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Department of Linguistics

Background Topics

Robert Mannell

The purpose of this module is to place speech synthesis in its historical perspective. This module will also examine some related fields from either a historical or a technical perspective, so that the field of speech synthesis is also placed within its technological context.

Text-to-speech (TTS) is a field that lies, potentially at least, somewhere near the border of Speech Technology and Language Technology (although most inhabitants tend to live on the speech side of this border). As a consequence, it is necessary to locate speech synthesis, not just in relation to speech technology but also in relation to language technology and to the broader field of information technology. This will be done briefly, and relatively superficially, in this module.

Depending on your academic background, some of this material may be very familiar to you. In some of the topics covered, your present level of knowledge may already be well in advance of the material presented here. Nevertheless, it is essential that all students, regardless of their background, be equipped with a common minimal set of terms and ideas.