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LINGUIST List 20.2617

Mon Jul 27 2009

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology: Oliveira: 'From Grapheme to Gesture:...'

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        1.    Catarina Oliveira, From Grapheme to Gesture: Linguistic contributions for an articulatory based text-to-speech system

Message 1: From Grapheme to Gesture: Linguistic contributions for an articulatory based text-to-speech system
Date: 24-Jul-2009
From: Catarina Oliveira <coliveiraua.pt>
Subject: From Grapheme to Gesture: Linguistic contributions for an articulatory based text-to-speech system
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Institution: Aveiro University
Program: Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Catarina Monteiro Oliveira

Dissertation Title: From Grapheme to Gesture: Linguistic contributions for an articulatory based text-to-speech system

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
                            Phonology

Subject Language(s): Portuguese (por)

Dissertation Director:
João Torrão
António Teixeira

Dissertation Abstract:

Motivated by the central purpose of contributing for the construction, in
the long term, of a complete text-to-speech system based in articulatory
synthesis, we develop a linguistic model for European Portuguese (EP),
based on TADA system (TAsk Dynamic Application), that aimed at the
automatic attainment of the articulator's trajectory from the input text.
The specification of this purpose determined the development of a set of
tasks, namely the 1) implementation and evaluation of two automatic
syllabification systems and two grapheme-to-phoneme (G2P) conversion
systems, in view of the transformation of the input in an appropriate
format to the TADA; 2) the creation of a gestural database for the EP
sounds, in so that each phone obtained at the output of the g2p system
could have correspondence with a set of articulatory gestures adapted for
EP; 3) the dynamic analysis of nasality, on the basis of an articulatory
and perceptive study.

The two automatic syllabification algorithms implemented and tested make
appeal to phonological knowledge on the structure of the syllable, being
the first one based in finite state transducers and the second one a
faithful implementation of Mateus & d'Andrade (2000) proposals. The
performance of these algorithms - especially the second - was similar
to the one of other systems with the same potentialities.

Regarding grapheme-to-phone conversion, we follow a methodology based on
manual rules combined with an automatic learning technique. The evaluation
results of this system motivated the exploitation of others automatic
approaches, finding also to evaluate the impact of the syllabic
information integration in the systems.

The gestural description of the European Portuguese sounds, anchored on the
theoretical and methodological tenets of the Articulatory Phonology, was
based essentially on the analysis of magnetic resonance data (MRI), from
which all the measurements were carried out, aiming to obtain the
quantitative articulatory parameters.The several gestural configurations
proposed have been validated, through a small perceptual test, which
allowed identifying the main underlying problems of the gestural proposal.
This work provided, for the first time to PE, the development of a first
articulatory based text-to-speech system.

The dynamic description of nasal vowels relied either on the magnetic
resonance data, for characterization of the oral gestures, either on the
data obtained through electromagnetic articulography (EMA), for the study
of the velum dynamic and of its relation with the remaining articulators.
Besides that,a perceptive test was performed, using TADA and SAPWindows, to
evaluate the sensibility of the Portuguese listeners to the variations in
the height of velum and alterations in the intergestural coordination.This
study supported an abstract interpretation (in gestural terms) of the EP
nasal vowels and allowed also to clarify crucial aspects related with its
production and perception.



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