Generating fundamental frequency contours for speech synthesis in Yorùbá
Van Niekerk, Daniel R.
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We present methods for modelling and synthesising fundamental frequency (F0) contours suitable for application in text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis of Yorùbá (an African tone language). These methods are discussed and compared with a baseline approach using the HMM-based speech synthesis system HTS. Evaluation is done by comparing ten-fold cross validation squared errors on a small corpus of four speakers. We show that the proposed methods are relatively effective at modelling and generating F0 contours in this context, achieving lower error rates than the baseline. These results suggest that our methods will be useful for the generation of improved synthesis of tone in African languages, which has been a challenge to date.