9. Edit Pronunciation
9.1. The Basics
Inside the Options view (see section 3.1), under Speech > Pronunciation, you can edit
pronunciations. To access this feature, with voices downloaded for an earlier version than
1.2, you will have to re-download the voice.
The easiest way to Edit Pronunciation is by attempting to spell the word in another way. For
example, for french fries you can simply put french frys. Note: You may need to be creative.
You can test out your pronunciations by tapping the speak button.
When the original text is entered in all lower case it will match all forms of the word. So "dog"
will match "dog", "Dog", but also "dOg". If the original text includes capitals it will only match
similarly capitalized words (i.e. “David” will only match “David” and not “david”). In other
words it becomes case-sensitive.
There are some limitations in terms of what transcriptions the voices can properly handle.
Putting spaces or other punctuation inside the pronunciation text can sometimes lead to
strange effects. The best way to check whether the voices can handle a pronunciation
correctly is testing it with the Speak button. The only way to guarantee a perfect
pronunciation is to use the phonetic codes discussed below.
9.2. Phonetics (for advanced users)
This section is adapted from the Acapela Language Manuals
The American English text-to-speech system uses the American English subset of the
SAMPA phonetic alphabet (Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet), with a few
exceptions. The symbol o was replaced by @U (ex. nose), e was replaced by EI (ex. hate),
aI was replaced by AI (ex. light), and 3` and @` were replaced by r= (ex. furs, corner). The
symbol 4 was also introduced to represent a ﬂapped t (ex. better). The symbols are written
with a space between each phoneme.
In words with more than one syllable, one (and normally only one) of the syllables is more
prominent than the others. This is referred to as word stress, or lexical stress. Words of one
syllable also have word stress when spoken in isolation, although many may lose the stress
in certain contexts. For the correct pronunciation of a word, it is important to include the
symbol marking the word stress.
In the phonetic transcriptions the word stress is indicated by the symbol 1 placed directly
after the stressed vowel (with no space between the vowel symbol and the stress symbol).
A secondary lexical stress can also be used. This secondary stress is indicated by the
symbol 2 placed directly after the stressed vowel like 1 for primary stress.
A glottal stop, represented by the phonetic symbol ?, is a small sound which is often used to
separate two words when the second word starts with a stressed vowel. This sound can be
inserted in a transcription in order to improve the pronunciation.
An underscore _ in a phonetic transcription generates a small pause.