Phonological anlysis is one of the steps needed for a
Cynthia takes the phonetic transcription of a piece of text and
applies phonological rules for English to make adjustments to the
pronunciation. The goal of a speech synthesizer is to arrive at a
computerized model of the way humans speak. Here are some
phonological rules that are implemented in Cynthia.
- The lateral /l/ becomes velarized when it come
at the end of a word either after a vowel or before a consonant.
An example of this is the word sail [s ey l].
[l] is an alveolar approximant and is made by touching
the front of the tongue to the alveolar ridge. In words like
sail or walk, the tongue is moved towards the back of
the mouth and the back of the tongue is raised to the velum.
- A similar rule of English says that vowels are reduced
when they come before an /l/ at the end of a syllable.
- A nasal becomes a syllabic consonant if it comes at the end
of a word and after an obstruent.
- The pair [d y] can be converted to [jh]
if it crosses a word boundary. There is a voiceless counterpart to
this rule which converts [t y] to [ch] when
the pair crosses a word boundary. Examples of these rules are the
word pairs did you and eat yet. This rule is
common in many Southern dialects of American English.
- Vowels in unstressed syllables are normally reduced.
A reduced vowel either becomes [ax] or [ih]. Since
[ax] is used much more frequently than [ih], Cynthia
reduces all unstressed vowels to [ax].