SAY — A PC based Speech Analysis system
This paper is concerned with an experimental system of value to anyone interested in speech research in general, and in particular to those interested in speech input and output by computer. At the IBM UKSC we are building a system capable of converting text data to natural sounding speech. This embodies many of the features of an expert system since the system must understand and use the same rules of spelling, syntax, intonation, pronunciation and phonetics that a human speaker draws upon when talking. In building this system we must have a detailed understanding of normal human speech and a means of analysing synthetic speech to enable us to quantify the factors that determine intelligibility and acceptability. To achieve this we need a knowledge of both the physics and anatomy of speech production in the human articulatory system, and of the speech signal itself. We will need techniques for analysing synthetic speech and comparing it with its natural counterpart. An understanding of the process of speech perception, and of which parts of the speech signal carry the important perceptual information, is also relevant. A suitable system for the analysis of speech signals is thus an essential tool in this project and it is the development of such a speech analyser that is the subject of this paper.
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