Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2008, Article ID 597971, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2008/597971
Research Article

Developing a Child Friendly Text-to-Speech System

Division of Electronics, School of Engineering, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi 682022, Kerala, India

Received 11 November 2007; Revised 5 June 2008; Accepted 28 August 2008

Academic Editor: Owen Noel Newton Fernando

Copyright © 2008 Agnes Jacob and P. Mythili. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper discusses the implementation details of a child friendly, good quality, English text-to-speech (TTS) system that is phoneme-based, concatenative, easy to set up and use with little memory. Direct waveform concatenation and linear prediction coding (LPC) are used. Most existing TTS systems are unit-selection based, which use standard speech databases available in neutral adult voices. Here reduced memory is achieved by the concatenation of phonemes and by replacing phonetic wave files with their LPC coefficients. Linguistic analysis was used to reduce the algorithmic complexity instead of signal processing techniques. Sufficient degree of customization and generalization catering to the needs of the child user had been included through the provision for vocabulary and voice selection to suit the requisites of the child. Prosody had also been incorporated. This inexpensive TTS system was implemented in MATLAB, with the synthesis presented by means of a graphical user interface (GUI), thus making it child friendly. This can be used not only as an interesting language learning aid for the normal child but it also serves as a speech aid to the vocally disabled child. The quality of the synthesized speech was evaluated using the mean opinion score (MOS).