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Synthesis of vowels and vowel-vowel utterancesusing a 3D biomechanical-acoustic model
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8991-1016
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4532-014X
2018 (English)In: IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, ISSN 2329-9290Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

A link is established between a 3D biomechanicaland acoustic model allowing for the umerical synthesis of vowelsounds by contraction of the relevant muscles. That is, thecontraction of muscles in the biomechanical model displacesand deforms the articulators, which in turn deform the vocaltract shape. The mixed wave equation for the acoustic pressureand particle velocity is formulated in an arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian framework to account for moving boundaries. Theequations are solved numerically using the finite element method.Since the activation of muscles are not fully known for a givenvowel sound, an inverse method is employed to calculate aplausible activation pattern. For vowel-vowel utterances, two different approaches are utilized: linear interpolation in eithermuscle activation or geometrical space. Although the former isthe natural choice for biomechanical modeling, the latter is usedto investigate the contribution of biomechanical modeling onspeech acoustics. Six vowels [ɑ, ə, ɛ, e, i, ɯ] and three vowel-vowelutterances [ɑi, ɑɯ, ɯi] are synthesized using the 3D model. Results,including articulation, formants, and spectrogram of vowelvowelsounds, are in agreement with previous studies.Comparingthe spectrogram of interpolation in muscle and geometrical spacereveals differences in all frequencies, with the most extendeddifference in the second formant transition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Speech and Music Communication
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239056OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-239056DiVA, id: diva2:1263547
Projects
EUNISON
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 308874
Note

QC 20181116

Available from: 2018-11-15 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2018-11-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Computational Modeling of the Vocal Tract: Applications to Speech Production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Computational Modeling of the Vocal Tract: Applications to Speech Production
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human speech production is a complex process, involving neuromuscular control signals, the effects of articulators' biomechanical properties and acoustic wave propagation in a vocal tract tube of intricate shape. Modeling these phenomena may play an important role in advancing our understanding of the involved mechanisms, and may also have future medical applications, e.g., guiding doctors in diagnosing, treatment planning, and surgery prediction of related disorders, ranging from oral cancer, cleft palate, obstructive sleep apnea, dysphagia, etc.

A more complete understanding requires models that are as truthful representations as possible of the phenomena. Due to the complexity of such modeling, simplifications have nevertheless been used extensively in speech production research: phonetic descriptors (such as the position and degree of the most constricted part of the vocal tract) are used as control signals, the articulators are represented as two-dimensional geometrical models, the vocal tract is considered as a smooth tube and plane wave propagation is assumed, etc.

This thesis aims at firstly investigating the consequences of such simplifications, and secondly at contributing to establishing unified modeling of the speech production process, by connecting three-dimensional biomechanical modeling of the upper airway with three-dimensional acoustic simulations. The investigation on simplifying assumptions demonstrated the influence of vocal tract geometry features — such as shape representation, bending and lip shape — on its acoustic characteristics, and that the type of modeling — geometrical or biomechanical — affects the spatial trajectories of the articulators, as well as the transition of formant frequencies in the spectrogram.

The unification of biomechanical and acoustic modeling in three-dimensions allows to realistically control the acoustic output of dynamic sounds, such as vowel-vowel utterances, by contraction of relevant muscles. This moves and shapes the speech articulators that in turn dene the vocal tract tube in which the wave propagation occurs. The main contribution of the thesis in this line of work is a novel and complex method that automatically reconstructs the shape of the vocal tract from the biomechanical model. This step is essential to link biomechanical and acoustic simulations, since the vocal tract, which anatomically is a cavity enclosed by different structures, is only implicitly defined in a biomechanical model constituted of several distinct articulators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 105
Series
TRITA-EECS-AVL ; 2018:90
Keywords
vocal tract, upper airway, speech production, biomechanical model, acoustic model, vocal tract reconstruction
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Speech and Music Communication
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239071 (URN)978-91-7873-021-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-07, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20181116

Available from: 2018-11-16 Created: 2018-11-16 Last updated: 2018-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Dabbaghchian, SaeedEngwall, Olov

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