Voice banking to support individuals who use speech-generating devices: development and evaluation of Singaporean-accented English synthetic voices and a Singapore Colloquial English recording inventory

Mo Chen, Jolene Hyppa-Martin, H. Timothy Bunnell, Jason Lilley, Celestine Foo, Han Wei Tan, Wei Shun Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Voice banking involves recording an inventory of sentences produced via natural speech. The recordings are used to create a synthetic text-to-speech voice that can be installed on speech-generating devices. This study highlights a minimally researched, clinically relevant issue surrounding the development and evaluation of Singaporean-accented English synthetic voices that were created using readily available voice banking software and hardware. Processes used to create seven unique synthetic voices that produce Singaporean-accented English, and the development of a custom Singaporean Colloquial English (SCE) recording inventory, are reviewed. The perspectives of adults who spoke SCE and banked their voices for this project are summarized and were generally positive. Finally, 100 adults familiar with SCE participated in an experiment that evaluated the intelligibility and naturalness of the Singaporean-accented synthetic voices, as well as the effect of the SCE custom inventory on listener preferences. The addition of the custom SCE inventory did not affect intelligibility or naturalness of the synthetic speech, and listeners tended to prefer the voice created with the SCE inventory when the stimulus was an SCE passage. The procedures used in this project may be helpful for interventionists who wish to create synthetic voices with accents that are not commercially available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Keywords

  • Intelligibility
  • Singapore
  • Singaporean Colloquial English
  • naturalness
  • preference
  • speech-generating device
  • synthetic speech
  • voice banking
  • voice donor

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Voice banking to support individuals who use speech-generating devices: development and evaluation of Singaporean-accented English synthetic voices and a Singapore Colloquial English recording inventory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this