Speech inversion is a well-known ill-posed problem and addition of speaker differences typically makes it even harder. Normalizing the speaker differences is essential to effectively using multi-speaker articulatory data for training a speaker independent speech inversion system. This paper explores a vocal tract length normalization (VTLN) technique to transform the acoustic features of different speakers to a target speaker acoustic space such that speaker specific details are minimized. The speaker normalized features are then used to train a deep feed-forward neural network based speech inversion system. The acoustic features are parameterized as time-contextualized mel-frequency cepstral coefficients. The articulatory features are represented by six tract-variable (TV) trajectories, which are relatively speaker invariant compared to flesh point data. Experiments are performed with ten speakers from the University of Wisconsin X-ray microbeam database. Results show that the proposed speaker normalization approach provides an 8.15% relative improvement in correlation between actual and estimated TVs as compared to the system where speaker normalization was not performed. To determine the efficacy of the method across datasets, cross speaker evaluations were performed across speakers from the Multichannel Articulatory-TIMIT and EMA-IEEE datasets. Results prove that the VTLN approach provides improvement in performance even across datasets.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics