The Blizzard Challenge 2008
Proc. Blizzard Challenge Workshop
Clark, Robert A J
The Blizzard Challenge 2008 was the fourth annual Blizzard Challenge. This year, participants were asked to build two voices from a UK English corpus and one voice from a Man- darin Chinese corpus. This is the first time that a language other than English has been included and also the first time that a large UK English corpus has been available. In addi- tion, the English corpus contained somewhat more expressive speech than that found in corpora used in previous Blizzard Challenges. To assist participants with limited resources or limited ex- perience in UK-accented English or Mandarin, unaligned la- bels were provided for both corpora and for the test sentences. Participants could use the provided labels or create their own. An accent-specific pronunciation dictionary was also available for the English speaker. A set of test sentences was released to participants, who were given a limited time in which to synthesise them and submit the synthetic speech. An online listening test was con- ducted, to evaluate naturalness, intelligibility and degree of similarity to the original speaker.