Open Access

Simulation of Human Speech Production Applied to the Study and Synthesis of European Portuguese

  • António J. S. Teixeira1, 2Email author,
  • Roberto Martinez1,
  • Luís Nuno Silva1,
  • Luis M. T. Jesus1, 3,
  • Jose C. Príncipe4 and
  • Francisco A. C. Vaz1, 2
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:709592

Received: 29 October 2003

Published: 21 June 2005


A new articulatory synthesizer (SAPWindows), with a modular and flexible design, is described. A comprehensive acoustic model and a new interactive glottal source were implemented. Perceptual tests and simulations made possible by the synthesizer contributed to deepening our knowledge of one of the most important characteristics of European Portuguese, the nasal vowels. First attempts at incorporating models of frication into the articulatory synthesizer are presented, demonstrating the potential of performing fricative synthesis based on broad articulatory configurations. Synthesis of nonsense words and Portuguese words with vowels and nasal consonants is also shown. Despite not being capable of competing with mainstream concatenative speech synthesis, the anthropomorphic approach to speech synthesis, known as articulatory synthesis, proved to be a valuable tool for phonetics research and teaching. This was particularly true for the European Portuguese nasal vowels.

Keywords and phrases

articulatory synthesisspeech productionEuropean Portuguesenasal vowelsfricatives

Authors’ Affiliations

Instituto de Engenharia Electrónica e Telemática de Aveiro (IEETA), Aveiro, Portugal
Departamento de Electrónica e Telecomunicações, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Escola Superior de Saúde, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Computational Neuroengineering Laboratory (CNEL), University of Florida, Gainesville, USA


© Teixeira et al. 2005