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Vnspeak - Vietnamese Speech Synthesis

By Expert Author: asche dauxanh

Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware products. A text-to-speech (TTS) system converts normal language text into speech; other systems render symbolic linguistic representations like phonetic transcriptions into speech.

Speech synthesis is the computer-generated simulation of human speech. It is used to translate written information into aural information where it is more convenient, especially for mobile applications such as voice-enabled e-mail and unified messaging . It is also used to assist the vision-impaired so that, for example, the contents of a display screen can be automatically read aloud to a blind user. Speech synthesis is the counterpart of speech or voice recognition . The earliest speech synthesis effort was in 1779 when Russian Professor Christian Kratzenstein created an apparatus based on the human vocal tract to demonstrate the physiological differences involved in the production of five long vowel sounds. The first fully functional voice synthesizer, Homer Dudley's VODER (Voice Operating Demonstrator), was shown at the 1939 World's Fair. The VODER was based on Bell Laboratories' vocoder (voice coder) research of the mid-thirties.

Synthesized speech can be created by concatenating pieces of recorded speech that are stored in a database. Systems differ in the size of the stored speech units; a system that stores phones or diphones provides the largest output range, but may lack clarity. For specific usage domains, the storage of entire words or sentences allows for high-quality output. Alternatively, a synthesizer can incorporate a model of the vocal tract and other human voice characteristics to create a completely "synthetic" voice output.

Speech prosthesis is computer-generated speech for people with physical disabilities that make it difficult to speak intelligibly. Much of the research in this area integrates text and speech generation both, since the disabilities that create problems with speech frequently make text entry difficult as well. Given the speed and fluidity of human conversation, the challenge of speech prosthesis is to circumvent these difficulties. The main research goal is to create a prosthetic system that will as closely as possible resemble natural speech, with the least required input from the user. Speech prosthesis systems also make it possible for visually-impaired people to use computers.

The quality of a speech synthesizer is judged by its similarity to the human voice and by its ability to be understood. An intelligible text-to-speech program allows people with visual impairments or reading disabilities to listen to written works on a home computer. Many computer operating systems have included speech synthesizers since the early 1990s.

Multimodal speech synthesis (sometimes referred to as audio-visual speech synthesis) incorporates an animated face synchronized to complement the synthesized speech. The same difficulties underlying an individual's speech impairment often hinder their ability to communicate through facial expressions. Although synthesized speech is increasingly life-like, it may be quite some time before it approaches the capacity for nuances of natural speech. Multimodal systems incorporate a means of adding non-verbal cues to speech (such as head-shaking, smiling, and winking, for example) to make the user's meaning as clear as possible.

Resource: http://www.vnspeak.com/

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