This morning I tried building espeak from rhdunn repository on Github, but made the mistake of suffixing the unzipped folder by rhdunn, so I'd remember later where I got it from.
The espeak name is hard-coded into part of the build process so it failed to find a sub directory. I fixed that, rebuilt it (or so it appeared), but after install it still failed to find one of its own shared object libraries.
No time to pursue that currently, but a text to speech is handy sometimes, so I built this:
in about 5 minutes on a RPi 3. Very few warnings during build, & of course, no errors.
Instead of reading the supplied README, I just listened to it via flite, & it was fine, no clipping of the speech, nor missing the start, & quite understandable.
So, "anyone found a solution to this that I can't seem to find?" not directly, but someone may find Flite useful. It actually builds, & works on RPi.