Meeting on Sámi Synthetic speech

  • Time: 080822
  • Participants: Patrik Bye, Trond Trosterud, Martti Vainio

Presentation, background

Who are we and what do we do:

  • hki
  • divvun
  • giellatekno
  • patrik + intonation


  • segmental phon, noticed that no work on Sámi intonation done.
  • 3-4 yrs project (meeting in September)
  • Kickoff on basic empirical work in May
  • Get hold of radio material, pedagogical tapes just to see what intonational phenomena we have
  • use the first year of the project for such things
  • Two paid positions: Patrik + a phD.
  • Applied to NFR to maybe get a third position as well.
  • Autosegmental, metrical phonology, ToBi for Sámi
  • Primarily North, also Lule and perhaps South.


  • Done work on Finnish, Sámi would probably be closer to Finnsih
  • ToBi for Finnish? Martti: Not very fruitful for Finnish, we do not have those types of intonational structures.
  • We have one type of accent
  • Important: Detaching form from function.
  • Synthesis framework: Statistical intonation model.
  • We leave it to the system to determine the contours.
  • The system should learn the functions.


  • Patrik from Martti's synthesis?
  • Martti from Patrik's phon analysis?

We would probably get information from each other, but we are primarily interested in your raw data (for synthesis).

Technically: Hki needs a good signal: Recordings under laboratory conditions. We have been using "the red books" (audio books for the blind)

We have rule-based accentuation: The words are marked up according to their prominence

  • 0 - copulas, function words
  • 1 - verbs
  • 2 - nouns, adjectives
  • 3 - emphasis, like in narrow focus

No question intonation in Finnish.

  • what about focus-triggering clitics? -- yes, utilized
  • do you base yourself upon a syntactic analysis?) -- yes
  • In addition, there is an analysis of the information structure (given - new)


We have the syntactic analysis + a forthcoming dependency analysis

  • xerox two-level morphology + lexc
  • vislcg3 disambiguation and dependency
	"mun" Pron Pers Sg1 Gen @>P #1->2 
	"birra" Po @ADVL #2->0   <========== #2->(5/4)
	"son" Pron Pers Sg3 Nom @SUBJ> #3->4 
	"leat" <aux> V IV Ind Prs Sg3 @FS-STA #4->0 
	"hupmat" <mv> V TV PrfPrc @ICL-AUX< #5->4 
	"." CLB #6->0 

	"mun" Pron Pers Sg1 Nom Foc/ge @SUBJ> #1->2 
	"leat" <aux> V IV Ind Prs Sg1 @FS-STA #2->0 
	"boahtit" <mv> V IV PrfPrc @ICL-AUX< #3->2 
	"." CLB #4->0 


Radio news would be good, and studio programs.

Documents and background info

Forthcoming milestones

Meeting between Divvun and the Sámi parliament in october

Upcoming deadlines?

Work planning, division of labour

Autumn 08:

  • Exchange papers and background documents.
  • Look for upcoming grant proposal deadlines
    • Norway...
    • Finland.. Martti to have a look
  • Would it be possible to make a Sámi-as-Finnish before october? Let us try:
    • identify the Finnish text input format (Martti)
    • make the same for Sámi (Patrik, Trond)
      • syllabify the Sámi text
      • turn the result into "Finnish orthography"
    • Feed the result to the finnish tts and lean back.

Spring 09 and onwards:

  • Discuss formats for and evt. exchange empirical material




  • not a diphone system, but an hmm-based system.
  • One man-year for Sámi segmental tts. ==> suggest 3 years (which includes
  • getting to know the system and making the usual mistakes and false starts)

Find out how much to make tts


  • Martti: Finnish Academy researcher
  • Antti: Funding for him until next summer
  • Some grant proposals: ...
  • Evt. hiring new persons for working on Sámi.

Q: Is it possible to integrate with standard OS's (Win/Mac) and common end-user applications (dyslectic, proofreading, screenreaders, etc.)?

The answer is yes. Web-based is easy. Integrating in mobile phones or text processors is a different thing but it is possible (done by commercal companies, like e.g. Bitlips).

Next meeting

Within a month.

Before that: the SPE rules and the Finnish example.