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J Acoust Soc Am. 2012 Dec;132(6):3980-9. doi: 10.1121/1.4763545.

A procedure for estimating gestural scores from speech acoustics.

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Haskins Laboratories, 300 George Street, Suite 900, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA.


Speech can be represented as a constellation of constricting vocal tract actions called gestures, whose temporal patterning with respect to one another is expressed in a gestural score. Current speech datasets do not come with gestural annotation and no formal gestural annotation procedure exists at present. This paper describes an iterative analysis-by-synthesis landmark-based time-warping architecture to perform gestural annotation of natural speech. For a given utterance, the Haskins Laboratories Task Dynamics and Application (TADA) model is employed to generate a corresponding prototype gestural score. The gestural score is temporally optimized through an iterative timing-warping process such that the acoustic distance between the original and TADA-synthesized speech is minimized. This paper demonstrates that the proposed iterative approach is superior to conventional acoustically-referenced dynamic timing-warping procedures and provides reliable gestural annotation for speech datasets.

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