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Paolo Baggia Loquendo Workshop II on Internationalizing SSML. PLS for SSML. Outline. Brief Introduction of Pronunciation Lexicon Specification Examples of common use cases How to deal of Homographs in PLS Other issues for the workshop. Why Pronunciation Lexicon Specification?.

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paolo baggia loquendo workshop ii on internationalizing ssml
Paolo BaggiaLoquendo

Workshop II on Internationalizing SSML


  • Brief Introduction of Pronunciation Lexicon Specification
  • Examples of common use cases
  • How to deal of Homographs in PLS
  • Other issues for the workshop
why pronunciation lexicon specification
Why Pronunciation Lexicon Specification?
  • Allow to customize pronunciations (for proper names, locations, addresses, acronyms, etc.)
  • Enrich TTS and ASR with customized pronunciations
  • Complete the “Speech Interaction Framework”

Read the specification at:

what pls 1 0 is not
What PLS 1.0 is Not!
  • Multilingual pronunciation lexicon the current specification is mono-lingual!
  • Extended purpose lexicon no syntax, no semantics, no morphology
  • TTS-internal lexicon too complex and rich of custom knowledge

PLS 1.0 is restricted to the most important and tractable issues.

the pls 1 0 language
The PLS 1.0 Language
  • PLS is an XML language <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  • The root element is <lexicon>, with attributes version, xmlns, alphabet, xml:lang
  • It contains a collection <lexeme>s, which is composed of:
    • <grapheme>s for orthographies/spellings
    • <phoneme>s for pronunciations
    • <alias>s for textual substitutions
    • <example>s for examples

 The order is relevant to determine the preferred pronunciation for TTS

pls common usages
PLS Common Usages
  • Multiple pronunciations
    • For ASR: to accommodate speaker/regional variability, not native speakers
    • For TTS: a single preferred pronunciation will be selected
  • Multiple orthographies (with same pronunciations)
    • For ASR & TTS:
  • Homophones (same pronunciations, different meanings)
    • Different <lexeme>s
  • Homographs (same spellings, different pronunciations)
    • This creates troubles  we propose a solution
how to deal with homographs
How to Deal with Homographs
  • New attribute “role” on <lexeme> elements<lexeme role=“value”/>
  • Values are qnames (qualified names, with a namespace)e.g. “myvocabulary:verb”, “wordnet:verb”
  • Open to future standardization allows both proprietary values and standard ones
  • More than one qname for a single <lexeme>,e.g. role=“w:verb w:past-tense”
example of homographs in pls
Example of Homographs in PLS

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><lexicon version="1.0"


alphabet="ipa" xml:lang="en-GB"><lexeme role="wdn:verb">




<lexeme role="wdn:noun">





Example sentence:“I refuse to take the fridge as a refuse.”

ssml should to be extended
SSML should to be extended!

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><speak version="1.0" xml:lang="en-US" xmlns="">

<lexicon uri="">

I <token role="wdn:verb">refuse</token> to take

the fridge as a <token role="wdn:noun">refuse</token>.


… and SRGS too!

other issues for the workshop
Other Issues for the Workshop
  • Lexicon selection criteria in SSML
  • Which phonetic alphabets?
    • Current PLS 1.0 mandates the usage of IPA (International Pronunciation Alphabet)
    • Are there other options? We need standard alphabets!
  • Other issues?