A Prototype Text Analyzer for Mandarin Chinese TTS system
Abstract: This project presents a prototype of a text analyzer for a rule-based Mandarin Chinese TTS voice, including components for text normalization, lexicons, phonetic analysis, prosodic analysis, and a phone set. Our implementation shows that despite the linguistic differences, it is feasible to build a Chinese voice with the TTS framework for European languages used at ReadSpeaker AB. A number of challenges in disambiguation and tone sandhi have been identified during the implementation, which we discuss in detail. A comparison of the existing voices is designed, based on these cases, to better understand the performance level of commercial TTS systems. The results verify our conjecture of the difficult cases and also show that there is considerable disagreement on the tone sandhi pattern among the voices. Further research on these topics will contribute to the development of future TTS voices.
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