Modelling low-resource accents without accent-specific TTS frontend

Architecture of proposed TTS system


This work focuses on modelling a speaker’s accent that does not have a dedicated text-to-speech (TTS) frontend, including a grapheme-to-phoneme (G2P) module. Prior work on modelling accents assumes a phonetic transcription is available for the target accent, which might not be the case for low-resource, regional accents. In our work, we propose an approach whereby we first augment the target accent data to sound like the donor voice via voice conversion, then train a multi-speaker multi-accent TTS model on the combination of recordings and synthetic data, to generate the donor’s voice speaking in the target accent. Throughout the procedure, we use a TTS frontend developed for the same language but a different accent. We show qualitative and quantitative analysis where the proposed strategy achieves state-of-the-art results compared to other generative models. Our work demonstrates that low resource accents can be modelled with relatively little data and without developing an accent-specific TTS frontend. Audio samples of our model converting to multiple accents are available on our web page.

In IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing
Georgi Tinchev
Georgi Tinchev
Scientist @ Amazon Alexa

My research interests include computer vision, robotics, and machine learning.