An African Solution for an African Problem: A step towards perfection
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Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual Symposium of the Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa, Stellenbosch, (2010)

This article reports on a study that involves im- proving a tone label prediction algorithm. Tone is an important prosodic feature for Bantu languages since these languages use it to distinguish meaning. Studies have shown that text-to-speech systems need detailed prosodic models of a language in order to sound natural to native speakers of the language. Thus, text- to-speech systems developed for Bantu languages need to have tone implemented in them. In order to implement tone, it is necessary for a tone modeling algorithm to receive as input the tone labels of the syllables of a word. This allows the algorithm to predict the appropriate intonation of the word. Our study is concerned with improving an algorithm that predicts tone marks of the syllables of a word. This algorithm uses three Sesotho tonal rules to predict the tone labels on the syllables of polysyllabic verb stems. We improve the algorithm by implementing another tonal rule and extending the application of the tonal rules to other parts of speech.
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