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RE: Speech Synthesis Markup Language Version 1.0

From: Daniel Burnett <burnett@nuance.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 14:05:21 -0800
Message-ID: <ED834EE1FDD6C3468AB0F5569206E6E90273212E@MPB1EXCH02.nuance.com>
To: <David.Pawson@rnib.org.uk>
Cc: <www-voice@w3.org>

Dear Dave,

Thank you for your acceptance of number 1.

As discussed with you on the WAI-PF telecon of 17 September
(see http://www.w3.org/2003/09/17-pf-irc), here is our response to
item number 2 below for confirmation:

>>> There will be no standard lexicon format for this draft.
>>> Regarding SAMPA/IPA, the choice of IPA expressed in Unicode provided
>>> the ability for the maximum acoustic expression in the most
>>> broadly-implemented way.  All synthesis engine vendors today use
>>> different internal alphabets, and SAMPA was not believed to provide the
>>> breadth and uniformity of description available via IPA.  There
>>> are online SAMPA->IPA converters available for those already familiar
>>> with SAMPA as an alphabet.

If you believe we have not adequately addressed your request,
please let us know as soon as possible.  If we do not hear
from you within 7 days, we will take this as tacit acceptance.

Again, thank you for your input.

-- Dan Burnett
Synthesis Team Leader, VBWG

-----Original Message-----
From: David.Pawson@rnib.org.uk [mailto:David.Pawson@rnib.org.uk]
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2003 12:40 AM
To: Daniel Burnett
Cc: www-voice@w3.org
Subject: RE: Speech Synthesis Markup Language Version 1.0


Daniel said:
> Thank you for your review of the most recent SSML specification draft.
> Our responses are below.
> 
> If you believe we have not adequately addressed your issues with our
> responses, please let us know as soon as possible. 

1. I accept your response re the requirement for a silence,
conditional upon the 'break' element being of a fixed length,
and that two or three breaks are possible, which our processing
needs to differentiate between, say, chapters, sections and paragraphs.

2. I do not accept your response re the lexicon.

As I state below, and re-iterate, the work needed to mark up individual
words in a text, knowing that the tts engine gets it wrong every time,
is wasted effort when the words can be collated in an external file
and read by the engine prior to speaking the text.

 This is a hard requirement for our SSML usage, which is accessibility
based.
I would also appreciate a standard format lexicon, though this is a nice to
have,
rather than a hard requirement. Equally SAMPA is preferable to IPA, to
enable
ordinary users to type in how a word should be spoken. Again this is based
on reducing work load, a normal keyboard character as apposed to a Unicode 
character entity.

regards DaveP



> Again, thank you for your input.
> 
> -- Dan Burnett
> Synthesis Team Leader, VBWG
> 
> [VBWG responses are embedded, preceded by '>>>']
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: DPawson@rnib.org.uk [mailto:DPawson@rnib.org.uk]
> Sent: Monday, December 09, 2002 12:22 AM
> To: www-voice@w3.org
> Subject: Speech Synthesis Markup Language Version 1.0
> 
> 
> 
> Having reviewed the above document, please note it covers 
> all our (RNIB's) usage of Speech Synthesis, with the exception of
> 1. Generating a silence.
>    Although this could be done using an 'empty' external file,
>    The cleanliness of the generated silence is rarely as good as
>    an automatically generated one.
> Rationale: For later, automatic processing of synthetic speech,
>  usually for alignment with text.
> 
> >>> Proposed disposition:  Rejected?
> >>> 
> >>> If we understand your suggestion correctly, this capability
> >>> is already present in the specification via the break element.
> >>> Can you either indicate what you need that the break element
> >>> does not provide or further explain your suggestion?
> 
> 
> 2. Re the external 'words' file.
>    Although the lexicon has been included, we have found that 
> our lexicon
>    has grown to some hundreds of words. It is tedious to have 
> to repeatedly
>    enter the <say-as> content each time. If we could refer to 
> the lexicon,
>    effectively saying 
> <lexit>Word-to-be-pronounced-differently</lexit> i.e.
>    please use the pronunciation I told you about last time, 
> then this would
>    save labour. (I'm not assuming a lexicon available to the synth
> externally,
>    which could be a viable alternative, since Laureate is the 
> only one I've
> used
>    which had a comprehensive lexicon facility).
> 
>    So yes, please allow not the <lexicon> element, but some 
> reference to it,
> elsewhere.
> 
> >>> Proposed disposition:  Rejected
> >>> 
> >>> As we understand your request, it is already possible to
> >>> accomplish what you wish, without the use of a new element,
> >>> merely by using special lexicon tokens in the running SSML
> >>> text. For example, "<speak> Here is my special word: 
> special_word1.</ speak>",
> >>> where "special_word1" has a custom pronunciation in your lexicon.
> >>> If this is insufficient for your needs, can you clarify your
> >>> original request further for us?
> >>> 
> >>> We will clarify the second paragraph of 3.3 to indicate that
> >>> the lexicon contains both tokens and pronunciations and that
> >>> what we refer to as "words" are actually tokens used for lookup
> >>> in lexicons.
> 
> Regards DaveP.
> AC RNIB.
> 
> (Still looking for an implementation Dave).
> 
> 
> **** snip here *****
> 
> - 
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- 

NOTICE: The information contained in this email and any attachments is 
confidential and may be legally privileged. If you are not the 
intended recipient you are hereby notified that you must not use, 
disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on this email's content. If 
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender 
immediately and then delete the email and any attachments from your 
system.

RNIB has made strenuous efforts to ensure that emails and any 
attachments generated by its staff are free from viruses. However, it 
cannot accept any responsibility for any viruses which are 
transmitted. We therefore recommend you scan all attachments.

Please note that the statements and views expressed in this email 
and any attachments are those of the author and do not necessarily 
represent those of RNIB.

RNIB Registered Charity Number: 226227

Website: http://www.rnib.org.uk 
Received on Wednesday, 19 November 2003 17:05:24 GMT

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