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Sample records for nonnative vowel quality

  1. Perceptual assimilation and discrimination of non-native vowel contrasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, Michael D; Best, Catherine T; Faber, Alice; Levitt, Andrea G

    2014-01-01

    Research on language-specific tuning in speech perception has focused mainly on consonants, while that on non-native vowel perception has failed to address whether the same principles apply. Therefore, non-native vowel perception was investigated here in light of relevant theoretical models: the Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) and the Natural Referent Vowel (NRV) framework. American-English speakers completed discrimination and native language assimilation (categorization and goodness rating) tests on six nonnative vowel contrasts. Discrimination was consistent with PAM assimilation types, but asymmetries predicted by NRV were only observed for single-category assimilations, suggesting that perceptual assimilation might modulate the effects of vowel peripherality on non-native vowel perception.

  2. Perceptual assimilation and discrimination of non-native vowel contrasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, Michael D.; Best, Catherine T.; Faber, Alice; Levitt, Andrea G.

    2014-01-01

    Research on language-specific tuning in speech perception has focused mainly on consonants, while that on non-native vowel perception has failed to address whether the same principles apply. Therefore, non-native vowel perception was investigated here in light of relevant theoretical models: The Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) and the Natural Referent Vowel (NRV) framework. American-English speakers completed discrimination and L1-assimilation (categorization and goodness rating) tests on six non-native vowel contrasts. Discrimination was consistent with PAM assimilation types, but asymmetries predicted by NRV were only observed for single-category assimilations, suggesting that perceptual assimilation might modulate the effects of vowel peripherality on non-native vowel perception. PMID:24923313

  3. Perceptual assimilation and discrimination of non-native vowel contrasts

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Research on language-specific tuning in speech perception has focused mainly on consonants, while that on non-native vowel perception has failed to address whether the same principles apply. Therefore, non-native vowel perception was investigated here in light of relevant theoretical models: The Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) and the Natural Referent Vowel (NRV) framework. American-English speakers completed discrimination and L1-assimilation (categorization and goodnes...

  4. Effects of Vowel Duration and Vowel Quality on Vowel-to-Vowel Coarticulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mok, Peggy P. K.

    2011-01-01

    This work investigates how vowel duration and vowel quality affect degrees of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation. The effects of these two factors on vowel-to-vowel coarticulation have previously received little study. Phonological durational differences due to vowel length distinction were examined in Thai. It was hypothesized that shorter vowel…

  5. The Effect of L1 Orthography on Non-Native Vowel Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, Paola; Wanrooij, Karin

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has shown that orthography influences the learning and processing of spoken non-native words. In this paper, we examine the effect of L1 orthography on non-native sound perception. In Experiment 1, 204 Spanish learners of Dutch and a control group of 20 native speakers of Dutch were asked to classify Dutch vowel tokens by…

  6. Durations of American English vowels by native and non-native speakers: acoustic analyses and perceptual effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun; Chen, Chia-Tsen

    2014-06-01

    The goal of this study was to examine durations of American English vowels produced by English-, Chinese-, and Korean-native speakers and the effects of vowel duration on vowel intelligibility. Twelve American English vowels were recorded in the /hVd/ phonetic context by native speakers and non-native speakers. The English vowel duration patterns as a function of vowel produced by non-native speakers were generally similar to those produced by native speakers. These results imply that using duration differences across vowels may be an important strategy for non-native speakers' production before they are able to employ spectral cues to produce and perceive English speech sounds. In the intelligibility experiment, vowels were selected from 10 native and non-native speakers and vowel durations were equalized at 170 ms. Intelligibility of vowels with original and equalized durations was evaluated by American English native listeners. Results suggested that vowel intelligibility of native and non-native speakers degraded slightly by 3-8% when durations were equalized, indicating that vowel duration plays a minor role in vowel intelligibility.

  7. Across-talker effects on non-native listeners’ vowel perception in noise1

    OpenAIRE

    Bent, Tessa; Kewley-Port, Diane; Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2010-01-01

    This study explored how across-talker differences influence non-native vowel perception. American English (AE) and Korean listeners were presented with recordings of 10 AE vowels in ∕bVd∕ context. The stimuli were mixed with noise and presented for identification in a 10-alternative forced-choice task. The two listener groups heard recordings of the vowels produced by 10 talkers at three signal-to-noise ratios. Overall the AE listeners identified the vowels 22% more accurately than the Korean...

  8. Across-talker effects on non-native listeners' vowel perception in noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bent, Tessa; Kewley-Port, Diane; Ferguson, Sarah Hargus

    2010-11-01

    This study explored how across-talker differences influence non-native vowel perception. American English (AE) and Korean listeners were presented with recordings of 10 AE vowels in /bVd/ context. The stimuli were mixed with noise and presented for identification in a 10-alternative forced-choice task. The two listener groups heard recordings of the vowels produced by 10 talkers at three signal-to-noise ratios. Overall the AE listeners identified the vowels 22% more accurately than the Korean listeners. There was a wide range of identification accuracy scores across talkers for both AE and Korean listeners. At each signal-to-noise ratio, the across-talker intelligibility scores were highly correlated for AE and Korean listeners. Acoustic analysis was conducted for 2 vowel pairs that exhibited variable accuracy across talkers for Korean listeners but high identification accuracy for AE listeners. Results demonstrated that Korean listeners' error patterns for these four vowels were strongly influenced by variability in vowel production that was within the normal range for AE talkers. These results suggest that non-native listeners are strongly influenced by across-talker variability perhaps because of the difficulty they have forming native-like vowel categories.

  9. Automatic pronunciation error detection in non-native speech: the case of vowel errors in Dutch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Doremalen, Joost; Cucchiarini, Catia; Strik, Helmer

    2013-08-01

    This research is aimed at analyzing and improving automatic pronunciation error detection in a second language. Dutch vowels spoken by adult non-native learners of Dutch are used as a test case. A first study on Dutch pronunciation by L2 learners with different L1s revealed that vowel pronunciation errors are relatively frequent and often concern subtle acoustic differences between the realization and the target sound. In a second study automatic pronunciation error detection experiments were conducted to compare existing measures to a metric that takes account of the error patterns observed to capture relevant acoustic differences. The results of the two studies do indeed show that error patterns bear information that can be usefully employed in weighted automatic measures of pronunciation quality. In addition, it appears that combining such a weighted metric with existing measures improves the equal error rate by 6.1 percentage points from 0.297, for the Goodness of Pronunciation (GOP) algorithm, to 0.236.

  10. Vowel quality alternation in Dinka verb derivation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Torben

    2017-01-01

    In Dinka, a predominantly monosyllabic and highly fusional Western Nilotic language, vowel quality alternation in the root plays a major and systematic role in the morphology of verbs, together with alternations in vowel length, voice quality, and tone. Earlier work has shown that in the inflection...... of simple, i. e., underived, transitive verbs, the vowel quality alternation conforms to a vowel height gradation system with three vowel grades. The present article shows that this vowel gradation system is also operative in the morphology of derived verbs with a transitive root, but with certain...... modifications. These include a different distribution of the vowel grades and interaction with a shift in voice quality, to breathy voice....

  11. The vowel inherent spectral change of English vowels spoken by native and non-native speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Su-Hyun; Liu, Chang

    2013-05-01

    The current study examined Vowel Inherent Spectral Change (VISC) of English vowels spoken by English-, Chinese-, and Korean-native speakers. Two metrics, spectral distance (amount of spectral shift) and spectral angle (direction of spectral shift) of formant movement from the onset to the offset, were measured for 12 English monophthongs produced in a /hvd/ context. While Chinese speakers showed significantly greater spectral distances of vowels than English and Korean speakers, there was no significant speakers' native language effect on spectral angles. Comparisons to their native vowels for Chinese and Korean speakers suggest that VISC might be affected by language-specific phonological structure.

  12. Vowel perception: Effects of non-native language versus non-native dialect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cutler, A.; Smits, R.; Cooper, N.

    2005-01-01

    Three groups of listeners identified the vowel in CV and VC syllables produced by an American English talker. The listeners were (a) native speakers of American English, (b) native speakers of Australian English (different dialect), and (c) native speakers of Dutch (different language). The syllable

  13. Vowel perception: Effects of non-native language versus non-native dialect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cutler, A.; Smits, R.; Cooper, N.

    2005-01-01

    Three groups of listeners identified the vowel in CV and VC syllables produced by an American English talker. The listeners were (a) native speakers of American English, (b) native speakers of Australian English (different dialect), and (c) native speakers of Dutch (different language). The

  14. Non-Native Japanese Listeners' Perception of Vowel Length Contrasts in Japanese and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukada, Kimiko

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to compare the perception of short vs. long vowel contrasts in Japanese and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) by four groups of listeners differing in their linguistic backgrounds: native Arabic (NA), native Japanese (NJ), non-native Japanese (NNJ) and Australian English (OZ) speakers. The NNJ and OZ groups shared the first language…

  15. A note on the acoustic-phonetic characteristics of non-native English vowels produced in noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chi-Nin; Munro, Murray J.

    2003-10-01

    The Lombard reflex occurs when people unconsciously raise their vocal levels in the presence of loud background noise. Previous work has established that utterances produced in noisy environments exhibit increases in vowel duration and fundamental frequency (F0), and a shift in formant center frequencies for F1 and F2. Most studies of the Lombard reflex have been conducted with native speakers; research with second-language speakers is much less common. The present study examined the effects of the Lombard reflex on foreign-accented English vowel productions. Seven female Cantonese speakers and a comparison group of English speakers were recorded producing three vowels (/i u a/) in /bVt/ context in quiet and in 70 dB of masking noise. Vowel durations, F0, and the first two formants for each of the three vowels were measured. Analyses revealed that vowel durations and F0 were greater in the vowels produced in noise than those produced in quiet in most cases. First formants, but not F2, were consistently higher in Lombard speech than in normal speech. The findings suggest that non-native English speakers exhibit acoustic-phonetic patterns similar to those of native speakers when producing English vowels in noisy conditions.

