Re: I take it there have been no improvements to the flawed espeak ng in 2017.4?

Reece H. Dunn

On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 08:23 pm, Tyler Spivey wrote:
As you said, a lot of us don't use espeak. This has the unfortunate side
effect that nobody suggests improvements.
Just to give a few examples of why I don't:
Thanks for this feedback.

I don't like the sound of the voice. If I speed it up using rate boost
to get anything like a nice speed, sonic kicks in and makes it not sound
smooth anymore.
I suspect I'd get used to it in time, though.
I'm thinking about replacing sonic, possibly using something like for all the audio speed up/slow down so the behaviour is consistent and reduces the possibility for audio clipping and errors.

The synthesizer isn't very flexible, in multiple ways.
First, the dictionary. If I want to add a word to it, I need to
recompile the whole dictionary.
There's no ability to alter it at runtime, so I can't simply edit a file
which adds to the existing dictionary and have a word pronounced
correctly, like I can do with some versions of Eloquence.
This is something I want to do, but is complex given how espeak handles language pronunciations. I've created an issue to track supporting this.

The abbreviation handling is poor, with no easy way to turn it off. For
example, in these two examples:

Mr. Smith

Mr Smith

The sound changes depending on whether the period is present or not.
To me, the one with the period pauses before "Smith". Is this what you are hearing? Ideally, it should either not pause in both cases or pause briefly in both.

I don't want to hear things like vi read as roman six. If I want that,
I'll add the ones I do want to the dictionary with their correct
capitalization/the pronunciation I want.
This is something I want to fix.

If a sentence doesn't start with a capital letter, there's no pause
after the last one. for example in this one.
This makes sentences run together if they're not written correctly.
This annoys me as well. It is typically a lack of a period. The complication here is where do you insert the pauses without it sounding stilted in other cases.

There's no ability to adjust the punctuation pause (after ., ?, ,, etc).
This is something I can look at supporting.

These are just a few I can think of. If I started using it, I'm sure I'd
find more.

On 3/27/2018 5:07 PM, Sharni-Lee Ward wrote:
That's a lot of work! I'm sorry for my judgmental initial subject line.
It's just that I was very very used to the way Espeak pronounced words
like "Possible," beforehand (I was only reminded of this after sending
the other messages on this topic) and the slurring in certain words and
phrases was very distracting for me. I'm getting accustomed to it, but
that doesn't necessarily mean I /like/ it.

It's becoming clear to me, as this thread goes on, that less people use
Espeak NG than I had assumed. I figured, since it was the default synth
that came with NVDA, that more people used it, and therefore more people
would notice the oddities, and therefore you'd heard this stuff before a
lot of times. I also didn't know how much work was being done behind the
scenes, although in hindsight that was an assumption on my part and I
apologise. I still want these issues to be fixed, but throwing a fit the
way I did wasn't really helpful to anyone, and I apologise for that, too.

I don't have a Github account, or know the terms used to explain stuff
on there. Most of what I see on the Espeak NG dev list confuses the heck
out of me. xD

As for the person that said Espeak sounded very mechanical, I'll admit
that's part of the reason I use Linda almost exclusively. The other
female variants either sound overly synthetic or have weird
echos/breathiness that sounds even odder to me. The male variants didn't
play nicely with maxed inflection, and anyways, as a woman, I like my
computer to have a female voice. So Linda it is. Once you get used to
her, she's like an old friend, although I admit she sounds very robotic
coming out of speakers.

On 28/03/2018 5:17 AM, Reece H. Dunn wrote:
On Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 01:42 am, Shaun Everiss wrote:

Espeakng is nice, better than espeak but I do wish the
could be corrected, I mean there was nothing wrong with the old ones.

Taking the regression in the pronunciation of "resignedly" as an
example, this was caused by a fix to words like "allegedly" and
"reputedly" that were misporounced in espeak. The issue is that those
words without the -edly suffix end in an 'e', while "resignedly" does
not. The fix ended up adding an 'e' to "resign" when removing the
-edly suffix, causing it to sound strange. I did not detect this
because the word list I was using to compare the old and new
pronunciations did not contain "resignedly".

If there are any pronunciations that are wrong, let me know and I can
fix them (even if you just say which words they are). If you say
things like "espeak-ng sounds wrong", or "espeak-ng is broken", then I
cannot fix that as I don't know what needs changing.

Additionally, from espeak I have fixed the pronunciations for:
manoeuvred, reckon, Frances (the name), sponging, Southend, Austen,
aurora, recollect, ignoramus, straightforward, hippopotamuses,
multiple, muse, soothsay, Orion. eta. theta. zeta, lambda, delta,
thermal, sage, palazzo, cherish, resemble, visage, egress, chew,
praiseworthy, racquet(ball), pureblood, d's, h's, k's, o's, p's, t's,
y's, z's, and more. I have also fixed sir, nosir, and yessir in the
Scottish English accent.

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