Inverse problems for speech production

Benjamin Elie (LORIA et IADI)
January 27, 2017 — 10:30 — Location: Salle du conseil du L2S


Studies on speech production are based on the extraction and the analysis of the acoustic features of human speech, and also on their relationships with the articulatory and phonatory configurations realized by the speaker. An interesting tool, which will be the topic of the talk, to make such researches is the articulatory synthesis, which consists in the numerical simulation of the mechanical and acoustical phenomena that are involved in speech production. The aim is to numerically reproduce a speech signal that contains the observed acoustic features with regards to the actual articulatory and phonatory gestures of the speaker. Using the articulatory approach may lead to a few problems that will be tackled in this talk, and to which possible solutions will be discussed. Firstly, the different articulatory gestures realized in natural speech should be precisely observed. For that purpose, the first part of the talk focuses on methods to acquire articulatory films of the vocal tract by MRI techniques with a fast acquisition rate via sparse techniques (Compressed Sensing). The aim is, in fine, to build an articulatory and a coarticulation model. The investigation of the acoustical phenomena involved in natural speech require to separate the contributions of the different acoustic sources in the speech signal. The periodic/aperiodic decomposition of the speech signal is the subject of the second part of the talk. The challenge is to be able to study the acoustic properties of the frication noise that is generated during the production of fricatives, and also to quantify the amount of voicing produced during fricatives. Finally, in order to directly use the analysis by synthesis methods, it is interesting to estimate the articulatory configurations of the speaker from the acoustic signal. This is the aim of the acoustic-articulatory inversion for copy synthesis, which is the third part of the talk. Direct applications of these problems for the study of speech production and phonetics will be presented.