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Dec 19th, 2014, 1:13pm 
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KayDekker
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Fr/Lat pronunciation problem.  
« on: Nov 28th, 2003, 8:28pm »
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Hi all,
 
I'm sequencing Sweelinck's Hodie Christus Natus Est, and I've run into a problem with getting VS to pronounce "No-e" (as in Fr "Noel" but without the 'l' sound, and sorry, I don't know how to do diaereses in this). Try a sequence of them; it sounds really bad, and nothing I've tried in SAMPA seems to produce anything like a good result.
 
I haven't looked into Fragments yet, which is probably where the fix lies, but they look scary! A tutorial would be useful...
 
Help, please?
 
The other things is, it would be so useful to be able to set the pronunciation of a word once and for all, even if it can only be done for one document or even one vocal line. So often I find there's a bad pronunciation, work out a SAMPA fix, and then have to apply it to perhaps tens of occurrences of the word in the score. If there was some way of saying ['badword' is pronounced 'SAMPA/fragment stuff'] just once at the start of a document, or maybe (more ambitiously) having a way to extend VS's pronunciation exception dictionary (I assume that it has to have one!) I'd adore you forever right now.
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Robert_A.
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Re: Fr/Lat pronunciation problem.  
« Reply #1 on: Nov 28th, 2003, 9:17pm »
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Maybe I can help. (Maybe not!)
 
Using fragments: You already know how to use SAMPA. Fragments work the same way, but the notation is different (and the fragment identifications are not the same as SAMPA identifications).
 
Open Virtual Singer. You can use the default voice. Click "edit voice." Choose the advanced tab, and "edit fragments."
 
At the left of the fragment editor is a list of all fragments in Virtual Singer (and Real Singer), in all languages offered by the program. The fragments that belong to your chosen language are in bold type. If necessary, you can change the language.
 
Each fragment has a code. Latin example:
E9 : French Loud E
 
The code is E9. What does that sound like? Click the fragment name to highlight it, and see if there is a test word presented at the right of the fragment editor.
 
Once in a while, there is no test word offered for a fragment. In that case, you may find that the word is offered if you change the language to another one that has the fragment.
 
In this case, the French word "neuf" is offered. So, fragment E9 is the vowel sound in "neuf." If you don't know how that sounds, you can play the word.
 
To use the fragments, it is like SAMPA. But before each fragment is the + symbol. I can only guess as how you want the Latin-French "noel" to sound. My guess would be:
noel[#+N+OI+EI+LFR]
 
Notice that there are the brackets and the # symbol, just as in SAMPA. You need to use the + symbol before each fragment, even if it is the first. In the above word, it happens to be the case that there are 4 letters and 4 fragments, but that is not generally true. A silent letter would have no fragment, and a set of letters composing a dipthong might have only one or two fragments.
 
The Glottal Stop GLST and short glottal quiet SQ are special fragments, that represent short transitions of not-quite-silence when the throat changes as it goes from certain sounds to others.
 
There are a number of transitional vowels that you would need to use, at least in English language. For example, the word "beautiful" should have the fragment +Y following the +B. In many English dipthongs, there is a prolonged part and a transitional ending. Example: the word "noise" is somewhat like "n-oy-ee-z." When sung, the "oy" part is prolonged, but not the "ee" (except maybe in Country-Western music). When you encounter such a dipthong, you need to use one fragment for the prolonged part, another for the transitional ending. The program knows that the fragments must be treated differently.
 
One other thing: If the word you are trying to phoneticize has no close substitute in the language, you may find that Virtual Singer will remain silent there, even if you modify the word with SAMPA or fragments. For example, I was trying to emulate some Polish words, one of which sounds something like English "zhe." But there was silence when I tried zhe[#ge] zhe[#zeI] zhe[#+Z+EI] or anything else. The modification did not cause an otherwise-unlisted syllable to sound. But it did work, if I changed the syllable to something that could be found in the dictionary.
 
As for your suggestion regarding always-substitute: Good idea! I was thinking along the same lines. In my case, I do not need accurate non-English pronunciation, and I might create "fake Latin" from my existing English phonemes. Maybe what you want to do can be done in Myrscript (I haven't used Myrscript, myself).
« Last Edit: Nov 28th, 2003, 9:20pm by Robert_A. » offline
KayDekker
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Re: Fr/Lat pronunciation problem.  
« Reply #2 on: Nov 28th, 2003, 11:11pm »
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Thanks, Robert, that looks really informative. I'll start my foray into Fragments this weekend, when I get a spare moment. Much appreciated!
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KayDekker
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Re: Fr/Lat pronunciation problem.  
« Reply #3 on: Dec 1st, 2003, 7:07am »
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Thanks to Robert's tutorial, I've managed to fix my problem. Many, many thanks, Robert!
 
There are two workrounds. One is smply to input "Noe" as "No-e[he]" - I'm surprised I didn't find that one when I was fumbling around at first. But it's good, at least I've learned a bit about fragments as a consequence!
 
The fragment solution is "No[#+N+AW]-e[#+EI]".
 
It would be nice to have it fixed, though.
 
While we're on the topic of poor sounds, is it just me or does the Latin "d" (as in "hodie") sound rather more like a "b" than a "d" to other people too?
« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2003, 7:10am by KayDekker » offline
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