  16. Can Nonnative Speakers Reduce English Vowels in a Native-Like Fashion? Evidence from L1-Spanish L2-English Bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rallo Fabra, Lucrecia

    2015-01-01

    This paper investigates the production of English unstressed vowels by two groups of early (ESp) and late Spanish (LSp) bilinguals and a control group of native English (NE) monolinguals. Three acoustic measurements were obtained: duration and intensity ratios of unstressed to stressed vowels, normalized vowel formants and euclidean distances. Both groups of bilinguals showed significantly fewer differences in duration between stressed and unstressed vowels than the NE monolinguals. Intensity differences depended on whether the stress pattern of the target English words matched the stress pattern of their Spanish cognates. As for vowel quality, the early bilinguals reduced the unstressed vowels, which clustered around the midcenter area of the vowel space, in the same fashion as the NE monolinguals, suggesting that vowel reduction might be operating at the phonological level. However, the late bilinguals showed a context-dependent, phonetic-level pattern with vowels that were more peripheral in the vowel space. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Linguistic influences in adult perception of non-native vowel contrasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polka, L

    1995-02-01

    Perception of natural productions of two German vowels contrasts, /y/ vs /u/ and /Y/ vs /U/, was examined in monolingual English-speaking adults. Subjects were tested on multiple exemplars of the contrasting vowels produced in a dVt syllable by a native German speaker. Discrimination accuracy in an AXB discrimination task was well above chance for both contrasts. Most of the English adults failed to attain "nativelike" discrimination accuracy for the lax vowel pair /U/ vs /Y/, whereas all subjects showed nativelike performance in discriminating the tense vowel pair /u/ vs /y/. Results of a keyword identification and rating task provided evidence that English listeners' mapping of the German vowel to English vowel categories can be characterized as a category goodness difference assimilation, and that the difference in category goodness was more pronounced for the tense vowel pair than for the lax vowel pair. The results failed to support the hypothesis that the acoustic structure of vowels consistently favors auditory coding. Overall, the findings are compatible with existing data on discrimination of cross-language consonant contrasts in natural speech and suggest that linguistic experience shapes the discrimination of vowels and consonants as phonetic segmental units in similar ways.

  18. The effect of language immersion education on the preattentive perception of native and non-native vowel contrasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltola, Maija S; Tuomainen, Outi; Koskinen, Mira; Aaltonen, Olli

    2007-01-01

    Proficiency in a second language (L2) may depend upon the age of exposure and the continued use of the mother tongue (L1) during L2 acquisition. The effect of early L2 exposure on the preattentive perception of native and non-native vowel contrasts was studied by measuring the mismatch negativity (MMN) response from 14-year-old children. The test group consisted of six Finnish children who had participated in English immersion education. The control group consisted of eight monolingual Finns. The subjects were presented with Finnish and English synthetic vowel contrasts. The aim was to see whether early exposure had resulted in the development of a new language-specific memory trace for the contrast phonemically irrelevant in L1. The results indicated that only the contrast with the largest acoustic distance elicited an MMN response in the Bilingual group, while the Monolingual group showed a response also to the native contrast. This may suggest that native-like memory traces for prototypical vowels were not formed in early language immersion.

  19. The effect of L1 orthography on non-native vowel perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Escudero, P.; Wanrooij, K.E.

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has shown that orthography influences the learning and processing of spoken non-native words. In this paper, we examine the effect of L1 orthography on non-native sound perception. In Experiment 1, 204 Spanish learners of Dutch and a control group of 20 native speakers of Dutch

  20. Developing non-native vowel representations: a study on child second language acquisition

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This study examines what stage 9‐12‐year‐old Dutch‐speaking children have reached in the development of their L2 lexicon, focusing on its phonological specificity. Two experiments were carried out with a group of Dutch‐speaking children and adults learning English. In a first task, listeners were asked to judge Dutch words which were presented with either the target Dutch vowel or with an English vowel synthetically inserted. The second experiment was a mirror of the first, i.e. with English ...

  1. Comparison of Native versus Nonnative Perception of Vowel Length Contrasts in Arabic and Japanese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukada, Kimiko

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the prediction that individuals are able to use the knowledge from their first language (L1) in processing the comparable sound contrasts in an unknown language. Two languages, Arabic and Japanese, which utilize vowel duration contrastively, were examined. Native Arabic (NA) and native Japanese (NJ) listeners' discrimination…

  2. Perception of final fricative voicing: Native and nonnative listeners' use of vowel duration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broersma, M.E.

    2010-01-01

    Does experience with a perceptual cue for a phoneme contrast in the native language affect its use in a second language for a similar contrast in a different phonetic context? Two experiments investigated Dutch and English listeners' use of preceding vowel duration as a perceptual cue for

  3. The Effect of Experience on the Acquisition of a Non-Native Vowel Contrast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Ellen; D'Hulster, Tijs

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the effect of second language experience on the acquisition of the English vowel contrast /epsilon/-/ae/ by native speakers of Dutch. It reports on the results of production and perception tasks performed by three groups of native Dutch learners of English in Belgium, differing in experience with English, as measured through…

  4. Intelligibility of American English Vowels of Native and Non-Native Speakers in Quiet and Speech-Shaped Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2013-01-01

    This study examined intelligibility of twelve American English vowels produced by English, Chinese, and Korean native speakers in quiet and speech-shaped noise in which vowels were presented at six sensation levels from 0 dB to 10 dB. The slopes of vowel intelligibility functions and the processing time for listeners to identify vowels were…

  5. Intelligibility of American English Vowels of Native and Non-Native Speakers in Quiet and Speech-Shaped Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2013-01-01

    This study examined intelligibility of twelve American English vowels produced by English, Chinese, and Korean native speakers in quiet and speech-shaped noise in which vowels were presented at six sensation levels from 0 dB to 10 dB. The slopes of vowel intelligibility functions and the processing time for listeners to identify vowels were…

  6. Hyperarticulation of vowels enhances phonetic change responses in both native and non-native speakers of English: evidence from an auditory event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uther, Maria; Giannakopoulou, Anastasia; Iverson, Paul

    2012-08-27

    The finding that hyperarticulation of vowel sounds occurs in certain speech registers (e.g., infant- and foreigner-directed speech) suggests that hyperarticulation may have a didactic function in facilitating acquisition of new phonetic categories in language learners. This event-related potential study tested whether hyperarticulation of vowels elicits larger phonetic change responses, as indexed by the mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the auditory event-related potential (ERP) and tested native and non-native speakers of English. Data from 11 native English-speaking and 10 native Greek-speaking participants showed that Greek speakers in general had smaller MMNs compared to English speakers, confirming previous studies demonstrating sensitivity of the MMN to language background. In terms of the effect of hyperarticulation, hyperarticulated stimuli elicited larger MMNs for both language groups, suggesting vowel space expansion does elicit larger pre-attentive phonetic change responses. Interestingly Greek native speakers showed some P3a activity that was not present in the English native speakers, raising the possibility that additional attentional switch mechanisms are activated in non-native speakers compared to native speakers. These results give general support for models of speech learning such as Kuhl's Native Language Magnet enhanced (NLM-e) theory. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Directional Asymmetries in Vowel Perception of Adult Nonnative Listeners Do Not Change over Time with Language Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriengwatana, Buddhamas Pralle; Escudero, Paola

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This study tested an assumption of the Natural Referent Vowel (Polka & Bohn, 2011) framework, namely, that directional asymmetries in adult vowel perception can be influenced by language experience. Method: Data from participants reported in Escudero and Williams (2014) were analyzed. Spanish participants categorized the Dutch vowels…

  8. Vowel identification in temporal-modulated noise for native and non-native listeners: Effect of language experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Jingjing; Liu, Chang; Tao, Sha; Mi, Lin; Wang, Wenjing; Dong, Qi

    2015-09-01

    A previous study found that English vowel identification in babble was significantly different between Chinese-native listeners in China and in the U.S. One possible explanation is that native English experiences might change Chinese-native listeners' ability to take advantage of the temporal modulation in noise for their English vowel perception. As a follow-up, the current study explored whether there was a difference between the two groups of Chinese listeners in using temporal gaps in noise for English vowel identification. Vowel identification in temporally modulated noise and a temporal modulation transfer function (TMTF) was measured for American-English-native listeners (EN), Chinese-native listeners in the U.S. (CNU), and Chinese-native listeners in China (CNC). The results revealed that TMTFs were similar across the three groups, indicating that psychophysical temporal processing was independent of listeners' language backgrounds. However, for vowel identification in noise, EN and CNU listeners showed significantly greater masking release from the temporal modulation of noise than CNC listeners at low signal-to-noise ratios (e.g., -12 dB). Altogether, native English experiences may change the use of temporal cues in noise for English vowel identification for Chinese-native listeners.

  9. Influences of listeners' native and other dialects on cross-language vowel perception

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines to what extent acoustic similarity between native and non-native vowels predicts non-native vowel perception and whether this process is influenced by listeners' native and other non-native dialects. Listeners with Northern and Southern British English dialects completed a perceptual assimilation task in which they categorized tokens of 15 Dutch vowels in terms of English vowel categories. While the cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to English vowels large...

  10. Influences of listeners’ native and other dialects on cross-language vowel perception

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines to what extent acoustic similarity between native and non-native vowels predicts non-native vowel perception and whether this process is influenced by listeners’ native and other non-native dialects. Listeners with Northern and Southern British English dialects completed a perceptual assimilation task in which they categorized tokens of 15 Dutch vowels in terms of English vowel categories. While the cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to English vowels large...

