[xiphos-devel] Xiphos text-to-speech dictionary

M.E.Adams mea4dev1 at use.startmail.com
Sat Mar 4 05:28:55 MST 2017


Thank you for responding. Yesterday I sent a response to this with a tar 
of audio files containing example Festival output for you to hear, which 
made the e-mail larger than the e-mail servicer accepts by default. It 
is waiting for the moderator to decide to release it or not. I wanted 
you to hear the quality of the output for you to critique and comment on 
before we dive into the detail of how to get there. Sorry for the hold 
up. Below I have pasted the contents, minus the tar, from my previous 

===== begin paste =====

OK, Karl. Good to hear from you. I appreciate your response and I have 
simply kept busy in the meantime continuing my work testing and 
expanding my lexicon to include more proper names from other English 
language translations. I have been communicating with a Mr. David Haslam 
from the UK, who has been helpful to my efforts and I believe I have 
been to some of his.

Forgive me but, I am new to subscribing to an e-mail list, so patience 
would be appreciated. I have never seen where responding to an e-mail 
with a From address (for example yours) would actually respond to a mail 
list (like the xiphos-devel at crosswire.org). So, if I did something wrong 
and I was supposed to respond to your address, let me know.

OK, to the matter:

My background is in DSP and I have always had interest in speech 
syntheses (and recognition). I have kept tract of the Festival/Flite 
speech engine developments and the Festival 2.4 release is seriously 
impressive with the additional voices that are available for download 
from the CMU Festvox website. Festival's embedded Scheme interpreter (a 
dialect of LISP) provides a great development platform for speech 
technology. Therefore, I started this project on Festival.

In an earlier contact I had over a Xiphos chat when I was requesting 
help with a bug (I can't remember who I was chatting with - was it you? 
The chat resulted in your last couple of updates to Xiphos.) it was 
mentioned that Xiphos packaged Flite with Xiphos for Windows. Flite is a 
lean and mean version of Festival written in "C" able also to use the 
high quality Festival (actual Festvox) voices. Once I've completed all 
my lexicon work, I will concentrate on Flite integration, which is much 
smaller and faster (i.e. more usable on lesser performance hardware) and 
available for Linux and Windows (and probably Mac-Apple).

Not much meat here, but I thought a little more introduction to set the 
stage might be useful. I have attached a 4M tar containing .ogg files of 
examples of my efforts for your consideration to determine if your 
interest holds. If it does, to fix your Festival installation, I could 
send you some BASH scripts I prepared for my Ubuntu system to download, 
build and install Festival, Festvox and its high quality voices. You 
might have to tailor them for Fedora, not sure. I think they will tell 
you if they don't compile for lack of something and will check the 
installation. Or, you can go to: http://festvox.org/index.html and get 
from the horses mouth how to download and install for yourself. They 
also have notes on how to download and install.

===== end paste =====

Adding a pronunciation addenda to the included a Festival 
lexicon/dictionary is easy to do, as are some modifications I did to 
Festival to improve its Text-To-Speech (TTS) processing. I have yet to 
incorporate my pronunciation lexicon into the Festival one, which is a 
last step to fix errors that are in Festival's included lexicon. Before 
doing that, getting Festival operational on your Fedora system and 
configuring it to use my lexicon would be a necessary first step. I 
thought that a new install from the original source might be easier than 
trying to fix the errant one causing core dumps on yours. If you would 
rather do the Fedora packaged install and debug it, that is fine too and 
might contains tweaks Fedora considered useful.

I had considered that packaging my bible lexicon with Xiphos or 
Crosswire made sense. A .festivalrc file is added to the users home 
directory which Festival looks for upon startup. This file informs 
Festival of user preferences, including where to find a user addenda 
lexicon. If you can get Festival running, I can supply you with what is 
needed to get Festival configured. I then have suggestions to make 
Xiphos more user friendly for speech output. I ask you to agree not to 
distribute anything I give you until we have finished our work.

I haven't tried to configure Flite, yet. That might actually be the 
preferred final product. I have been tied up expanding and testing out 
my lexicon to include words not used in the ESV but are in the likes of 
KJV and other English language translations. The Xiphos speech 
integration improvements would be applicable independent of which speech 
engine is in use.


On 03/02/2017 05:32 PM, Karl Kleinpaste wrote:
> On 02/01/2017 08:44 AM, M.E.Adams wrote:
>> Please let me know if you have been receiving my e-mails and are
>> simply not responding do to lack of interest or are impeded by work load.
> Um, wow. So, first things.
> Apologies. When this first arrived, I looked at it, thought "that needs
> consideration," marked it for future reference...and lost track of it,
> having collapsed a subfolder tree in my mailer. Completely forgot about
> it until an hour ago.  Huge apologies.
> Since Fedora 23 (currently on 24, skipped 25, debating 26), festival is
> completely dead in the water for me.  Simply invoking it at the shell
> and muttering '(SayText "hello")' causes a core dump.
> That said, if there's some way of integrating better proper name
> pronunciation by festival into Xiphos, I'm all ears. I know rather
> little about festival; the integration of it into then-GnomeSword was a
> proof-of-concept facility for myself as I was getting familiar with the
> code, my first noticeable feature addition to the program, over a decade
> ago. I'm unaware of how one glues new dictionaries into festival, for
> example.
> If you care to write some more detail, I'd be happy to read it. And I
> promise to be more prompt about dealing with it.
> --karl
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