Session Acoustics III:

Acoustics III: Lenition, Reduction, Undershoot

Type: oral
Chair: Jonathan Harrington
Date: Wednesday - August 08, 2007
Time: 09:00
Room: 2 (Orange)


Acoustics III-1 Novel measures for vowel reduction
Noam Amir, Dept. of Communication Disorders, Tel-Aviv University
Ofer Amir, Dept. of Communication Disorders, Tel-Aviv University
Paper File
  Novel measures for vowel reduction are presented, for examining vowel space as a whole, and for quantifying reduction of individual vowels. These were used to evaluate the degree of vowel reduction in continuous speech, manifested in the F1-F2 plane. The measures were applied to a set of 1500 tokens, extracted from a database of spontaneous Hebrew speech. Using a similarity measure, we found that vowels were reduced by a factor of 2.09 for men and by 2.93 for women. The reduced vowel space for men was more distorted than for women. Error measure estimations were larger for men in comparison to women (0.0714 versus 0.0525, respectively). While vowel reduction in women exhibited a relatively symmetric pattern across vowels, it showed a skewed pattern in men. This was attributed to a more pronounced reduction in the back vowels /o/ and /u/.
David J. Broad, 2638 State St., Unit 12, Santa Barbara CA 93105, USA
Frantz Clermont, JPFrench Forensic Speech & Acoustics Lab., York
Paper File
  From the assumptions that vowel-to-consonant formant transitions in any given VC context are (1) similar in shape and (2) scaled in proportion to the difference between the vowel target and consonant locus, we show that the implied set of scaling relationships leads to a method for estimating the loci and targets from formant data.
Acoustics III-3 Statistical methods for quantitative analysis of multiple lenition components
Christina Villafaņa Dalcher, City University
Paper File
  Lenition has been described in various ways but broadly involves multiple acoustic parameters. These include closure duration, VOT duration, periodicity, intensity, and absence of release burst. Because these concrete acoustic characteristics are variable and sometimes independent of one another, it is difficult to quantify the more abstract construct of lenition by referring to its separate components. This paper introduces a method of producing a quantitative measure of lenition, using a latent variable score derived via Principal Components Analysis on five individual parameters having a recognised relationship to consonant weakening.

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