Synthetic speech in foreign language learning: an evaluation by learners. Kang, M.; Kashiwagi, H.; Treviranus, J.; and Kaburagi, M. International Journal of Speech Technology, 11(2):97-106.
doi  abstract   bibtex   
Can synthetic speech be utilized in foreign language learning as natural speech? In this paper, we evaluated synthetic speech from the viewpoint of learners in order to find out an answer. The results pointed out that learners do not recognize remarkable differences between synthetic voices and natural voices for the words with short vowels and long vowels when they try to understand the meanings of the sounds. The data explicates that synthetic voice utterances of sentences are easier to understand and more acceptable by learners compared to synthetic voice utterances of words. In addition, the ratings on both synthetic voices and natural voices strongly depend upon the learners' listening comprehension abilities. We conclude that some synthetic speech with specific pronunciations of vowels may be suitable for listening materials and suggest that evaluating TTS systems by comparing synthetic speech with natural speech and building a lexical database of synthetic speech that closely approximates natural speech will be helpful for teachers to readily use many existing CALL tools.
@article{kang_synthetic_2009,
	Author = {Kang, Min and Kashiwagi, Harumi and Treviranus, Jutta and Kaburagi, Makoto},
	Date = {2009},
	Date-Modified = {2017-04-19 08:04:07 +0000},
	Doi = {10.1007/s10772-009-9039-3},
	Journal = {International Journal of Speech Technology},
	Keywords = {applications, CAPT, L2, L2 teaching, pronunciation teaching, speech synthesis, speech technology, text-to-speech},
	Number = {2},
	Pages = {97-106},
	Title = {Synthetic speech in foreign language learning: an evaluation by learners},
	Volume = {11},
	Abstract = {Can synthetic speech be utilized in foreign language learning as natural speech? In this paper, we evaluated synthetic speech from the viewpoint of learners in order to find out an answer. The results pointed out that learners do not recognize remarkable differences between synthetic voices and natural voices for the words with short vowels and long vowels when they try to understand the meanings of the sounds. The data explicates that synthetic voice utterances of sentences are easier to understand and more acceptable by learners compared to synthetic voice utterances of words. In addition, the ratings on both synthetic voices and natural voices strongly depend upon the learners' listening comprehension abilities. We conclude that some synthetic speech with specific pronunciations of vowels may be suitable for listening materials and suggest that evaluating TTS systems by comparing synthetic speech with natural speech and building a lexical database of synthetic speech that closely approximates natural speech will be helpful for teachers to readily use many existing CALL tools.},
	Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10772-009-9039-3}}
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