  11. Effects of stimulus duration and vowel quality in cross-linguistic categorical perception of pitch directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yiqing; Wayland, Ratree

    2017-01-01

    We investigated categorical perception of rising and falling pitch contours by tonal and non-tonal listeners. Specifically, we determined minimum durations needed to perceive both contours and compared to those of production, how stimuli duration affects their perception, whether there is an intrinsic F0 effect, and how first language background, duration, directions of pitch and vowel quality interact with each other. Continua of fundamental frequency on different vowels with 9 duration values were created for identification and discrimination tasks. Less time is generally needed to effectively perceive a pitch direction than to produce it. Overall, tonal listeners’ perception is more categorical than non-tonal listeners. Stimuli duration plays a critical role for both groups, but tonal listeners showed a stronger duration effect, and may benefit more from the extra time in longer stimuli for context-coding, consistent with the multistore model of categorical perception. Within a certain range of semitones, tonal listeners also required shorter stimulus duration to perceive pitch direction changes than non-tonal listeners. Finally, vowel quality plays a limited role and only interacts with duration in perceiving falling pitch directions. These findings further our understanding on models of categorical perception, the relationship between speech perception and production, and the interaction between the perception of tones and vowel quality. PMID:28671991

  12. Effects of stimulus duration and vowel quality in cross-linguistic categorical perception of pitch directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Si; Zhu, Yiqing; Wayland, Ratree

    2017-01-01

    We investigated categorical perception of rising and falling pitch contours by tonal and non-tonal listeners. Specifically, we determined minimum durations needed to perceive both contours and compared to those of production, how stimuli duration affects their perception, whether there is an intrinsic F0 effect, and how first language background, duration, directions of pitch and vowel quality interact with each other. Continua of fundamental frequency on different vowels with 9 duration values were created for identification and discrimination tasks. Less time is generally needed to effectively perceive a pitch direction than to produce it. Overall, tonal listeners' perception is more categorical than non-tonal listeners. Stimuli duration plays a critical role for both groups, but tonal listeners showed a stronger duration effect, and may benefit more from the extra time in longer stimuli for context-coding, consistent with the multistore model of categorical perception. Within a certain range of semitones, tonal listeners also required shorter stimulus duration to perceive pitch direction changes than non-tonal listeners. Finally, vowel quality plays a limited role and only interacts with duration in perceiving falling pitch directions. These findings further our understanding on models of categorical perception, the relationship between speech perception and production, and the interaction between the perception of tones and vowel quality.

  13. Native, non-native and L2 perceptual cue weighting for Dutch vowels: the case of Dutch, German, and Spanish listeners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Escudero, P.; Benders, T.; Lipski, S.C.

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that learners of English with different L1 backgrounds diverge from native speakers in their use of acoustic cues for the perception and production of vowel contrasts. This study investigated the use of two cues, i.e., vowel spectrum and duration, for the

  14. Nonnative listeners prefer perceptual cues they know from their L1: Dutch listeners use vowel duration less than English listeners for English final "v"-"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broersma, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    Two 2AFC experiments investigated Dutch and English listeners’ use of preceding vowel duration for the English nonword-final /v/-/f/ contrast. Like English, Dutch has a /v/-/f/ contrast, but unlike English, Dutch has no final /v/. Dutch listeners therefore have no native language experience with the

  15. The perception of lexical stress in German: effects of segmental duration and vowel quality in different prosodic patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Klaus J

    2012-01-01

    Several decades of research, focusing on English, Dutch and German, have set up a hierarchy of acoustic properties for cueing lexical stress. It attributes the strongest cue to criterial-level f0 change, followed by duration, but low weight to energy and to stressed-vowel spectra. This paper re-examines the established view with new data from German. In the natural productions of the German word pair Kaffee 'coffee' - Café 'locality' (with initial vs. final stress in a North German pronunciation), vowel duration was manipulated in a complementary fashion across the two syllables in five steps, spanning the continuum from initial to final stress on each word. The two base words provided different vowel qualities as the second variable, the intervocalic fricative was varied in two values, long and short, taken from Café and Kaffee, and the generated test words were inserted in a low f0 tail and in a high f0 hat-pattern plateau, which both eliminated f0 change as a cue to lexical stress. The sentence stimuli were judged in two listening experiments by 16 listeners in each as to whether the first or the second syllable of the test word was stressed. The results show highly significant effects of vowel duration, vowel quality and fricative duration. The combined vowel-quality and fricative variable can outweigh vowel duration as a cue to lexical stress. The effect of the prosodic frame is only marginal, especially related to a rhythmic factor. The paper concludes that there is no general hierarchy with a fixed ranking of the variables traditionally adduced to signal lexical stress. Every prosodic embedding of segmental sequences defines the hierarchy afresh. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. Discriminating non-native vowels on the basis of multimodal, auditory or visual information: effects on infants’ looking patterns and discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eTer Schure

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Infants’ perception of speech sound contrasts is modulated by their language environment, for example by the statistical distributions of the speech sounds they hear. Infants learn to discriminate speech sounds better when their input contains a two-peaked frequency distribution of those speech sounds than when their input contains a one-peaked frequency distribution. Effects of frequency distributions on phonetic learning have been tested almost exclusively for auditory input. But auditory speech is usually accompanied by visual information, that is, by visible articulations. This study tested whether infants’ phonological perception is shaped by distributions of visual speech as well as by distributions of auditory speech, by comparing learning from multimodal (i.e. auditory–visual, visual-only, or auditory-only information. Dutch 8-month-old infants were exposed to either a one-peaked or two-peaked distribution from a continuum of vowels that formed a contrast in English, but not in Dutch. We used eye tracking to measure effects of distribution and sensory modality on infants’ discrimination of the contrast. Although there were no overall effects of distribution or modality, separate t-tests in each of the six training conditions demonstrated significant discrimination of the vowel contrast in the two-peaked multimodal condition. For the modalities where the mouth was visible (visual-only and multimodal we further examined infant looking patterns for the dynamic speaker’s face. Infants in the two-peaked multimodal condition looked longer at her mouth than infants in any of the three other conditions. We propose that by eight months, infants’ native vowel categories are established insofar that learning a novel contrast is supported by attention to additional information, such as visual articulations.

  17. Discriminating Non-native Vowels on the Basis of Multimodal, Auditory or Visual Information: Effects on Infants' Looking Patterns and Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Schure, Sophie; Junge, Caroline; Boersma, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Infants' perception of speech sound contrasts is modulated by their language environment, for example by the statistical distributions of the speech sounds they hear. Infants learn to discriminate speech sounds better when their input contains a two-peaked frequency distribution of those speech sounds than when their input contains a one-peaked frequency distribution. Effects of frequency distributions on phonetic learning have been tested almost exclusively for auditory input. But auditory speech is usually accompanied by visual information, that is, by visible articulations. This study tested whether infants' phonological perception is shaped by distributions of visual speech as well as by distributions of auditory speech, by comparing learning from multimodal (i.e., auditory-visual), visual-only, or auditory-only information. Dutch 8-month-old infants were exposed to either a one-peaked or two-peaked distribution from a continuum of vowels that formed a contrast in English, but not in Dutch. We used eye tracking to measure effects of distribution and sensory modality on infants' discrimination of the contrast. Although there were no overall effects of distribution or modality, separate t-tests in each of the six training conditions demonstrated significant discrimination of the vowel contrast in the two-peaked multimodal condition. For the modalities where the mouth was visible (visual-only and multimodal) we further examined infant looking patterns for the dynamic speaker's face. Infants in the two-peaked multimodal condition looked longer at her mouth than infants in any of the three other conditions. We propose that by 8 months, infants' native vowel categories are established insofar that learning a novel contrast is supported by attention to additional information, such as visual articulations.

  18. Influences of listeners’ native and other dialects on cross-language vowel perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eWilliams

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines to what extent acoustic similarity between native and non-native vowels predicts non-native vowel perception and whether this process is influenced by listeners’ native and other non-native dialects. Listeners with Northern and Southern British English dialects completed a perceptual assimilation task in which they categorized tokens of 15 Dutch vowels in terms of English vowel categories. While the cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to English vowels largely predicted Southern listeners’ perceptual assimilation patterns, this was not the case for Northern listeners, whose assimilation patterns resembled those of Southern listeners for all but three Dutch vowels. The cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to Northern English vowels was re-examined by incorporating Southern English tokens, which resulted in considerable improvements in the predicting power of cross-language acoustic similarity. This suggests that Northern listeners’ assimilation of Dutch vowels to English vowels was influenced by knowledge of both native Northern and non-native Southern English vowel categories. The implications of these findings for theories of non-native speech perception are discussed.

  19. Influences of listeners' native and other dialects on cross-language vowel perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Daniel; Escudero, Paola

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines to what extent acoustic similarity between native and non-native vowels predicts non-native vowel perception and whether this process is influenced by listeners' native and other non-native dialects. Listeners with Northern and Southern British English dialects completed a perceptual assimilation task in which they categorized tokens of 15 Dutch vowels in terms of English vowel categories. While the cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to English vowels largely predicted Southern listeners' perceptual assimilation patterns, this was not the case for Northern listeners, whose assimilation patterns resembled those of Southern listeners for all but three Dutch vowels. The cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to Northern English vowels was re-examined by incorporating Southern English tokens, which resulted in considerable improvements in the predicting power of cross-language acoustic similarity. This suggests that Northern listeners' assimilation of Dutch vowels to English vowels was influenced by knowledge of both native Northern and non-native Southern English vowel categories. The implications of these findings for theories of non-native speech perception are discussed.

  20. Influences of listeners' native and other dialects on cross-language vowel perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Daniel; Escudero, Paola

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines to what extent acoustic similarity between native and non-native vowels predicts non-native vowel perception and whether this process is influenced by listeners' native and other non-native dialects. Listeners with Northern and Southern British English dialects completed a perceptual assimilation task in which they categorized tokens of 15 Dutch vowels in terms of English vowel categories. While the cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to English vowels largely predicted Southern listeners' perceptual assimilation patterns, this was not the case for Northern listeners, whose assimilation patterns resembled those of Southern listeners for all but three Dutch vowels. The cross-language acoustic similarity of Dutch vowels to Northern English vowels was re-examined by incorporating Southern English tokens, which resulted in considerable improvements in the predicting power of cross-language acoustic similarity. This suggests that Northern listeners' assimilation of Dutch vowels to English vowels was influenced by knowledge of both native Northern and non-native Southern English vowel categories. The implications of these findings for theories of non-native speech perception are discussed. PMID:25339921

  1. Analyses of Sustained Vowels in Down Syndrome (DS): A Case Study Using Spectrograms and Perturbation Data to Investigate Voice Quality in Four Adults With DS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, Tracy; Cunningham, Stuart; Whiteside, Sandra P

    2017-09-21

    Automatic acoustic measures of voice quality in people with Down syndrome (DS) do not reliably reflect perceived voice qualities. This study used acoustic data and visual spectral data to investigate the relationship between perceived voice qualities and acoustic measures. Participants were four young adults (two males, two females; mean age 23.8 years) with DS and severe learning disabilities, at least one of whom had a hearing impairment. Participants imitated sustained /i/, /u/, and /a/ vowels at predetermined target pitches within their vocal range. Medial portions of vowels were analyzed, using Praat, for fundamental frequency, harmonics-to-noise ratio, jitter, and shimmer. Spectrograms were used to identify the presence and the duration of subharmonics at onset and offset, and mid-vowel. The presence of diplophonia was assessed by auditory evaluation. Perturbation data were highest for /a/ vowels and lowest for /u/ vowels. Intermittent productions of subharmonics were evident in spectrograms, some of which coincided with perceived diplophonia. The incidence, location, duration, and intensity of subharmonics differed between the four participants. Although the acoustic data do not clearly indicate atypical phonation, diplophonia and subharmonics reflect nonmodal phonation. The findings suggest that these may contribute to different perceived voice qualities in the study group and that these qualities may result from intermittent involvement of supraglottal structures. Further research is required to confirm the findings in the wider DS population, and to assess the relationships between voice quality, vowel type, and physiological measures. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Does Vowel Inventory Density Affect Vowel-to-Vowel Coarticulation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mok, Peggy P. K.

