Speech Processing and Prosody

author: Denis Jouvet, Loria - Lorraine Research Laboratory in Computer Science and its Application
published: Oct. 8, 2019,   recorded: September 2019,   views: 15


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The prosody of the speech signal conveys information over the linguistic content of the message: prosody structures the utterance, and also brings information on speaker’s attitude and speaker’s emotion. Duration of sounds, energy and fundamental frequency are the prosodic features. However, their automatic computation and usage are not obvious. Sound duration features are usually extracted from speech recognition results or from a force speech-text alignment. Although the resulting segmentation is usually acceptable on clean native speech data, performance degrades on noisy or not non-native speech. Many algorithms have been developed for computing the fundamental frequency, they lead to rather good performance on clean speech, but again, performance degrades in noisy conditions. However, in some applications, as for example in computer assisted language learning, the relevance of the prosodic features is critical; indeed, the quality of the diagnostic on the learner’s pronunciation will heavily depend on the precision and reliability of the estimated prosodic parameters.

The talk will consider the computation of prosodic features, show the limitations of automatic approaches, and discuss the problem of computing confidence measures on such features. Then the talk with discuss the role of prosodic features and how they can be handled for automatic processing in some tasks such as the detection of discourse particles, the characterization of emotions, the classification of sentence modalities, as well as in computer assisted language learning and in expressive speech synthesis.

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