VSDS:Viennese Sociolect and Dialect Synthesis

One important means of natural human-computer interaction is (spoken) language, so for a variety of applications it is essential to have high quality speech synthesis for different languages. The outcome of this project will be high quality synthetic voices, which allow a computer to "speak" in different Viennese dialects/sociolects. Since the sources of these voices are pieces taken from actual human speech, the outcome of the synthetic voices will sound very natural, close to human speech. With this technology it is possible to realize a lot of applications from the domain of education and tourism to art. A mobile sample application, a Viennese district guide capable of various dialects or variants, is also developed within the project. In the research part of the project efficient methods are investigated for developing synthetic voices for languages that are variants of other languages. Furthermore, it is necessary to employ methods for switching, or shifting between the standard language and dialectal variants, which reflects the fact that this mixing of standards corresponds to the everyday language use of many speakers. User tests are conducted to evaluate the quality of the synthetic voices and of the relevant sample applications.
Duration: 2007 - 2009
Sponsor: WWTF (City of Vienna)
Researchers: Friedrich Neubarth
Project Partners: ftw - Forschungszentrum Telekommunikation Wien Betriebs-GmbH
CSTR Edinburgh - Centre for Speech Technology Research
Austrian Academy of Sciences, ARI - Acoustics Research Institute