A Distributional Concept for Modeling Dialectal Variation in TTS
Current TTS systems usually represent a certain standard of a given language, regional or social variation is barely reflected. In this paper, we describe certain strategies for modeling language varieties on the basis of a common language resource, in particular Austrian varieties from German sources. The goal is to find optimal procedures in order to represent these differences with minimal efforts in annotation and processing. We delimit the discussion to the lower levels of the transformation of linguistic information – phonetic encoding. One question is if it is necessary or desirable to aim at maximal accurateness of the phonetic transcriptions. We will show that while certain differences could in principle be captured by the context within the speech data, other differences definitely have to be re-modelled, since they either involve ambiguous correspondences, or the string of phones is different in such a way that automatic procedures such as alignment or unit selection would be negatively affected, hence degrade the overall quality of the synthesized speech.
KeywordsTTS language varieties dialects Austrian German regionalization
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