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Speech Research Laboratory
AI. duPont Hospital for Children
and the
University of Delaware

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ModelTalker Speech Synthesizer

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Language and Speech

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About ModelTalker Speech Synthesizer:

ModelTalker is a speech synthesis system designed specifically with the needs and interests of AAC device users in mind. What makes ModelTalker special is its use of a personalized voice in speech synthesis. It does this by using a database of recorded speech. The database is obtained by recording someone whose voice we wish to emulate. This person records a set of words and phrases using a software program called InvTool. When the person is done recording, InvTool runs those words and phrases through a computer program that stores them in a database in a way that can be accessed by the ModelTalker synthesizer. Then, when speech is synthesized, the longest continuous strings of speech are appended together. So if someone is trying to synthesize a phrase or sentence that has been recorded and stored in the database, the resulting synthesized speech will sound as natural as recorded speech. If, however, someone is trying to synthesize a more unusual phrase or sentence, shorter portions of speech will be appended. The resulting synthetic speech will sound less natural, but it will still be in the same voice as the person who was recorded. We synthesize speech this way so that all possible words, phrases, and sentences can be synthesized even though only a limited number of words and phrases have been recorded.