Variability in English vowels is comparable in articulation and acoustics

  • The nature of the links between speech production and perception has been the subject of longstanding debate. The present study investigated the articulatory parameter of tongue height and the acoustic F1–F0 difference for the phonological distinction of vowel height in American English front vowels. Multiple repetitions of /i, ɪ, e, ɛ, æ/ in [(h)Vd] sequences were recorded in seven adult speakers. Articulatory (ultrasound) and acoustic data were collected simultaneously to provide a direct comparison of variability in vowel production in both domains. Results showed idiosyncratic patterns of articulation for contrasting the three front vowel pairs /i-ɪ/, /e-ɛ/, and /ɛ-æ/ across subjects, with the degree of variability in vowel articulation comparable to that observed in the acoustics for all seven participants. However, contrary to what was expected, some speakers showed reversals for tongue height for /ɪ/-/e/ that were also reflected in acoustics, with F1 higher for /ɪ/ than for /e/. The data suggest the phonological distinction ofThe nature of the links between speech production and perception has been the subject of longstanding debate. The present study investigated the articulatory parameter of tongue height and the acoustic F1–F0 difference for the phonological distinction of vowel height in American English front vowels. Multiple repetitions of /i, ɪ, e, ɛ, æ/ in [(h)Vd] sequences were recorded in seven adult speakers. Articulatory (ultrasound) and acoustic data were collected simultaneously to provide a direct comparison of variability in vowel production in both domains. Results showed idiosyncratic patterns of articulation for contrasting the three front vowel pairs /i-ɪ/, /e-ɛ/, and /ɛ-æ/ across subjects, with the degree of variability in vowel articulation comparable to that observed in the acoustics for all seven participants. However, contrary to what was expected, some speakers showed reversals for tongue height for /ɪ/-/e/ that were also reflected in acoustics, with F1 higher for /ɪ/ than for /e/. The data suggest the phonological distinction of height is conveyed via speaker-specific articulatory-acoustic patterns that do not strictly match features descriptions. However, the acoustic signal is faithful to the articulatory configuration that generated it, carrying the crucial information for perceptual contrast.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Aude NoirayORCiDGND, Khalil Iskarous, Douglas H. WhalenORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-399196
ISSN:1866-8380
Parent Title (German):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Philosophische Reihe
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Philosophische Reihe (137)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2017/08/18
Year of Completion:2014
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2017/08/18
Tag:American-english; Behavior; Context; Dynamics; Movements; Normalization procedures; Regional varieties; Speakers; Speech motor control; Tongue
Issue:137
Pagenumber:18
Source:Laboratory Phonology 5 (2014) 2, S. 271–288. DOI: 10.1515/lp-2014-0010
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Walter de Gruyter Online Zeitschriften
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht