21 Jul 2000
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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Models of speech timing, prosody for speech synthesis, statistical model, syllable and speech rhythm, French rhythm


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