MONET speech synthesis: adding a new phone (posture) to the database

This section is concerned with adding a new posture symbol and associated data to the MONET database. When a new posture symbol is created, MONET provides default data for the various attributes of the posture. This default data represents a neutral configuration of the vocal tract, reasonable range limits for the parameter values, and average values for the nominal time framework. All of these values can easily be changed. If default values are accepted, or re-instated, they are displayed in bold text. Altered values are displayed in normal text.

In addition to parameter target values and a nominal time framework for each posture, the posture may be assigned to any of the defined categories. By default, a new category specific to the posture is created assigned. Other relevant categories (as required to ensure correct application of all rules to the new posture) must be assigned manually. However, by ensuring that all required possibilities are covered by initial defaults, the new posture can immediately be included in utterances and the best values for each parameter target or other attribute determined by experiment.

Fig 1: Using the Data Entry panel to add a new posture symbol

The new posture to be added, for demonstration purposes, is gnu. It is the only three character posture, and exists only in unmarked form. If a marked form (gnu') were defined, the target values would likely be the same, but the duration parameters (nominal time framework parameters) would be of higher value, since marked postures are invariably longer than unmarked postures.

Figure 1 shows that the string "gnu" has been entered into the Data Entry panel and the add button has been clicked. The new posture is added in alphabetical order.

Fig 2: The Phone Inspector (Parameter Targets) shows the default parameter values assigned to the new posture and allows them to be changed

In Figure 2, the pull-down menu on the Phone Inspector has been used to select Parameter Targets, with the Data Entry panel as key window. The Phone Inspector therefore shows the parameter targets associated with the new posture. Initially the values are all default values. These may easily be changed (see below, Figure 6)

Fig 3: The Phone Inspector (Categories) shows the new posture has been assigned only to its own category by default; it may be inserted into other categories

In Figure 3, the pull-down selection Categories causes the Phone Inspector to display the phone categories to which the new posture is assigned. Initially, the new posture is assinged only to the new category created specially for it. This allows any use of the new posture to be very specific. Normally however, the posture will be assigned to other catagories to allow it to participate in the application of generalised rules. (See below, Figure 7)

Fig 4: The Phone Inspector (Symbols) shows the default values assigned to the nominal time framework symbols

In Figure 4, the pull-down selection for the inspector has been changed to Symbols so that it shows the values of the nominal time framework symbols assigned to the new posture. Again, these may easily be changed to reflect data acquired by experiment (see below, Figure 8)

Fig 5: The Phone Inspector (Comment) allows an explanatory note to be added to the new posture's record

Facilities for attaching comments to the various data items in the MONET database are liberally provided. Here, the inspector pull-down selection is Comment. and an explanation of the role of the new posture has been entered and Set.

Fig 6: New values are entered for parameters

The default values assigned to the parameters may be changed within the Phone Inspector "Parameter Targets" pull-down selection. Highlight the relevant parameter by clicking on it, enter the new value in the text field, and hit "Enter". This also highlights the next parameter in sequence to facilitate updating successive parameters. The "Set" button does not currently work. Default values are displayed in bold text, other values are displayed in normal text.

Fig 7: The new posture is assigned to several categories

A new posture may be included in additional categories by double clicking each additional category name when in the Categories pull-down selection for the Phone Inspector. Category membership may be deleted by double-clicking the category name again. Assigned categories are displayed in bold text, and re-ordered to the top of the list. Non-assigned categories appear in normal text.

Fig 8: The default values for the nominal time frame can be changed

Changing the default time framework values is achieved in a way similar to changing the default parameter values. When in the Symbols pull-down selection for the Phone Inspector, highlight the value to be changed, enter the new value into the text field and hit "Enter". This also highlights the next symbol to allow successive values to be changed. Default values are displayed in bold text. Other values are displayed in normal text.

Please email any comments or questions about this paper to the author (David Hill)

Page last updated 03-07-29.