Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Software and Platforms

Speech visualization tools

Participants : Yves Laprie, Slim Ouni, Julie Busset, Aghilas Sini, Ilef Ben Farhat.

This set of tools aims at visualizing various aspects of speech data: speech audio signal (SNOORI), ElectroMagnetographic Articulography (EMA) data (VisArtico) and speech articulators from X-ray images (Xarticulators).

SNOORI: speech analysis and visualization software

JSnoori is written in Java and uses signal processing algorithms developed within the WinSnoori ( ) software with the double objective of being a platform independent signal visualization and manipulation tool, and also for designing exercises for learning the prosody of a foreign language. Thus JSnoori currently focuses the calculation of F0, the forced alignment of non native English uttered by French speakers and the correction of prosody parameters (F0, rhythm and energy). Several tools have been incorporated to segment and annotate speech. A complete phonetic keyboard is available, several levels of annotation can be used (phonemes, syllables and words) and forced alignment can exploit pronunciation variants. In addition, JSnoori offers real time F0 calculation which can be useful from a pedagogical point of view.

We added the possibility of developing scripts for JSnoori by using Jython which allows Java classes of JSnoori to be used from Python. This required some refactoring of JSnoori classes in order to make them more independent from the JSnoori context.

VisArtico: Visualization of EMA Articulatory data

VisArtico ( ) is a user-friendly software which allows visualizing EMA data acquired by an articulograph (AG500, AG501 or NDI Wave). This visualization software has been designed so that it can directly use the data provided by the articulograph to display the articulatory coil trajectories, synchronized with the corresponding acoustic recordings. Moreover, VisArtico not only allows viewing the coils but also enriches the visual information by indicating clearly and graphically the data for the tongue, lips and jaw  [72] . Several researchers showed interest in this application. In fact, VisArtico is very useful for the speech science community, and it makes the use of articulatory data more accessible. The software is a cross-platform application (i.e., running under Windows, Linux and Mac OS).

Within the framework of an Inria ADT project (cf. 8.1.7 ), we are implementing several improvements to the software. It is possible to use VisArtico to import and export several articulatory data formats. In addition, it possible to insert images (MRI or X-Ray, for instance) to compare the EMA data with data obtained through other acquisition techniques. Finally, it is possible to generate a movie for any articulatory-acoustic sequence. These improvements (and others) extend the capabilities of VisArtico and make it more useful and widely used. The software will also provide a demonstration module that will produce articulatory synthesis from EMA data or text. It animates the vocal tract, using articulatory data and generates the corresponding acoustic signal. VisArtico is freely available for research.

Xarticulators: delineation of speech articulators in medical images

The Xarticulators software is intended to delineate contours of speech articulators in X-ray images, construct articulatory models and synthesize speech from X-ray films. This software provides tools to track contours automatically, semi-automatically or by hand, to make the visibility of contours easier, to add anatomical landmarks to speech articulators and to synchronize images with the sound. In addition we also added the possibility of processing digitized manual delineation results made on sheets of papers when no software is available. Xarticulators also enables the construction of adaptable linear articulatory models from the X-ray images and incorporates acoustic simulation tools to synthesize speech signals from the vocal tract shape. Recent work was on the possibility of synthesizing speech from X-ray or 2D-MRI films.

We added new articulatory model construction features intended to approximate the tongue shape more correctly when the tongue contacts the palate during the stop closure of /k/ and /t/ and we added more complete modeling of the epiglottis and the larynx region. Future developments will focus on the development of time patterns to synthesize any speech sound and on the coupling between vocal folds and vocal tract.