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[Paper] Crowdsourced and Automatic Speech Prominence Estimation

Citation Author(s):
Pranav Pawar, Nathan Pruyne, Jennifer Cole, Bryan Pardo
Submitted by:
Max Morrison
Last updated:
12 April 2024 - 11:52am
Document Type:
Research Manuscript
Document Year:
Max Morrison
Paper Code:

The prominence of a spoken word is the degree to which an average native listener perceives the word as salient or emphasized relative to its context. Speech prominence estimation is the process of assigning a numeric value to the prominence of each word in an utterance. These prominence labels are useful for linguistic analysis, as well as training automated systems to perform emphasis-controlled text-to-speech or emotion recognition. Manually annotating prominence is time-consuming and expensive, which motivates the development of automated methods for speech prominence estimation. However, developing such an automated system using machine-learning methods requires human-annotated training data. Using our system for acquiring such human annotations, we collect and open-source crowdsourced annotations of a portion of the LibriTTS dataset. We use these annotations as ground truth to train a neural speech prominence estimator that generalizes to unseen speakers, datasets, and speaking styles. We investigate design decisions for neural prominence estimation as well as how neural prominence estimation improves as a function of two key factors of annotation cost: dataset size and the number of annotations per utterance.

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