    2013-01-01

    This study tests the output constraints hypothesis that languages with a crowded phonemic vowel space would allow less vowel-to-vowel coarticulation than languages with a sparser vowel space to avoid perceptual confusion. Mandarin has fewer vowel phonemes than Cantonese, but their allophonic vowel spaces are similarly crowded. The hypothesis…

  3. Pre-attentive sensitivity to vowel duration reveals native phonology and predicts learning of second-language sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chládková, Kateřina; Escudero, Paola; Lipski, Silvia C

    2013-09-01

    In some languages (e.g. Czech), changes in vowel duration affect word meaning, while in others (e.g. Spanish) they do not. Yet for other languages (e.g. Dutch), the linguistic role of vowel duration remains unclear. To reveal whether Dutch represents vowel length in its phonology, we compared auditory pre-attentive duration processing in native and non-native vowels across Dutch, Czech, and Spanish. Dutch duration sensitivity patterned with Czech but was larger than Spanish in the native vowel, while it was smaller than Czech and Spanish in the non-native vowel. An interpretation of these findings suggests that in Dutch, duration is used phonemically but it might be relevant for the identity of certain native vowels only. Furthermore, the finding that Spanish listeners are more sensitive to duration in non-native than in native vowels indicates that a lack of duration differences in one's native language could be beneficial for second-language learning.

  4. Vowel epenthesis in Japanese loanword adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Bălan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available It is a generally accepted idea that vowel epenthesis is the main strategy used to repair illicit vowels in Japanese loanword adaptation; however, little attention has been paid to the quality of epenthetic vowels and the processes triggering their occurrence. This paper aims at providing an optimality-theoretic account of the processes that cause each of the five Japanese vowels to surface as epenthetic vowels. All three processes of vowel epenthesis – default vowel epenthesis, consonant place assimilitation and vowel harmony – are defined in terms of feature insertion or feature spreading (Uffmann 2006, 2007. The paper provides as well a quantitative analysis regarding the frequency of epenthetic vowels and epenthesis strategies.

  5. Shifting Perceptual Weights in L2 Vowel Identification after Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei; Mi, Lin; Yang, Zhen; Tao, Sha; Li, Mingshuang; Wang, Wenjing; Dong, Qi; Liu, Chang

    2016-01-01

    Difficulties with second-language vowel perception may be related to the significant challenges in using acoustic-phonetic cues. This study investigated the effects of perception training with duration-equalized vowels on native Chinese listeners’ English vowel perception and their use of acoustic-phonetic cues. Seventeen native Chinese listeners were perceptually trained with duration-equalized English vowels, and another 17 native Chinese listeners watched English videos as a control group. Both groups were tested with English vowel identification and vowel formant discrimination before training, immediately after training, and three months later. The results showed that the training effect was greater for the vowel training group than for the control group, while both groups improved their English vowel identification and vowel formant discrimination after training. Moreover, duration-equalized vowel perception training significantly reduced listeners’ reliance on duration cues and improved their use of spectral cues in identifying English vowels, but video-watching did not help. The results suggest that duration-equalized English vowel perception training may improve non-native listeners’ English vowel perception by changing their perceptual weights of acoustic-phonetic cues. PMID:27649413

  6. English vowel identification and vowel formant discrimination by native Mandarin Chinese- and native English-speaking listeners: The effect of vowel duration dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Lin; Tao, Sha; Wang, Wenjing; Dong, Qi; Guan, Jingjing; Liu, Chang

    2016-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between English vowel identification and English vowel formant discrimination for native Mandarin Chinese- and native English-speaking listeners. The identification of 12 English vowels was measured with the duration cue preserved or removed. The thresholds of vowel formant discrimination on the F2 of two English vowels,/Λ/and/i/, were also estimated using an adaptive-tracking procedure. Native Mandarin Chinese-speaking listeners showed significantly higher thresholds of vowel formant discrimination and lower identification scores than native English-speaking listeners. The duration effect on English vowel identification was similar between native Mandarin Chinese- and native English-speaking listeners. Moreover, regardless of listeners' language background, vowel identification was significantly correlated with vowel formant discrimination for the listeners who were less dependent on duration cues, whereas the correlation between vowel identification and vowel formant discrimination was not significant for the listeners who were highly dependent on duration cues. This study revealed individual variability in using multiple acoustic cues to identify English vowels for both native and non-native listeners.

  7. Audibility of American English vowels produced by English-, Chinese-, and Korean-native speakers in long-term speech-shaped noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether there were significant differences in audibility of American English vowels in noise produced by non-native and native speakers. Detection thresholds for 12 English vowels with equalized durations of 170 ms produced by 10 English-, Chinese- and Korean-native speakers were measured for young normal-hearing English-native listeners in the presence of speech-shaped noise presented at 70 dB SPL. Similar patterns of vowel detection thresholds as a function of the vowel category were found for native and non-native speakers, with the highest thresholds for /u/ and /ʊ/ and lowest thresholds for /i/ and /e/. In addition, vowel detection thresholds for non-native speakers were significantly lower and showed greater speaker variability than those for native speakers. Thresholds for vowel detection predicted from an excitation-pattern model corresponded well to behavioral thresholds, implying that vowel detection was primarily determined by the vowel spectrum regardless of speaker language background. Both behavioral and predicted thresholds showed that vowel audibility was similar or even better for non-native speakers than for native speakers, indicating that vowel audibility did not account for non-native speakers' lower-than-native intelligibility in noise. Effects of non-native speakers' English proficiency level on vowel audibility are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Language dependent vowel representation in speech production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitsuya, Takashi; Samson, Fabienne; Ménard, Lucie; Munhall, Kevin G

    2013-05-01

    The representation of speech goals was explored using an auditory feedback paradigm. When talkers produce vowels the formant structure of which is perturbed in real time, they compensate to preserve the intended goal. When vowel formants are shifted up or down in frequency, participants change the formant frequencies in the opposite direction to the feedback perturbation. In this experiment, the specificity of vowel representation was explored by examining the magnitude of vowel compensation when the second formant frequency of a vowel was perturbed for speakers of two different languages (English and French). Even though the target vowel was the same for both language groups, the pattern of compensation differed. French speakers compensated to smaller perturbations and made larger compensations overall. Moreover, French speakers modified the third formant in their vowels to strengthen the compensation even though the third formant was not perturbed. English speakers did not alter their third formant. Changes in the perceptual goodness ratings by the two groups of participants were consistent with the threshold to initiate vowel compensation in production. These results suggest that vowel goals not only specify the quality of the vowel but also the relationship of the vowel to the vowel space of the spoken language.

  9. The effect of vowel inventory and acoustic properties in Salento Italian learners of Southern British English vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, Paola; Sisinni, Bianca; Grimaldi, Mirko

    2014-03-01

    Salento Italian (SI) listeners' categorization and discrimination of standard Southern British English (SSBE) vowels were examined in order to establish their initial state in the acquisition of the SSBE vowel system. The results of the vowel categorization task revealed that SI listeners showed single-category assimilation for many SSBE vowels and multiple-category assimilation for others. Additionally, SI vowel discrimination accuracy varied across contrasts, in line with the categorization results. This differential level of difficulty is discussed on the basis of current L2 perception models. The SI categorization results were then compared to the previously reported data on Peruvian Spanish (PS) listeners. Both SI and PS have a five-vowel inventory and therefore both listener groups were expected to have similar problems when distinguishing SSBE vowel contrasts, but were predicted to have different mappings of SSBE vowels to native categories due to the differences in the acoustic properties of vowels across the two languages. As predicted by the hypothesis that acoustic differences in production lead to a different nonnative perception, the comparison showed that there was large variability in how SSBE vowels are initially mapped to the specific five-vowel inventory. Predictions for differential L2 development across languages are also provided.

  10. Native dialect matters: perceptual assimilation of Dutch vowels by Czech listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chládková, Kateřina; Podlipský, Václav Jonáš

    2011-10-01

    Naive listeners' perceptual assimilations of non-native vowels to first-language (L1) categories can predict difficulties in the acquisition of second-language vowel systems. This study demonstrates that listeners having two slightly different dialects as their L1s can differ in the perception of foreign vowels. Specifically, the study shows that Bohemian Czech and Moravian Czech listeners assimilate Dutch high front vowels differently to L1 categories. Consequently, the listeners are predicted to follow different paths in acquiring these Dutch vowels. These findings underscore the importance of carefully considering the specific dialect background of participants in foreign- and second-language speech perception studies.

  11. Vowel Categorization during Word Recognition in Bilingual Toddlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramon-Casas, Marta; Swingley, Daniel; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Bosch, Laura

    2009-01-01

    Toddlers’ and preschoolers’ knowledge of the phonological forms of words was tested in Spanish-learning, Catalan-learning, and bilingual children. These populations are of particular interest because of differences in the Spanish and Catalan vowel systems: Catalan has two vowels in a phonetic region where Spanish has only one. The proximity of the Spanish vowel to the Catalan ones might pose special learning problems. Children were shown picture pairs; the target picture’s name was spoken correctly, or a vowel in the target word was altered. Altered vowels either contrasted with the usual vowel in Spanish and Catalan, or only in Catalan. Children’s looking to the target picture was used as a measure of word recognition. Monolinguals’ word recognition was hindered by within-language, but not non-native, vowel changes. Surprisingly, bilingual toddlers did not show sensitivity to changes in vowels contrastive only in Catalan. Among preschoolers, Catalan-dominant bilinguals but not Spanish-dominant bilinguals revealed mispronunciation sensitivity for the Catalan-only contrast. These studies reveal monolingual children’s robust knowledge of native-language vowel categories in words, and show that bilingual children whose two languages contain phonetically overlapping vowel categories may not treat those categories as separate in language comprehension. PMID:19338984

  12. Native dialect matters: perceptual assimilation of Dutch vowels by Czech listeners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chládková, K.; Podlipský, V.J.

