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Studies have shown that text-to-speech systems need detailed prosodic models of a language in order to ideally sound natural to native speakers of the language.
A text-to-speech system developed for Sesotho needs to have tone implemented in it since Sesotho is a tonal language which uses pitch variations to distinguish lexical and/or grammatical meaning.
In order to implement tone for a language such as Sesotho, it is necessary for a tone modeling algorithm to receive as input the tone labels of the syllables of a word.
This allows the algorithm to predict the appropriate intonation of the word.
The aim of our study is to improve a basic tone labeling algorithm that predicts tone labels using three Sesotho tonal rules.
The application of this algorithm is restricted to polysyllabic verb stems.
The research study involves implementing an extended tone labeling algorithm that implements four additional Sesotho tonal rules and extends its application to all the other parts of speech.
Mpho Raborife earned her MSc in Computer Science (with distinction) at the Unversity of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) in 2011.
She is currently based at the Human Language Techonology (HLT) group, Meraka Institute in Pretoria, South Africa.
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