Estimating speech spectra by algorithm and by hand for synthesis from natural models

Remez, Robert E.; Dubowski, Kathryn R.; Davids, Morgana L.; Thomas, Emily F.; Paddu, Nina U.; Grossman, Yael S.; Moskalenko, Marina

Linear prediction is a widely available technique for analyzing acoustic properties of speech, although this method is known to be error-prone. New tests assessed the adequacy of linear prediction estimates by using this method to derive synthesis parameters and testing the intelligibility of the synthetic speech that results. Matched sets of sine-wave sentences were created, one set using uncorrected linear prediction estimates of natural sentences, the other using estimates made by hand. Phoneme restrictions imposed on linguistic properties allowed comparisons between continuous and intermittent voicing, oral or nasal and fricative manner, and unrestricted phonemic variation. Intelligibility tests revealed uniformly good performance with sentences created by hand-estimation and a minimal decrease in intelligibility with estimation by linear prediction due to manner variation with continuous voicing. Poorer performance was observed when linear prediction estimates were used to produce synthetic versions of phonemically unrestricted sentences, but no similar decline was observed with synthetic sentences produced by hand estimation. The results show a substantial intelligibility cost of reliance on uncorrected linear prediction estimates when phonemic variation approaches natural incidence.



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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

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Acoustical Society of America
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March 26, 2014