    2011-01-01

    Naive listeners’ perceptual assimilations of non-native vowels to first-language (L1) categories can predict difficulties in the acquisition of second-language vowel systems. This study demonstrates that listeners having two slightly different dialects as their L1s can differ in the perception of fo

  13. Processing Nonnative Consonant Clusters in the Classroom: Perception and Production of Phonetic Detail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Lisa; Wilson, Colin

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown that speakers are sensitive to non-contrastive phonetic detail present in nonnative speech (e.g. Escudero et al. 2012; Wilson et al. 2014). Difficulties in interpreting and implementing unfamiliar phonetic variation can lead nonnative speakers to modify second language forms by vowel epenthesis and other changes. These…

  14. Spanish is better than English for discriminating Portuguese vowels: acoustic similarity versus vowel inventory size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elvin, Jaydene; Escudero, Paola; Vasiliev, Polina

    2014-01-01

    Second language (L2) learners often struggle to distinguish sound contrasts that are not present in their native language (L1). Models of non-native and L2 sound perception claim that perceptual similarity between L1 and L2 sound contrasts correctly predicts discrimination by naïve listeners and L2 learners. The present study tested the explanatory power of vowel inventory size versus acoustic properties as predictors of discrimination accuracy when naïve Australian English (AusE) and Iberian Spanish (IS) listeners are presented with six Brazilian Portuguese (BP) vowel contrasts. Our results show that IS listeners outperformed AusE listeners, confirming that cross-linguistic acoustic properties, rather than cross-linguistic vowel inventory sizes, successfully predict non-native discrimination difficulty. Furthermore, acoustic distance between BP vowels and closest L1 vowels successfully predicted differential levels of difficulty among the six BP contrasts, with BP /e-i/ and /o-u/ being the most difficult for both listener groups. We discuss the importance of our findings for the adequacy of models of L2 speech perception.

  15. Spanish is better than English for discriminating Portuguese vowels: acoustic similarity versus vowel inventory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaydene eElvin

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Second language (L2 learners often struggle to distinguish sound contrasts that are not present in their native language (L1. Models of non-native and L2 sound perception claim that perceptual similarity between L1 and L2 sound contrasts correctly predicts discrimination by naïve listeners and L2 learners. The present study tested the explanatory power of vowel inventory size versus acoustic properties as predictors of discrimination accuracy when naïve Australian English (AusE and Iberian Spanish (IS listeners are presented with six Brazilian Portuguese (BP vowel contrasts. Our results show that IS listeners outperformed AusE listeners, confirming that cross-linguistic acoustic properties, rather than cross-linguistic vowel inventory sizes, successfully predict non-native discrimination difficulty. Furthermore, acoustic distance between BP vowels and closest L1 vowels successfully predicted differential levels of difficulty among the six BP contrasts, with BP /e-i/ and /o-u/ being the most difficult for both listener groups. We discuss the importance of our findings for the adequacy of models of L2 speech perception.

  16. Spanish is better than English for discriminating Portuguese vowels: acoustic similarity versus vowel inventory size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elvin, Jaydene; Escudero, Paola; Vasiliev, Polina

    2014-01-01

    Second language (L2) learners often struggle to distinguish sound contrasts that are not present in their native language (L1). Models of non-native and L2 sound perception claim that perceptual similarity between L1 and L2 sound contrasts correctly predicts discrimination by naïve listeners and L2 learners. The present study tested the explanatory power of vowel inventory size versus acoustic properties as predictors of discrimination accuracy when naïve Australian English (AusE) and Iberian Spanish (IS) listeners are presented with six Brazilian Portuguese (BP) vowel contrasts. Our results show that IS listeners outperformed AusE listeners, confirming that cross-linguistic acoustic properties, rather than cross-linguistic vowel inventory sizes, successfully predict non-native discrimination difficulty. Furthermore, acoustic distance between BP vowels and closest L1 vowels successfully predicted differential levels of difficulty among the six BP contrasts, with BP /e-i/ and /o-u/ being the most difficult for both listener groups. We discuss the importance of our findings for the adequacy of models of L2 speech perception. PMID:25400599

  17. Acoustic Properties Predict Perception of Unfamiliar Dutch Vowels by Adult Australian English and Peruvian Spanish Listeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alispahic, Samra; Mulak, Karen E.; Escudero, Paola

    2017-01-01

    Research suggests that the size of the second language (L2) vowel inventory relative to the native (L1) inventory may affect the discrimination and acquisition of L2 vowels. Models of non-native and L2 vowel perception stipulate that naïve listeners' non-native and L2 perceptual patterns may be predicted by the relationship in vowel inventory size between the L1 and the L2. Specifically, having a smaller L1 vowel inventory than the L2 impedes L2 vowel perception, while having a larger one often facilitates it. However, the Second Language Linguistic Perception (L2LP) model specifies that it is the L1–L2 acoustic relationships that predict non-native and L2 vowel perception, regardless of L1 vowel inventory. To test the effects of vowel inventory size vs. acoustic properties on non-native vowel perception, we compared XAB discrimination and categorization of five Dutch vowel contrasts between monolinguals whose L1 contains more (Australian English) or fewer (Peruvian Spanish) vowels than Dutch. No effect of language background was found, suggesting that L1 inventory size alone did not account for performance. Instead, participants in both language groups were more accurate in discriminating contrasts that were predicted to be perceptually easy based on L1–L2 acoustic relationships, and were less accurate for contrasts likewise predicted to be difficult. Further, cross-language discriminant analyses predicted listeners' categorization patterns which in turn predicted listeners' discrimination difficulty. Our results show that listeners with larger vowel inventories appear to activate multiple native categories as reflected in lower accuracy scores for some Dutch vowels, while listeners with a smaller vowel inventory seem to have higher accuracy scores for those same vowels. In line with the L2LP model, these findings demonstrate that L1–L2 acoustic relationships better predict non-native and L2 perceptual performance and that inventory size alone is not a good

  18. Vowel Reduction in Japanese

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shirai; Setsuko

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports the result that vowel reduction occurs in Japanese and vowel reduction is the part of the language universality.Compared with English,the effect of the vowel reduction in Japanese is relatively weak might because of the absence of stress in Japanese.Since spectral vowel reduction occurs in Japanese,various types of researches would be possible.

  19. The impact of tone language and non-native language listening on measuring speech quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ebem, D.U.; Beerends, J.G.; Vugt, J. van; Schmidmer, C.; Kooij, R.E.; Uguru, J.O.

    2011-01-01

    The extent to which the modeling used in objective speech quality algorithms depends on the cultural background of listeners as well as on the language characteristics using American English and Igbo, an African tone language is investigated. Two different approaches were used in order to separate b

  20. Cross-language categorization of French and German vowels by naive American listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, Winifred; Levy, Erika S; Law, Franzo F

    2009-09-01

    American English (AE) speakers' perceptual assimilation of 14 North German (NG) and 9 Parisian French (PF) vowels was examined in two studies using citation-form disyllables (study 1) and sentences with vowels surrounded by labial and alveolar consonants in multisyllabic nonsense words (study 2). Listeners categorized multiple tokens of each NG and PF vowel as most similar to selected AE vowels and rated their category "goodness" on a nine-point Likert scale. Front, rounded vowels were assimilated primarily to back AE vowels, despite their acoustic similarity to front AE vowels. In study 1, they were considered poorer exemplars of AE vowels than were NG and PF back, rounded vowels; in study 2, front and back, rounded vowels were perceived as similar to each other. Assimilation of some front, unrounded and back, rounded NG and PF vowels varied with language, speaking style, and consonantal context. Differences in perceived similarity often could not be predicted from context-specific cross-language spectral similarities. Results suggest that listeners can access context-specific, phonetic details when listening to citation-form materials, but assimilate non-native vowels on the basis of context-independent phonological equivalence categories when processing continuous speech. Results are interpreted within the Automatic Selective Perception model of speech perception.

  1. Acoustic and perceptual similarity of North German and American English vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, Winifred; Bohn, Ocke-Schwen; Trent, Sonja A.; Nishi, Kanae

    2004-04-01

    Current theories of cross-language speech perception claim that patterns of perceptual assimilation of non-native segments to native categories predict relative difficulties in learning to perceive (and produce) non-native phones. Cross-language spectral similarity of North German (NG) and American English (AE) vowels produced in isolated hVC(a) (di)syllables (study 1) and in hVC syllables embedded in a short sentence (study 2) was determined by discriminant analyses, to examine the extent to which acoustic similarity was predictive of perceptual similarity patterns. The perceptual assimilation of NG vowels to native AE vowel categories by AE listeners with no German language experience was then assessed directly. Both studies showed that acoustic similarity of AE and NG vowels did not always predict perceptual similarity, especially for ``new'' NG front rounded vowels and for ``similar'' NG front and back mid and mid-low vowels. Both acoustic and perceptual similarity of NG and AE vowels varied as a function of the prosodic context, although vowel duration differences did not affect perceptual assimilation patterns. When duration and spectral similarity were in conflict, AE listeners assimilated vowels on the basis of spectral similarity in both prosodic contexts.

  2. Vowel alternations in English

    OpenAIRE

    Kazumi, Yukiko

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the nature of vowel alternations observed in English. What we call vowel alternations here consists of shortening and lengthening triggered by Level I affixation: ...

