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Word informativeness and automatic pitch accent modeling

Pan, Shimei; McKeown, Kathleen

In intonational phonology and speech synthesis research, it has been suggested that the relative informativeness of a word can be used to predict pitch prominence. The more information conveyed by a word, the more likely it will be accented. But there are others who express doubts about such a correlation. In this paper, we provide some empirical evidence to support the existence of such a correlation by employing two widely accepted measures of informativeness. Our experiments show that there is a positive correlation between the informativeness of a word and its pitch accent assignment. They also show that informativeness enables statistically significant improvements in pitch accent prediction. The computation of word informativeness is inexpensive and can be incorporated into speech synthesis systems easily.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Proceedings of the EMNLP/VLC'99
Published Here
May 3, 2013