Lab #1

S702 D. Kewley-Port/ W. Su 1/22/02

Recent approaches to understanding the acoustic characteristics that specify vowel perception in English include three properties:

  1. Spectral target cues, most importantly F1 and F2.
  2. Dynamic formant movement.
  3. Duration.

Published data in Hillenbrand et al. (1995) suggests that the vowels /i/ and /eh/ have little formant movement (Fig. 9) and may be termed 'static' vowels. In contrast, /I/ and /e/ have considerable formant movement and may be termed 'dynamic' vowels.

The goal of this lab is to measure the formants of the four vowels and determine whether you agree with the static - dynamic classification above. Use the /hVd/ syllable, replicating Hillenbrand's recording procedures. Measure the formant values in three repetitions each of the four vowels produced by both you and your lab partner. Cool Edit! or Dr. Speech can be used for recording each syllable into a separate file. You may use either Dr. Speech or Matlab to make the spectrograms. For those of you interested in learning Matlab during this course, start now.

From the spectrograms measure the SS, vowel duration, 20%, and 80% formant values following Hillenbrand et al p. 3101. Summarize the vowel data from the two talkers to support whether or not the classification of static and dynamic is appropriate. Discuss any dialect or accent differences between your results and those of Hillenbrand et al. Include some general discussion of the potential contribution of spectral target cues and dynamic formant movement to the classification of American English vowels.

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