  3. The effect of native vowel processing ability and frequency discrimination acuity on the phonetic training of English vowels for native speakers of Greek.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengeris, Angelos; Hazan, Valerie

    2010-12-01

    The perception and production of nonnative phones in second language (L2) learners can be improved via auditory training, but L2 learning is often characterized by large differences in performance across individuals. This study examined whether success in learning L2 vowels, via five sessions of high-variability phonetic training, related to the learners' native (L1) vowel processing ability or their frequency discrimination acuity. A group of native speakers of Greek received training, while another completed the pre-/post-tests but without training. Pre-/post-tests assessed different aspects of their L2 and L1 vowel processing and frequency acuity. L2 and L1 vowel processing were assessed via: (a) Natural English (L2) vowel identification in quiet and in multi-talker babble, and natural Greek (L1) vowel identification in babble; (b) the categorization of synthetic English and Greek vowel continua; and (c) discrimination of the same continua. Frequency discrimination acuity was assessed for a nonspeech continuum. Frequency discrimination acuity was related to measures of both L1 and L2 vowel processing, a finding that favors an auditory processing over a speech-specific explanation for individual variability in L2 vowel learning. The most efficient frequency discriminators at pre-test were also the most accurate both in English vowel perception and production after training.

  4. Vowel dispersion in Truku

    OpenAIRE

    Chiang, Wen-yu; Chiang, Fang-mei

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the dispersion of vowel space in Truku, an endangered Austronesian language in Taiwan. Adaptive Dispersion (Liljencrants and Lindblom, 1972; Lindblom, 1986, 1990) proposes that the distinctive sounds of a language tend to be positioned in phonetic space in a way that maximizes perceptual contrast. For example, languages with large vowel inventories tend to expand the overall acoustic vowel space. Adaptive Dispersion predicts that the distance between the point vowels w...

  5. Perceptual assimilation of French and German vowels by American English monolinguals: Acoustic similarity does not predict perceptual similarity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, Winifred; Levy, Erika; Lehnholf, Robert

    2001-05-01

    Previous research in our laboratory has demonstrated that the perceived similarity of vowels across languages is not always predictable from the closeness of their target formant values in F1/F2/F3 space. In this study, perceptual similarity was established using a task in which 11 American English (AE) monolinguals were presented multiple tokens of 9 French vowels and 14 North German vowels (in separate blocks) produced in citation-form /hVb(a)/ (bi)syllables by native speakers. They selected 1 of 11 AE vowel responses to which each non-native vowel token was most similar, and rated its goodness on a 9-point Likert scale. Of special interest was the perceptual assimilation of front rounded French [y, oe] and German [y, Y, o/, oe] vowels. Acoustically, all six French and German vowels are more similar to front unrounded AE vowels. However, all six vowels were perceived to be more similar to back rounded AE vowels (range across vowels = 55% to 100%), although relatively poor exemplars. There were differences across languages in how the same vowel was assimilated (e.g., French /y/ assimilated to front AE vowels 13%, German /y/, 0% French [oe] 3%, German [oe] 45%). There were also large individual differences in listeners assimilation patterns. [Work supported by NIDCD.

  6. Vowel Space Characteristics and Vowel Identification Accuracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neel, Amy T.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To examine the relation between vowel production characteristics and intelligibility. Method: Acoustic characteristics of 10 vowels produced by 45 men and 48 women from the J. M. Hillenbrand, L. A. Getty, M. J. Clark, and K. Wheeler (1995) study were examined and compared with identification accuracy. Global (mean f0, F1, and F2;…

  7. Acoustic and perceptual similarity of Japanese and American English vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishi, Kanae; Strange, Winifred; Akahane-Yamada, Reiko; Kubo, Rieko; Trent-Brown, Sonja A

    2008-07-01

    Acoustic and perceptual similarities between Japanese and American English (AE) vowels were investigated in two studies. In study 1, a series of discriminant analyses were performed to determine acoustic similarities between Japanese and AE vowels, each spoken by four native male speakers using F1, F2, and vocalic duration as input parameters. In study 2, the Japanese vowels were presented to native AE listeners in a perceptual assimilation task, in which the listeners categorized each Japanese vowel token as most similar to an AE category and rated its goodness as an exemplar of the chosen AE category. Results showed that the majority of AE listeners assimilated all Japanese vowels into long AE categories, apparently ignoring temporal differences between 1- and 2-mora Japanese vowels. In addition, not all perceptual assimilation patterns reflected context-specific spectral similarity patterns established by discriminant analysis. It was hypothesized that this incongruity between acoustic and perceptual similarity may be due to differences in distributional characteristics of native and non-native vowel categories that affect the listeners' perceptual judgments.

  8. Dynamics of vowel-to-vowel assimilation in French.

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    International audience; Vowel-to-vowel assimilation in French is described as an anticipatory process affecting non-final mid vowels (V1) : [e], [E], [ø], [œ], [o], [O] that assimilate in height to the final tonic vowel (V2). The non-final mid vowel tend to be mid-high before a high or mid-high vowel (e. g. aimer [eme] 'to love'), and mid-low before a low or mid-low vowel (aimable [Emabl] 'kind')[1, 4, 6]. The present study investigates the nature of vowel harmony (VH) in French. Does vowel a...

  9. What Vowels Can Tell Us about the Evolution of Music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gertraud Fenk-Oczlon

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Whether music and language evolved independently of each other or whether both evolved from a common precursor remains a hotly debated topic. We here emphasize the role of vowels in the language-music relationship, arguing for a shared heritage of music and speech. Vowels play a decisive role in generating the sound or sonority of syllables, the main vehicles for transporting prosodic information in speech and singing. Timbre is, beyond question, the primary parameter that allows us to discriminate between different vowels, but vowels also have intrinsic pitch, intensity, and duration. There are striking correspondences between the number of vowels and the number of pitches in musical scales across cultures: an upper limit of roughly 12 elements, a lower limit of 2, and a frequency peak at 5–7 elements. Moreover, there is evidence for correspondences between vowels and scales even in specific cultures, e.g., cultures with three vowels tend to have tritonic scales. We report a match between vowel pitch and musical pitch in meaningless syllables of Alpine yodelers, and highlight the relevance of vocal timbre in the music of many non-Western cultures, in which vocal timbre/vowel timbre and musical melody are often intertwined. Studies showing the pivotal role of vowels and their musical qualities in the ontogeny of language and in infant directed speech, will be used as further arguments supporting the hypothesis that music and speech evolved from a common prosodic precursor, where the vowels exhibited both pitch and timbre variations.

  10. Intelligibility of American English vowels and consonants spoken by international students in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Su-Hyun; Liu, Chang

    2014-04-01

    PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to examine the intelligibility of English consonants and vowels produced by Chinese-native (CN), and Korean-native (KN) students enrolled in American universities. METHOD 16 English-native (EN), 32 CN, and 32 KN speakers participated in this study. The intelligibility of 16 American English consonants and 16 vowels spoken by native and nonnative speakers of English was evaluated by EN listeners. All nonnative speakers also completed a survey of their language backgrounds. RESULTS Although the intelligibility of consonants and diphthongs for nonnative speakers was comparable to that of native speakers, the intelligibility of monophthongs was significantly lower for CN and KN speakers than for EN speakers. Sociolinguistic factors such as the age of arrival in the United States and daily use of English, as well as a linguistic factor, difference in vowel space between native (L1) and nonnative (L2) language, partially contributed to vowel intelligibility for CN and KN groups. There was no significant correlation between the length of U.S. residency and phoneme intelligibility. CONCLUSION Results indicated that the major difficulty in phonemic production in English for Chinese and Korean speakers is with vowels rather than consonants. This might be useful for developing training methods to improve English intelligibility for foreign students in the United States.

  11. Speech Recognition of Non-Native Speech Using Native and Non-Native Acoustic Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-08-01

    NATIVE AND NON-NATIVE ACOUSTIC MODELS David A. van Leeuwen and Rosemary Orr vanLeeuwentm .tno. nl R. 0rr~kno. azn. nl TNO Human Factors Research...a] is pronounced closer to the [c] by the vowels . Journal of Phonetics, 25:437-470, 1997. 32 [2] D. B. Paul and J. M. Baker. The design for [9] R. H...J. Kershaw, [12] Tony Robinson. Private Communication. L. Lamel, D. A. van Leeuwen , D. Pye, A. J. Robinson, H. J. M. Steeneken, and P. C. Wood- [13

  12. Perception of vowels by learners of Spanish and English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Bayonas, Mariche

    2005-04-01

    This study investigates the perception of English vowels /i I/, /u U/, and /e EI/ and Spanish /i u e/ by native-speakers (NS) and learners (L) and compares these two sets of vowels cross-linguistically. Research on the acquisition of vowels indicates that learners can improve their perception with exposure to the second language [Bohn and Flege (1990)]. Johnson, Flemming, and Wright (1993) investigated the hyperspace effect and how listeners tended to choose extreme vowel qualities in a method of adjustment (MOA) task. The theoretical framework of this study is Fleges (1995) Speech Learning Model. The research question is: Are vowels selected differently by NS and L using synthesized data? Spanish learners (n=54) and English learners (n=17) completed MOA tasks in which they were exposed to 330 synthetically produced vowels to analyze spectral differences in the acquisition of both sound systems, and how the learners vowel system may vary from that of the NS. In the MOA tasks they were asked to select which synthesized vowel sounds resembled the most the ones whose spelling was presented to them. The results include an overview of the vowel formant analysis performed, and which vowels are the most challenging ones to learners.

  13. Patterns of English phoneme confusions by native and non-native listeners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cutler, A.; Weber, A.C.; Smits, R.; Cooper, N.

    2004-01-01

    Native American English and non-native (Dutch) listeners identified either the consonant or the vowel in all possible American English CV and VC syllables. The syllables were embedded in multispeaker babble at three signal-to-noise ratios (0, 8, and 16 dB). The phoneme identification performance of

  14. The Vietnamese Vowel System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerich, Giang Huong

    2012-01-01

    In this dissertation, I provide a new analysis of the Vietnamese vowel system as a system with fourteen monophthongs and nineteen diphthongs based on phonetic and phonological data. I propose that these Vietnamese contour vowels - /ie/, /[turned m]?/ and /uo/-should be grouped with these eleven monophthongs /i e epsilon a [turned a] ? ? [turned m]…

  15. Vowel Inherent Spectral Change

    CERN Document Server

    Assmann, Peter

    2013-01-01

    It has been traditional in phonetic research to characterize monophthongs using a set of static formant frequencies, i.e., formant frequencies taken from a single time-point in the vowel or averaged over the time-course of the vowel. However, over the last twenty years a growing body of research has demonstrated that, at least for a number of dialects of North American English, vowels which are traditionally described as monophthongs often have substantial spectral change. Vowel Inherent Spectral Change has been observed in speakers’ productions, and has also been found to have a substantial effect on listeners’ perception. In terms of acoustics, the traditional categorical distinction between monophthongs and diphthongs can be replaced by a gradient description of dynamic spectral patterns. This book includes chapters addressing various aspects of vowel inherent spectral change (VISC), including theoretical and experimental studies of the perceptually relevant aspects of VISC, the relationship between ar...

