[AI] Checking synthesizer pronounciation

V. Balakrishnan vataran77 at verizon.net
Fri Mar 7 23:14:26 EST 2008


Hi Harish,

The 22 sentences that you have picked out are  excellent examples for 
testing speech synthesizers but could also be used by teachers who teach 
English especially to students to whom it is a foreign language.   Except 
for a few words JAWS seems to do a good job pronouncing correctly in 
context.  Many words of foreign origin is also pronounced correctly by 
JAWS.  To give a few examples
Denouement, attache,  faux pas.  Perhaps one of the most difficult to 
pronounce is hors d'oeuvres, which JAWS pronounces correctly.
The examples that you have given illustrates the vagaries of English 
spelling.   Words with the same spelling are pronounced 
differently.  English spelling is the least phonetic among European 
languages and makes it a difficult language for non English to learn. 
German is more phonetic, and Swedish is perhaps the most phonetic among 
European languages.  There have been attempts to make English spelling more 
phonetic but without success.
Bernard Shaw gave an example of the erratic nature of English spelling.  He 
said that the word fish could be spelt as ghoti.  gh as in rough, o as the 
o in women, and ti as in nation.  Text to speech is based on phonemes and 
to design the text to speech for English must have been a daunting 
assignment.

V. Balakrishnan
At 04:39 PM 3/7/2008 +0530, you wrote:
>Hi folks
>
>I picked these sentences below in which some of the words are pronounced 
>differently or have different meaning with the same spelling.
>
>What I found, was Elequence pronounces it correctly in the correct context 
>while making it read in a continuous mode and  speaks it differently when 
>in a word by word mode. We can check different speech engines how they 
>handle such situations.
>
>
>1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>2) The farm was used to produce produce.
>
>
>3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
>
>4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
>
>5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
>
>6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
>
>7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time
>to
>present the present.
>
>8) At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass
>drum.
>
>9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
>
>10) I did not object to the object.
>
>11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
>
>12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
>
>13) They were too close to the door to close it.
>
>14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
>
>15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
>
>16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
>
>17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
>
>18) After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
>
>19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
>
>20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
>
>21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
>
>22) I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.
>
>Harish.
>
>
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