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This paper presents an algorithm for automatically assigning phrase breaks to unrestricted text for use in a text-to-speech synthesizer. Text is first converted into a sequence of part-of-speech tags. Next a Markov model is used to give the most likely sequence of phrase breaks for the input part-of-speech tags. In the Markov model, states represent types of phrase break and the transitions between states represent the likelihoods of sequences of phrase types occurring. The paper reports a variety of experiments investigating part-of-speech tagsets, Markov model structure and smoothing. The best setup correctly identifies 79% of breaks in the test corpus.

Alan W Black