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Reconstructing neutral speech from tracheoesophageal speech

Reddy, Abinay N and Rao, Achuth M and Meenakshi, G Nisha and Ghosh, Prasanta Kumar (2018) Reconstructing neutral speech from tracheoesophageal speech. In: 19th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication, INTERSPEECH 2018, 2 September 2018 through 6 September 2018, International Convention Centre (HICC)Hyderabad; India, pp. 1541-1545.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1907


In this work, we propose a tracheoesophageal (TE) speech to neutral speech conversion system using data collected from a laryngectomee. In laryngectomees, in the absence of vocal folds, it is the vibration of the esophagus that gives rise to a low frequency pitch during speech production. This pitch is manifested as impulse-like noise in the recorded speech. We propose a method to first `whisperize' the TE speech prior to the linear predictive coding (LPC) based synthesis which uses pitch derived from the energy contour. In order to perform `whisperization', we model the LPC residual signal as the sum of white noise and impulses introduced by the esophageal vibrations. We model these impulses and white noise using Bemoulli-Gaussian distribution and Gaussian distribution, respectively. The strength and location of the impulses are estimated using Gibbs sampling in order to remove the impulse-like noise from speech to obtain whispered speech. Subjective evaluation via listening test reveals that the `whisperization' step in the proposed method aids in synthesizing a more natural sounding neutral speech. A different listening test shows that the listeners prefer the synthesized speech from the proposed method similar to 93% (absolute) times more than the best baseline scheme.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Series.: Interspeech
Additional Information: 19th Annual Conference of the International-Speech-Communication-Association (INTERSPEECH 2018), Hyderabad, INDIA, AUG 02-SEP 06, 2018
Keywords: Voice Prosthesis; Laryngectomy; Whispered speech; Tracheoesophageal
Department/Centre: Division of Electrical Sciences > Electrical Engineering
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2020 11:37
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2020 11:37
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/62921

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