Re: a couple of minor espeak ng issues in latest master

Reece H. Dunn

On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 09:27 pm, kendell clark wrote:

hi all
First of all reece, I've just updated to the latest espeak ng master and
I love the new changes made to english US english. They fix issues I
thought would never get fixed, making espeak ng's US english sound much
more ... well, american.

I'm glad you like the fixes. I'm working through changes to fix/improve the English pronunciations.

There are a couple of minor issues I thought
I'd better report though. First, are words like on, software, etc. They
sound more like awn, sawftware. I'm not sure if this was intentional,
but my testers were hoping it could be changed back without removing
your cloth vowel fix.

Do you/your testers want the American accent to have the COT-CLOTH merger? That is, do you want PALM and LOT (COT) to have the same vowel sound as THOUGHT and CLOTH? Does this also include words like ORANGE and HORROR (but not BORROW and a few others)?

I am using and fixing my project, which is based on the CMU pronunciation dictionary for American English. I'm also creating a similar dictionary for Received Pronunciation, and potentially others.

I'm thinking of creating other accents for American English as well, with different features. I'll probably start by creating an en-US-x-genam accent that has things like the COT-CAUGHT distinction, while en-US has them merged.

The second is more serious but I'm not sure of a
fix. I'm not sure if this is a new issue or one I'm just now
discovering, but abbreviations don't work if followed by an apostrophe
and an s. Example, ibm is said as Ib@ms, and nsa's is said as Ens0z. n
soz for those who don't understand espeak phonetics. I figured I'd leave
it to you to fix since I don't have the slightest clue how other than to
fix every single abbreviation manually and there's got to be a faster

This is a problem with the code. It looks like espeak/espeak-ng is not preserving/using the $abbrev flag once it has removed a suffix like 's. I'll investigate.

The last one isn't an issue, but a request that I'm sure you've
heard before. Would it be possible, when you have time of course, to fix
espeak's speaking of times and dates? Example, espeak says 2:00 as 2 00
instead of 2 o'clock. I'm not sure how to fix this one because this
would result in 2:00:00 two minutes and zero seconds or two hours
exactly, to be said as 2 o'clock, unless you could somehow make espeak
speak it only when followed by am or pm, but that would break military
time. I'm nt sure. Last, and then I'll go away, are dates, like 1950.
Espeak ng says 19 hundred 50, when 19 50 would be nice. Again, not a
complaint at all, just a request when you ahve time. I remember you
saying it would require a lot of refactoring of how espeak ng handles
numbers, so this one's definitely low priority, at least I don't want to
act as if it's urgent, but it would be nice eventually.

The main problem here is detecting when a date or time is used, or whether it is something different like a ratio. For example, the odds were 12:15. This will likely be looked at with the other context-related issues.

I love the fixes
you've done, if I weren't already using espeak ng as my only synth this
would've made me switch.

Thanks. I have more improvements that I am working on, it just takes time to check and fix the pronunciations.

Can't wait for an android update.

I have the infrastructure in place to be able to support Android updates with each release now, so it should be possible to update the Android version more often.

Finally, one
issue I'm reporting on behalf of a french speaker who uses the french
voice for english words as well. He reports that instead of falling back
on the english phoneme tables it uses it's own french rules for english
words. I'm not sure what the right approach is here. If there is a
french maintainer, would you mind taking a look? He's reporting that
words such as ubuntu, kubuntu, xubuntu, etc aren't said properly in
french, whereas they've been fixed for a couple of years in US english.

These can be added to the French rules/lists files like is done in English.

Also, there's a bug where if there's a word with a u and an i in it,
like suit, espeak ng french pronounces it as "sit" ignoring the u. I'd
think the approach might be to have espeak ng french use the english
rules but there might be a really good reason to use it's own rules, and
I don't want to act as if I know better.

The word suit/suite is actually derived from French :). The change was made in 79003ea0521193a23e31aab6a5d90a7b7b2caedb by Thomas Guillory. I'll revert that change so it sounds correct.

Kind regards,


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