Re: Espeak-ng packaged with NVDA 2017.4

Reece H. Dunn

On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 04:45 pm, Sharni-Lee Ward wrote:
Also, words that end with n or an n sound that are followed by words
that start with a hard c or g sound like the two words were smushed
together. Something like "in games" being pronounced like "ing games".
That's ... not how English works...
That's a feature of English called velarization. Try saying "in games" without the middle of your tongue pressing up against the velum (the large ridge behind our mouth) on the "n" sound -- this happens because your tongue is moving in position to sound the hard k/g sound, and thus the n sound gets influenced by this. This is why words like king and sing, and words ending in "ing" use that sound.

NOTE: Accents that don't pronounce the 'g' in -ing words (e.g. nothin') don't have the velarization due to not pronouncing the 'g'. Other accents have the velarization of the 'n', but don't sound the release part of the 'g'. Other accents that pronounce -ing like -ink (e.g. nothink) pronounce the 'n' with the back of their tongue in a glottal stop, so the 'n' does not get velarized in that case.

On 7/12/2017 11:38 AM, Sharni-Lee Ward wrote:

I use the English setting now known as "English Great Britain" in
Espeak-ng. When I updated to the latest version of NVDA, the new version
of espeak-ng packaged with it sounded strange. Phrases like "for the"
and "for a" sound really weird.
How so?

Numbers like "twenty" and "ninety" sound just a tad slower than they did before.
Is that at the end of the word? That is the only part that has changed.

Words like "percent" and its
derivatives, which were pronounced just fine before, now sound off
because of the lack of emphasis on the second syllable.
That's a bug. Thanks for the report.

I can handle the
changed pronunciation of "because", but the one for "hundred" doesn't
sound quite right.
Both are valid English pronunciations, but my intention is to make that accent closer to what you are expecting, so needs adjusting.

I've watched a lot of British TV—I know that's not
how they say that, and again, it was pronounced just fine before.
It depends on the accent of the people you have watched. That depends on:
1.  their country and language of origin (e.g. speaking with a German or Irish accent);
2.  the part of England they grew up in (their broad regional accent);
3.  their age (accounting for any accent drift);
4.  their social and educational background (do they have a posher, more RP-like accent? do they have a more urban accent?);
5.  etc.

Why these changes? What prompted them?
The espeak pronunciation rules were inconsistent in how it transcribed various words (see I have also applied pronunciation fixes for several words.

I need to make some adjustments to the voices to reflect my intent of the accents, which should address most of the issues you have (I'm not sure what the problem is with 'for a'). Longer term, I want to make this more flexible and configurable.

Thanks for the feedback,
- Reece

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