  16. English vowel identification in quiet and noise: effects of listeners' native language background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Su-Hyun; Liu, Chang

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the effect of listener's native language (L1) and the types of noise on English vowel identification in noise. Method: Identification of 12 English vowels was measured in quiet and in long-term speech-shaped noise and multi-talker babble (MTB) noise for English- (EN), Chinese- (CN) and Korean-native (KN) listeners at various signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Results: Compared to non-native listeners, EN listeners performed significantly better in quiet and in noise. Vowel identification in long-term speech-shaped noise and in MTB noise was similar between CN and KN listeners. This is different from our previous study in which KN listeners performed better than CN listeners in English sentence recognition in MTB noise. Discussion: Results from the current study suggest that depending on speech materials, the effect of non-native listeners' L1 on speech perception in noise may be different. That is, in the perception of speech materials with little linguistic cues like isolated vowels, the characteristics of non-native listener's native language may not play a significant role. On the other hand, in the perception of running speech in which listeners need to use more linguistic cues (e.g., acoustic-phonetic, semantic, and prosodic cues), the non-native listener's native language background might result in a different masking effect. PMID:25400538

  17. Thai Rate-Varied Vowel Length Perception and the Impact of Musical Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Angela; Wang, Yue; Ashley, Richard

    2017-03-01

    Musical experience has been demonstrated to play a significant role in the perception of non-native speech contrasts. The present study examined whether or not musical experience facilitated the normalization of speaking rate in the perception of non-native phonemic vowel length contrasts. Native English musicians and non-musicians (as well as native Thai control listeners) completed identification and AX (same-different) discrimination tasks with Thai vowels contrasting in phonemic length at three speaking rates. Results revealed facilitative effects of musical experience in the perception of Thai vowel length categories. Specifically, the English musicians patterned similarly to the native Thai listeners, demonstrating higher accuracy at identifying and discriminating between-category vowel length distinctions than at discriminating within-category durational differences due to speaking rate variations. The English musicians also outperformed non-musicians at between-category vowel length discriminations across speaking rates, indicating musicians' superiority in perceiving categorical phonemic length differences. These results suggest that musicians' attunement to rhythmic and temporal information in music transferred to facilitating their ability to normalize contextual quantitative variations (due to speaking rate) and perceive non-native temporal phonemic contrasts.

  18. Exceptionality in vowel harmony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szeredi, Daniel

    Vowel harmony has been of great interest in phonological research. It has been widely accepted that vowel harmony is a phonetically natural phenomenon, which means that it is a common pattern because it provides advantages to the speaker in articulation and to the listener in perception. Exceptional patterns proved to be a challenge to the phonetically grounded analysis as they, by their nature, introduce phonetically disadvantageous sequences to the surface form, that consist of harmonically different vowels. Such forms are found, for example in the Finnish stem tuoli 'chair' or in the Hungarian suffixed form hi:d-hoz 'to the bridge', both word forms containing a mix of front and back vowels. There has recently been evidence shown that there might be a phonetic level explanation for some exceptional patterns, as the possibility that some vowels participating in irregular stems (like the vowel [i] in the Hungarian stem hi:d 'bridge' above) differ in some small phonetic detail from vowels in regular stems. The main question has not been raised, though: does this phonetic detail matter for speakers? Would they use these minor differences when they have to categorize a new word as regular or irregular? A different recent trend in explaining morphophonological exceptionality by looking at the phonotactic regularities characteristic of classes of stems based on their morphological behavior. Studies have shown that speakers are aware of these regularities, and use them as cues when they have to decide what class a novel stem belongs to. These sublexical phonotactic regularities have already been shown to be present in some exceptional patterns vowel harmony, but many questions remain open: how is learning the static generalization linked to learning the allomorph selection facet of vowel harmony? How much does the effect of consonants on vowel harmony matter, when compared to the effect of vowel-to-vowel correspondences? This dissertation aims to test these two ideas

  19. The relationship between speech segment duration and vowel centralization in a group of older speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Annalise R; McAuliffe, Megan J; Lansford, Kaitlin L; Liss, Julie M

    2015-10-01

    This study examined the relationship between average vowel duration and spectral vowel quality across a group of 149 New Zealand English speakers aged 65 to 90 yr. The primary intent was to determine whether participants who had a natural tendency to speak slowly would also produce more spectrally distinct vowel segments. As a secondary aim, this study investigated whether advancing age exhibited a measurable effect on vowel quality and vowel durations within the group. In examining vowel quality, both flexible and static formant extraction points were compared. Two formant measurements, from selected [ɐ:], [ i:], and [ o:] vowels, were extracted from a standard passage and used to calculate two measurements of vowel space area (VSA) for each speaker. Average vowel duration was calculated from segments across the passage. The study found a statistically significant relationship between speakers' average vowel durations and VSA measurements indicating that, on average, speakers with slower speech rates produced more acoustically distinct speech segments. As expected, increases in average vowel duration were found with advancing age. However, speakers' formant values remained unchanged. It is suggested that the use of a habitually slower speaking rate may assist speakers in maintaining acoustically distinct vowels.

  20. The role of abstraction in non-native speech perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajak, Bozena; Levy, Roger

    2014-09-01

    The end-result of perceptual reorganization in infancy is currently viewed as a reconfigured perceptual space, "warped" around native-language phonetic categories, which then acts as a direct perceptual filter on any non-native sounds: naïve-listener discrimination of non-native-sounds is determined by their mapping onto native-language phonetic categories that are acoustically/articulatorily most similar. We report results that suggest another factor in non-native speech perception: some perceptual sensitivities cannot be attributed to listeners' warped perceptual space alone, but rather to enhanced general sensitivity along phonetic dimensions that the listeners' native language employs to distinguish between categories. Specifically, we show that the knowledge of a language with short and long vowel categories leads to enhanced discrimination of non-native consonant length contrasts. We argue that these results support a view of perceptual reorganization as the consequence of learners' hierarchical inductive inferences about the structure of the language's sound system: infants not only acquire the specific phonetic category inventory, but also draw higher-order generalizations over the set of those categories, such as the overall informativity of phonetic dimensions for sound categorization. Non-native sound perception is then also determined by sensitivities that emerge from these generalizations, rather than only by mappings of non-native sounds onto native-language phonetic categories.

  1. Discriminability and identification of English vowels by native Japanese speakers in different consonantal contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozawa, Takeshi; Frieda, Elaina M.; Wayland, Ratree

    2003-10-01

    The purpose of the present experiment was to examine the effects of consonantal context on discrimination and identification of English vowels by native Japanese speakers learning English in Japan. A number of studies have assessed the effects of consonantal contexts on the perception of nonnative vowels. For instance, Strange et al. (1996, 2001) found that perceptual assimilation of nonnative vowels is affected by consonantal contexts, and Morrison (2002) has shown that Japanese speakers use durational cues to perceive English /i/-/I/. The present study revealed that consonantal context affects discriminability and identification of each English vowel differently. Of all the six vowel contrasts tested, /i/-/I/ was the most likely to be affected by voicing status of the surrounding consonants with it being easier to discriminate in voiceless consonantal contexts. Moreover, /I/ is more likely to be equated with the Japanese short vowel /i/ in a voiceless consonantal context which is in keeping with Morrison (2002). /æ/-/opena/, on the other hand, is the most strongly affected by the place of articulation of the preceding consonants. [Work supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C)(1)(1410635).

  2. The direct and indirect roles of fundamental frequency in vowel perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreda, Santiago; Nearey, Terrance M

    2012-01-01

    Several experiments have found that changing the intrinsic f0 of a vowel can have an effect on perceived vowel quality. It has been suggested that these shifts may occur because f0 is involved in the specification of vowel quality in the same way as the formant frequencies. Another possibility is that f0 affects vowel quality indirectly, by changing a listener's assumptions about characteristics of a speaker who is likely to have uttered the vowel. In the experiment outlined here, participants were asked to listen to vowels differing in terms of f0 and their formant frequencies and report vowel quality and the apparent speaker's gender and size on a trial-by-trial basis. The results presented here suggest that f0 affects vowel quality mainly indirectly via its effects on the apparent-speaker characteristics; however, f0 may also have some residual direct effects on vowel quality. Furthermore, the formant frequencies were also found to have significant indirect effects on vowel quality by way of their strong influence on the apparent speaker. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.

  3. Low vowels and transparency in Kinande vowel harmony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gick, Bryan; Pulleyblank, Douglas; Mutaka, Ngessimo; Campbell, Fiona

    2005-04-01

    Transparency-in which a harmony effect passes over a segment without affecting it phonetically or phonologically-has been a controversial concept in previous literature on harmony systems. A typical case of so-called transparency involves cross-height vowel harmony in Kinande, a Bantu language (J.40). Previous accounts have analyzed low vowels in this system as being transparent to harmony [Schlindwein, NELS 17, 551-567 (1987)]. Further, some analysts have considered low vowels theoretically incapable of undergoing tongue root harmony. These claims were tested in a single-subject field study using ultrasound imaging to measure tongue root position in low vowels. Results indicate that (a) advanced versus retracted tongue root position (ATR) is a viable feature for describing the phonological distinction in the vowel system; (b) there is a phonetic difference between low vowels when adjacent to ATR triggering vowels; (c) this distinction in low vowels does not decrease with distance from trigger vowels, suggesting that these vowels are undergoing phonological harmony rather than phonetic assimilation; and finally, (d) the ATR distinction is phonetically categorical in high vowels, but shows crossover in mid and low vowels. Implications for phonological theory and phonetics-phonology interface will be discussed. [Work supported by NSERC and SSHRC.

