15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Modelling and Perception of the Estonian General Questions with the kas-Particle

Meelis Mihkla (1), Hille Pajupuu (1), Krista Kerge (2)

(1) Institute of the Estonian Language, Estonia
(2) Tallinn University of the Educational Sciences, Estonia

During 1997-2001 an Estonian text-to-speech synthesizer was developed. The implementation of text-to-speech synthesis, however, is still subject to limitations, due to the monotony and poor coherence of the output speech. Its improvement was started with the general interrogative sentences of kas-particle. They were found to feature, characteristically three base contours, which were modelled. For the purpose of verification how the rules of modelling of the base-tone apply with respect to randomly selected general interrogative sentences, a perception test was carried out. A group of people produced an estimate on 5-point Likert-scale to a random sample of general interrogative sentences, read both by synthesizer and man. Estimated were three aspects: 1) intelligibility; 2) acceptability of sentence stresses; 3) cogency. The sentences of poor rating were subjected to a further syntactic study. Resulting from research, a larger corpus sample will be studied and rules of synthesis of the base tone upgraded.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mihkla, Meelis / Pajupuu, Hille / Kerge, Krista (2003): "Modelling and perception of the Estonian general questions with the kas-particle", In ICPhS-15, 539-542.