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Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) can predict fundamental frequency (F 0 ) for statistical parametric speech synthesis systems, given linguistic features as input. However, these models assume conditional independence between consecutive F 0 values, given the RNN state. In a previous study, we proposed autoregressive (AR) neural F 0 models to capture the causal dependency of successive F 0 values. In subjective evaluations, a deep AR model (DAR) outperformed an RNN. Here, we propose a Vector Quantized Variational Autoencoder (VQ-VAE) neural F 0 model that is both more efficient and more interpretable than the DAR. This model has two stages: one uses the VQ-VAE framework to learn a latent code for the F 0 contour of each linguistic unit, and other learns to map from linguistic features to latent codes. In contrast to the DAR and RNN, which process the input linguistic features frame-by-frame, the new model converts one linguistic feature vector into one latent code for each linguistic unit. The new model achieves better objective scores than the DAR, has a smaller memory footprint and is computationally faster. Visualization of the latent codes for phones and moras reveals that each latent code represents an F 0 shape for a linguistic unit.
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