The apparently simplex nature of logical negation as a one-place, two-valued operator toggling truth and falsity belies the profoundly complex and subtle expression of sentential and constituent negation in natural language, manifested by negative adverbs, verbs, copulas, quantifiers, and affixes and the interaction of negation with other operators including iterations of negation itself. At the core of the mental faculty of language, negation interacts in significant ways with principles of morphology, syntax, logical form, compositional semantics, and processes of language acquisition and sentence processing, whence the prominent role played by work on negation in the recent development of theoretical and empirical linguistics.
As a matter of fact, since very few people associate a good knowledge of DSP with a comprehensive insight into NLP, synthesis mostly remains unclear, even for people working in either research area. After a brief definition of a general TTS system and of its commercial applications, in Section 1, the paper is basically divided into two parts.
I then examine, in Section 2. I finaly give a word on existing TTS solutions, with special emphasis on the computational and economical constraints which have to be kept in mind when designing TTS systems.
For a much more detailed introduction to the subject, the reader is invited to refer to my recently published book on TTS synthesis Dutoit, For a printable version of this text, see "High-Quality Text-to-Speech Synthesis: Special Issue on Speech Recognition and Synthesis, vol.
Introduction A Text-To-Speech TTS synthesizer is a computer-based system that should be able to read any text aloud, whether it was directly introduced in the computer by an operator or scanned and submitted to an Optical Character Recognition OCR system.
Let us try to be clear. There is a fundamental difference between the system we are about to discuss here and any other talking machine as a cassette-player for example in the sense that we are interested in the automatic production of new sentences.
This definition still needs some refinements. Systems that simply concatenate isolated words or parts of sentences, denoted as Voice Response Systems, are only applicable when a limited vocabulary is required typically a few one hundreds of wordsand when the sentences to be pronounced respect a very restricted structure, as is the case for the announcement of arrivals in train stations for instance.
In the context of TTS synthesis, it is impossible and luckily useless to record and store all the words of the language. It is thus more suitable to define Text-To-Speech as the automatic production of speech, through a grapheme-to-phoneme transcription of the sentences to utter.
At first sight, this task does not look too hard to perform. After all, is not the human being potentially able to correctly pronounce an unknown sentence, even from his childhood?
We all have, mainly unconsciously, a deep knowledge of the reading rules of our mother tongue. They were transmitted to us, in a simplified form, at primary school, and we improved them year after year. However, it would be a bold claim indeed to say that it is only a short step before the computer is likely to equal the human being in that respect.
Despite the present state of our knowledge and techniques and the progress recently accomplished in the fields of Signal Processing and Artificial Intelligence, we would have to express some reservations. As a matter of fact, the reading process draws from the furthest depths, often unthought of, of the human intelligence.
Each and every synthesizer is the result of a particular and original imitation of the human reading capability, submitted to technological and imaginative constraints that are characteristic of the time of its creation. The concept of high quality TTS synthesis appeared in the mid eighties, as a result of important developments in speech synthesis and natural language processing techniques, mostly due to the emergence of new technologies Digital Signal and Logical Inference Processors.
It is now a must for the speech products family expansion. Here are some examples: TTS systems make it possible to access textual information over the telephone. Texts might range from simple messages, such as local cultural events not to miss cinemas, theatres, Queries to such information retrieval systems could be put through the user's voice with the help of a speech recognizeror through the telephone keyboard with DTMF systems.
One could even imagine that our artificially intelligent machines could speed up the query when needed, by providing lists of keywords, or even summaries. Who's Calling get the spoken name of your caller before being connected and hang up to avoid the callIntegrated Messaging have your electronic mail or facsimiles being automatically read over the telephoneTelephone Relay Service have a telephone conversation with speech or hearing impaired persons thanks to ad hoc text-to-voice and voice-to-text conversionand Automated Caller Name and Address a computerized version of the "reverse directory".
These applications have proved acceptable, and even popular, provided the intelligibility of the synthetic utterances was high enough.
Naturalness was not a major issue in most cases.
To our knowledge, this has not been done yet, given the relatively poor quality available with commercial systems, as opposed to the critical requirements of such tasks. Aid to handicapped persons.
Machines can be an invaluable support in the latter case: Astro-physician Stephen Hawking gives all his lectures in this way. The aforementioned Telephone Relay Service is another example.
The market for speech synthesis for blind users of personal computers will soon be invaded by mass-market synthesisers bundled with sound cards.Interlanguage E Tarone plombier-nemours.comhtsreserved.
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