Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Research Program

Speech production and perception

This research axis covers topics related to the production of speech through articulatory modeling and multimodal expressive speech synthesis, and topics related to the perception of speech through the categorization of sounds and prosody in native and in non-native speech.

Articulatory modeling

Articulatory speech synthesis will rely on further 2D and 3D modeling of the vocal tract as well as of the dynamics of the vocal tract from real-time MRI data. The prediction of glottis opening will also be considered so as to produce better quality acoustic events for consonants. The coarticulation model developed to handle the animation of the visible articulators will be extended to control the face and the tongue. This will help characterize links between the vocal tract and the face, and illustrate inner mouth articulation to learners. The suspension of articulatory movements in stuttering speech will also be studied.

Multimodal expressive speech

The dynamic realism of the animation of the talking head, which has a direct impact on audiovisual intelligibility, will continue to be our goal. Both the animation of the lower part of the face relating to speech and of the upper part relating to the facial expression will be considered, and development will continue towards a multilingual talking head. We will investigate further the modeling of expressivity both for audio-only and for audiovisual speech synthesis. We will also evaluate the benefit of the talking head in various use cases, including children with language and learning disabilities or deaf people.

Categorization of sounds and prosody

Reading and speaking are basic skills that need to be mastered. Further analysis of schooling experience will allow a better understanding of reading acquisition, especially for children with some language impairment. With respect to L1/L2 language interference (L1 refers to the speaker's native language, and L2 to a speaker's second language, usually learned later as a foreign language) , a special focus will be set on the impact of L2 prosody on segmental realizations. Prosody will also be considered for its implication on the structuration of speech communication, including on discourse particles. Moreover, we will experiment the usage of speech technologies for computer assisted language learning in middle and high schools, and, hopefully, also for helping children learning to read.