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W3C Expands Support for Speech Synthesis of World Languages.

Early Draft of SSML SSML Speech Synthesis Markup Language  1.1 Published; Workshop in India to Bring More Improvements -- Today, W3C (World Wide Web Consortium, An international industry consortium founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee to develop standards for the Web. It is hosted in the U.S. by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT (  took steps to broaden support for the world's languages in voice applications on the Web. This First Public Working Draft of Speech Synthesis Markup Language Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) is an XML-based markup language for speech synthesis applications. It is a recommendation of the W3C's voice browser working group. SSML is often embedded in VoiceXML scripts to drive interactive telephony systems.  (SSML) 1.1 incorporates important features and feedback from SSML Workshops held in Beijing, China and Heraklion, Greece. On 13-14 January 2007, W3C conducts a third Workshop on SSML, hosted by Bhrigus Software and the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT IIIT International Institute of Information Technology (Hyderabad; formerly Indian Institute of Information Technology)
IIIT Indian Institute of Information Technology (Hyderabad) 
) in Hyderabad, India. This Workshop promises more expert review and contributions to SSML, part of W3C's Speech Interface Framework, a suite of specifications for building voice applications on the Web.

Voice Applications in Many Languages Are Growing on the Web

It is forecast that within three years, the Years, The

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 World Wide Web will contain significantly more content from Chinese and Indian language families, among others. In many of the regions where these languages are spoken, people can access the Web more easily through a less expensive mobile handset than through a desktop computer. Today the world has more than ten times as many cellphones as Internet-connected personal computers. With an improved SSML, people worldwide will have an increased ability to listen to synthesized speech through mobile phones, desktop computers and other devices, extending the reach of computation and information delivery to nearly every corner of the globe.

SSML 1.1 Brings Together Needed Support for Variety of Spoken Languages

SSML 1.1 improves on W3C's SSML 1.0 Recommendation by adding support for more conventions and practices of the world's languages. One new feature helps to disambiguate dis·am·big·u·ate  
tr.v. dis·am·big·u·at·ed, dis·am·big·u·at·ing, dis·am·big·u·ates
To establish a single grammatical or semantic interpretation for.
 "word boundaries" in languages that do not use whitespace as a word boundary, including Chinese, Thai, and Japanese. SSML 1.1 allows references to language-specific pronunciation alphabets. It clarifies the relationship between the author's specified speaking voice and the language being spoken. It provides finer-grained control over lexicon activation and entry usage.

In addition, SSML 1.1 provides features to better integrate with existing and upcoming Speech Interface Framework specifications.

Hyderabad Workshop Participants to Focus on Indian Language Families, Arabic and Hebrew

The third SSML Workshop brings together experts from India, Pakistan, and other countries to identify and prioritize requirements for SSML extensions and additions that will improve its use for rendering non-English languages including (but not limited to) Arabic, Hebrew, and the Indian languages Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarthi and Urdu. The top priorities on the agenda are to describe new requirements, their usage scenarios, and the problems to be solved. The output from this Workshop will be reviewed by the W3C Voice Browser Working Group for possible new features in SSML 1.1 and beyond.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory It has been suggested that and be merged into this article or section.  (MIT MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology  CSAIL CSAIL Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT)
CSAIL Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM ERCIM - European Research Consortium on Informatics and Mathematics. An association of European research organisations promoting cooperative research on key issues in Information Technology. ) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan,and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 10, 2007
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