Data Management

Dialog Speech Acts and Prosody: Considerations for TTS

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Executive Summary

As natural language dialog systems involving both speech recognition and Text-To-Speech (TTS) synthesis become more sophisticated, the limitations of general-purpose TTS for human-computer dialogs have become more apparent. Much subtlety and complexity of meaning in natural language dialogs is conveyed by prosody; how something is said is often as important as what words are spoken. At the same time, advances such as unit selection synthesis have greatly improved the naturalness of synthetic speech because much less signal processing is required, resulting in less distortion. With the goal of providing more prosodic and expressive control over unit selection TTS for dialog applications, while retaining naturalness, this paper has focused on speech acts, the communicative function of an utterance.

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