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Re: SSML <break time="none"/>

From: Marc Schroeder <schroed@dfki.de>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 11:19:24 +0100
Message-ID: <3E2D1EAC.7000002@dfki.de>
To: Alex.Monaghan@Aculab.com
CC: www-voice@w3.org


I agree with the distinction Alex suggests. My requirement to "prohibit" 
the placement of a break would then correspond to a <break 
level="none"/>, while Alex wants a <break level="whatever" time="none"/>.


Alex.Monaghan@Aculab.com wrote:
> dear hard-working SSML editors,
> marc's comment has reminded me to raise a couple of problems with the new
> definition of "break".
> firstly, i think marc is quite right - <break time="none"> is now equivalent
> to the absence of a break tag, which is pointless.
> secondly, <break time="none"> SHOULD mean a prosodic break (end of
> intonational phrase, boundary tone, or whatever) but no pause. we seem to
> have lost the possibility of specifying the end of a multi-word prosodic
> chunk which is not marked by a pause, e.g. one which is marked solely by
> tonal and/or lengthening phenomena.
> thirdly, we have lost the ability to uncouple the strength of the break
> (between words, between phrases, between clauses, sentences, paragraphs,
> etc.) from the duration of the associated pause. pausing is only one aspect
> of prosodic breaks, yet it is now being treated as if it were the only one.
> also, in many applications there is a requirement to interleave synthesis
> with other audio: it can therefore be extremely useful to be able to specify
> a weak break (between words) with a long pause, or a strong break (between
> paragraphs) with a short pause. a couple of examples, in case this is not
> clear:
> a) in an educational text about rainforest animals, you might wish to insert
> animal noises without interrupting the flow of the narration, as in "The
> giant hairy anteater has a bloodcurdling scream (medium-strength break, long
> pause for audio sample) but the roar of the okapi (very weak break, long
> pause for audio sample) is even more terrifying."
> b) in a dialogue between a perky cartoon character and a bookish computer
> character, you might wish to have a paragraph read by the bookish character
> but let the perky character start speaking immediately after, as in
> "(bookish voice) ... and that is the reason why we know that the universe is
> banana-shaped. (full end-of-paragraph break, but only a very short pause)
> (perky voice) Yes, yes, all very interesting but can I eat the banana now?!"
> in conclusion, please bring back the distinction between break strength and
> associated pause time, so that they can be specified independently, and make
> <break time="none". a default-strength break with no pause.
> best wishes,
> 		alex.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From:	Marc Schroeder [SMTP:schroed@dfki.de]
>>Sent:	Tuesday, January 21, 2003 9:26 AM
>>To:	www-voice@w3.org
>>Subject:	SSML <break time="none"/>
>>this is a minor comment regarding the SSML <break> element 
>>(http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-speech-synthesis-20021202/#S2.2.3), more 
>>specifically regarding the meaning of the attribute value "none" for the 
>>time attribute.
>>The specification currently defines:
>>The value "none" indicates that a normal break boundary should be used.
>>This currently seems to make "none" a synonym of "default". Much more 
>>useful would be the possibility to explicitly forbid the occurrence of a 
>>break where the default rules of a TTS system would (erroneously) place 
>>one. I therefore suggest replacing the above sentence with:
>>The value "none" indicates that no break boundary should occur.
>>Marc Schröder, TTS Researcher at DFKI, Germany
>>Responsible for TTS development in the NECA project, 
>>Marc Schröder, Researcher
>>DFKI GmbH, Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
>>"If you are happy, you are functioning well."

Marc Schröder, Researcher
DFKI GmbH, Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
"If you are happy, you are functioning well."
Received on Tuesday, 21 January 2003 05:19:59 UTC

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