Text-to-Speech for Under-Resourced Languages: Phoneme Mapping and Source Language Selection in Transfer Learning

Phat Do*, Matt Coler, J.E. Dijkstra, Esther Klabbers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a new approach for phoneme mapping in cross-lingual transfer learning for text-to-speech (TTS) in under-resourced languages (URLs), using phonological features from the PHOIBLE database and a language-independent mapping rule. This approach was validated through our experiment, in which we pre-trained acoustic models in Dutch, Finnish, French, Japanese, and Spanish, and fine-tuned them with 30 minutes of Frisian training data. The experiment showed an improvement in both naturalness and pronunciation accuracy in the synthesized Frisian speech when our mapping approach was used. Since this improvement also depended on the source language, we then experimented on finding a good criterion for selecting source languages. As an alternative to the traditionally used language family criterion, we tested a novel idea of using Angular Similarity of Phoneme Frequencies (ASPF), which measures the similarity between the phoneme systems of two languages. ASPF was empirically confirmed to be more effective than language family as a criterion for source language selection, and also to affect the phoneme mapping's effectiveness. Thus, a combination of our phoneme mapping approach and the ASPF measure can be beneficially adopted by other studies involving multilingual or cross-lingual TTS for URLs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the the 1st Annual Meeting of the ELRA/ISCA Special Interest Group on Under-Resourced Languages
PublisherEuropean Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Pages16-22
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2022

Keywords

  • neural text-to-speech synthesis
  • under-resourced languages
  • cross-lingual transfer learning
  • phoneme mapping
  • language family

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