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Invariance and variability in articulation and acoustics of natural perturbed speech

  • The goal of this study was to evaluate invariance vs. variability in both articulation and acoustics of speech production units. To keep interaction of controlled variables manageable, only a very simple subrange of speech productions was studied. Three different vowel qualities and six different consonants were examined in a VCV sequence embedded in an utterance. Beside coarticulation vocal effort was a further factor of perturbation occuring in natural speech. The set of consonants comprised various modes of articulation (stop, fricative, nasal, lateral) all produced at virtually the same place of articulation, viz. (post-) alveolar. The range of vowel environments /i:/, /e:/, /a:/ was selected for differences in height, in order to vary coarticulatory effects between the segments. Utterances were produced at two different volume levels, viz. normal and loud speech. Experiments by others have demonstrated that higher speech volume is not simply realized as a raised sound pressure level or as raised intensity. For loud speech a number of different correlates were observed, as raised subglottal pressure (see Ladefoged/McKinney 1963), raised fundamental frequency, raised first formant, and change of segmental durations (e.g. Traunmüller/Eriksson 2000). Furthermore an effect on jaw height was observed in vowels, which is that in vowel production in loud speech the jaw has a lower position. In earlier studies results have been presented for either articulatory (Schulman 1989) or acoustic changes (Traunmüller/Eriksson 2000) associated with higher volume. The present study examines effects of higher volume level on vowels as well as on consonants, in the articulatory as well as the acoustic channel. Data from six German speakers (5 male, 1 female) were recorded and analyzed. In the 266 articulatory channel jaw and tongue-tip movements were analyzed, in the acoustic domain segmental characteristics as formants, duration, intensity and fundamental frequency. The main results can be described as follows: - Jaw height in vowels depends on vowel height, in the vowel production of loud speech the jaw is lowered significantly. - Jaw height in consonants depends on the type of consonant (very high for /s/, / /, /t/, fairly low for /n/, /l/). Speaking at higher volume level does not have a significant effect on jaw height during (post-) alveoloar consonant production, coarticulatory effect of vowel context is mainly found with /n/ and /l/. - In loud speech jaw gestures have higher amplitude. - Acoustic segmental duration is changed: Vowels are lengthened and consonants are shortened. - Fundamental frequency in vowel segments is raised significantly. - In all vowels the first formant is raised. - The second formant of the non-front vowel /a:/ is raised. This work has demonstrated that jaw articulation in a number of alveolar consonants is remarkably precise and that motor equivalence only plays a minor role. Moreover, it has been shown that in the face of the generally larger variability of acoustic and articulatory parameters, the results are best considered in terms of perceptual invariants. The findings also substantiate the complexity of articulatory and acoustic reorganisation in loud speech.

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Author:Anja Geumann
Series (Serial Number):Forschungsberichte des Instituts für Phonetik und Sprachliche Kommunikation der Universität München (FIPKM) (38)
Publisher:Institut für Phonetik und Sprachliche Kommunikation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität München
Place of publication:München
Editor:Philip Hoole
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of first Publication:2001
Date of Publication (online):2016/12/12
Reviewstate:Qualifikationsarbeit (Dissertation, Habilitation)
GND Keyword:Akustik; Artikulation; Sprachstörung
First Page:265
Last Page:393
Dewey Decimal Classification:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Phonetik / Phonologie
Open Access?:Ja
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG