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1 SMaTTS: Standard Malay Text to Speech System

Authors: Othman O. Khalifa, Zakiah Hanim Ahmad, Teddy Surya Gunawan

Abstract:

This paper presents a rule-based text- to- speech (TTS) Synthesis System for Standard Malay, namely SMaTTS. The proposed system using sinusoidal method and some pre- recorded wave files in generating speech for the system. The use of phone database significantly decreases the amount of computer memory space used, thus making the system very light and embeddable. The overall system was comprised of two phases the Natural Language Processing (NLP) that consisted of the high-level processing of text analysis, phonetic analysis, text normalization and morphophonemic module. The module was designed specially for SM to overcome few problems in defining the rules for SM orthography system before it can be passed to the DSP module. The second phase is the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) which operated on the low-level process of the speech waveform generation. A developed an intelligible and adequately natural sounding formant-based speech synthesis system with a light and user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) is introduced. A Standard Malay Language (SM) phoneme set and an inclusive set of phone database have been constructed carefully for this phone-based speech synthesizer. By applying the generative phonology, a comprehensive letter-to-sound (LTS) rules and a pronunciation lexicon have been invented for SMaTTS. As for the evaluation tests, a set of Diagnostic Rhyme Test (DRT) word list was compiled and several experiments have been performed to evaluate the quality of the synthesized speech by analyzing the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) obtained. The overall performance of the system as well as the room for improvements was thoroughly discussed.

Keywords: Natural Language Processing, Text-To-Speech (TTS), Diphone, source filter, low-/ high- level synthesis.

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