Articles written in Sadhana
Volume 27 Issue 1 February 2002 pp 113-126
Incorporation of speech and Indian scripts can greatly enhance the accessibility of web information among common people. This paper describes a ‘web reader’ which ‘reads out’ the textual contents of a selected web page in Hindi or in English with Indian accent. The content of the page is downloaded and parsed into suitable textual form. It is then passed on to an indigenously developed text-to-speech system for Hindi/Indian English, to generate spoken output. The text-to-speech conversion is performed in three stages: text analysis, to establish pronunciation, phoneme to acoustic-phonetic parameter conversion and, lastly, parameter-to-speech conversion through a production model. Different types of voices are used to read special messages. The web reader detects the hypertext links in the web pages and gives the user the option to follow the link or continue perusing the current web page. The user can exercise the option either through a keyboard or via spoken commands. Future plans include refining the web parser, improvement of naturalness of synthetic speech and improving the robustness of the speech recognition system.