g2pM: A Neural Grapheme-to-Phoneme Conversion Package for Mandarin Chinese Based on a New Open Benchmark Dataset
Conversion of Chinese graphemes to phonemes (G2P) is an essential component in Mandarin Chinese Text-To-Speech (TTS) systems. One of the biggest challenges in Chinese G2P conversion is how to disambiguate the pronunciation of polyphones -- characters having multiple pronunciations. Although many academic efforts have been made to address it, there has been no open dataset that can serve as a standard benchmark for fair comparison to date. In addition, most of the reported systems are hard to employ for researchers or practitioners who want to convert Chinese text into pinyin at their convenience. Motivated by these, in this work, we introduce a new benchmark dataset that consists of 99,000+ sentences for Chinese polyphone disambiguation. We train a simple neural network model on it, and find that it outperforms other preexisting G2P systems. Finally, we package our project and share it on PyPi.