  4. Gestural stability in vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purnell, Thomas

    2004-05-01

    In accordance with proper perception of linguistic sound units, past research has demonstrated some degree of acoustic and physiological stability. In contrast, articulatory stability has been thought to be inconsistent because articulations may vary so long as the vocal tract area function results in appropriate formant structure [Atal et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 63, 1535-1555 (1978)]. However, if the area function for the constriction and its anterior region can maintain acoustic stability, articulatory stability should be observed in the relational behavior of four tongue pellets used in xray microbeam data. Previous work examined normalized pellet data in order to arrive at an average posture for each vowel [Hashi et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 104, 2426-2437 (1998)]. But by assuming static (average) gestures, the research fell short of a correct postural characterization. This study of tongue pellet speed and normalized pellet displacement of front vowels spoken by ten microbeam database subjects reports that the tongue tip pellet speed maxima identify vowel edges (end of vowel onset, beginning of offset) while displacement of the three anterior pellets identify changes in formant structure (e.g., two stable regions in the Northern Cities English front low vowel).

  5. Dimension-based statistical learning of vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ran; Holt, Lori L

    2015-12-01

    Speech perception depends on long-term representations that reflect regularities of the native language. However, listeners rapidly adapt when speech acoustics deviate from these regularities due to talker idiosyncrasies such as foreign accents and dialects. To better understand these dual aspects of speech perception, we probe native English listeners' baseline perceptual weighting of 2 acoustic dimensions (spectral quality and vowel duration) toward vowel categorization and examine how they subsequently adapt to an "artificial accent" that deviates from English norms in the correlation between the 2 dimensions. At baseline, listeners rely relatively more on spectral quality than vowel duration to signal vowel category, but duration nonetheless contributes. Upon encountering an "artificial accent" in which the spectral-duration correlation is perturbed relative to English language norms, listeners rapidly down-weight reliance on duration. Listeners exhibit this type of short-term statistical learning even in the context of nonwords, confirming that lexical information is not necessary to this form of adaptive plasticity in speech perception. Moreover, learning generalizes to both novel lexical contexts and acoustically distinct altered voices. These findings are discussed in the context of a mechanistic proposal for how supervised learning may contribute to this type of adaptive plasticity in speech perception.

  6. The Effect of Stress and Speech Rate on Vowel Coarticulation in Catalan Vowel-Consonant-Vowel Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recasens, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this study was to ascertain the effect of changes in stress and speech rate on vowel coarticulation in vowel-consonant-vowel sequences. Method: Data on second formant coarticulatory effects as a function of changing /i/ versus /a/ were collected for five Catalan speakers' productions of vowel-consonant-vowel sequences with the…

  7. U.S. Airline Transport Pilot International Flight Language Experiences, Report 3: Language Experiences in Non-Native English-Speaking Airspace/Airports

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    MacKay, I., and Meador D. (2002). The production of English vowels by fluent early and late Italian- English bilinguals. Phonetica, 59:49- 71...U.S. Airline Transport Pilot International Flight Language Experiences, Report 3: Language Experiences in Non-Native English -Speaking Airspace...International Flight Language Experiences, Report 3: Language Experiences in Non-Native English -Speaking Airspace/Airports 6. Performing Organization Code

  8. Directionality and locality in vowel harmony

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mahanta, S.

    2007-01-01

    This dissertation concentrates on vowel harmony, a well-known process of assimilation where one vowel assumes similarity with regard to a certain feature in a neighbouring vowel. Recent work on vowel harmony claims that directionality is not an independent parameter along which vowel harmony languag

  9. Learning Foreign Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingston, John

    2003-01-01

    Two hypotheses have recently been put forward to account for listeners' ability to distinguish and learn contrasts between speech sounds in foreign languages. First, Best's Perceptual Assimilation Model and Flege's Speech Learning Model both predict that the ease with which a listener can tell one non-native phoneme from another varies directly…

  10. Effects of genioglossal muscle advancement on speech: an acoustic study of vowel sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vähätalo, Kimmo; Laaksonen, Juha-Pertti; Tamminen, Henna; Aaltonen, Olli; Happonen, Risto-Pekka

    2005-04-01

    The effects of the genioglossal muscle advancement on phonetic quality of speech were studied analyzing the acoustic features of vowel sounds. The study group consisted of 5 men suffering from partial upper airway obstruction during sleep. To prevent tongue base collapse, genioglossal muscle advancement was made with chin osteotomy without hyoid myotomy and suspension. The speech material consisted of 8 vowels produced in sentence context repeated 10 times before the operation, and 10 days and 6 weeks after the operation. The acoustic features of vowels were analyzed. The operation had no significant effects on vowel quality. Only for 2 of the subjects the pitches changed systematically due to the operation. According to the acoustic analysis, genioglossal muscle advancement with chin osteotomy has no effects on vowel production. Some short-term changes were observed, but these changes were highly individual. The operation seems to have no potential to change vowel production.

  11. LEARNING NONADJACENT DEPENDENCIES IN PHONOLOGY: TRANSPARENT VOWELS IN VOWEL HARMONY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, Sara

    2015-03-01

    Nonadjacent dependencies are an important part of the structure of language. While the majority of syntactic and phonological processes occur at a local domain, there are several processes that appear to apply at a distance, posing a challenge for theories of linguistic structure. This article addresses one of the most common nonadjacent phenomena in phonology: transparent vowels in vowel harmony. Vowel harmony occurs when adjacent vowels are required to share the same phonological feature value (e.g. V+F C V+F). However, transparent vowels create a second-order nonadjacent pattern because agreement between two vowels can 'skip' the transparent neutral vowel in addition to consonants (e.g. V+F C V(T)-F C V+F). Adults are shown to display initial learning biases against second-order nonadjacency in experiments that use an artificial grammar learning paradigm. Experiments 1-3 show that adult learners fail to learn the second-order long-distance dependency created by the transparent vowel (as compared to a control condition). In experiments 4-5, training in terms of overall exposure as well as the frequency of relevant transparent items was increased. With adequate exposure, learners reliably generalize to novel words containing transparent vowels. The experiments suggest that learners are sensitive to the structure of phonological representations, even when learning occurs at a relatively rapid pace.

  12. Vowel duration issue in Civili

    OpenAIRE

    Ndinga-Koumba-Binza, Hugues Steve

    2009-01-01

    The main goal of this article is to define the problem of vowel duration in Civili (H12a). It shows that the so-called Civili vowel-length desperately needs to be re-examined, because previous works on the sound system of this language hardly explain a number of phonological phenomena, such as vowel lengthening, on the basis of data at hand. Demonstrating the problem in question, the author first reviews previous works that all identify a vowel lengthening in Civili. From different analyses t...

  13. Formant Structure and Vowel Space in Persian Vowels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansour Rezaei

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Formant structure and vowel space are the most important acoustic characteristics of speech sounds. The purpose of this study was to determine formant frequency and vowel space in six Persian vowels.Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive-analytic study was performed on 60 Persian students of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (30 males, 30 females with their age ranging from 18 to 24 years. The subject articulated six Persian vowels in isolation and data was recorded by real-analyzer software. Then, the first three formant frequency of each vowel was determined for each subject. Vowel formant frequency averages were measured separately for each vowel and each gender. Vowel space was plotted. The difference between F0 in two groups was compared by Leven and independent sample t tests.Results: Maximum and minimum values of F0 in both group was related to /æ/ and /a/ (135 Hz in males and 239 Hz in females and /i/ (146 Hz in males and 239 Hz in females. Besides, F0 in females was significantly higher than males (p<0.001. Maximum and minimum values of F1 were related to /æ/ and /i/. Furthermore, maximum and minimum values of F2 were related to /i/ and /u/. Maximum and minimum values of F3 were related to /i/ and /u/.Conclusion: The lowest vowels were /æ/ and /a/ and the highest was /i/. The frontest was /i/ and the backest was /u/. the spreadest vowel was /i/ and the roundest was /u/.

  14. To What Extent Do We Hear Phonemic Contrasts in a Non-Native Regional Variety? Tracking the Dynamics of Perceptual Processing with EEG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufour, Sophie; Brunelliere, Angele; Nguyen, Noel

    2013-01-01

    This combined ERP and behavioral experiment explores the dynamics of processing during the discrimination of vowels in a non-native regional variety. Southern listeners were presented with three word forms, two of which are encountered in both Standard and Southern French ([kot] and [kut]), whereas the third one exists in Standard but not Southern…

  15. Effects of an Open Jaw Posture on Vowel Perception in the Aging Voice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mautner, Helene D

    2016-11-01

    This study aimed to verify through an auditory-perceptual approach, whether an "open jaw" posture would result in improved speech quality for older adults. Forty normal-hearing listeners (20 males; 20 females) aged between 18 and 47 listened to vowel segments and performed two separate tasks: identifying vowels and comparing vowel clarity. Stimuli included vowels segmented from a sentence ("We saw two cars.") produced using a normal and an open jaw posture by 40 individuals aged between 30s and 80s. Three types of stimuli were presented: variable length and intensity, fixed length and variable intensity, and fixed length and normalized intensity. Mixed model analyses of variance were used to determine whether there was a jaw posture effect on the percentage of correct vowel identification. Chi-square tests were used to determine whether vowels produced with an open jaw posture were more likely to be identified as being "clearer." Open jaw posture resulted in higher rates of correct vowel identification, and vowels from contrast pairs were consistently judged as being "clearer" than vowels produced in normal jaw posture. Investigations on the effect of stimulus type revealed that the jaw-related improvement in speech quality was not solely due to an increase in intensity or length induced by an open jaw posture. Listeners assessing vowel identification and clarity in the aging voice were able to better differentiate among vowels spoken using an open jaw posture, and a greater number of vowels produced in an open jaw posture were perceived as sounding clearer. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Two cross-linguistic factors underlying tongue shapes for vowels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nix, D.A.; Papcun, G.; Hogden, J.; Zlokarnik, I. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1996-06-01

    Desirable characteristics of a vocal-tract parametrization include accuracy, low dimensionality, and generalizability across speakers and languages. A low-dimensional, speaker-independent linear parametrization of vowel tongue shapes can be obtained using the PARAFAC three-mode factor analysis procedure. Harshman et al. applied PARAFAC to midsagittal x-ray vowel data from five English speakers, reporting that two speaker-independent factors are required to accurately represent the tongue shape measured along anatomically normalized vocal-tract diameter grid lines. Subsequently, the cross-linguistic generality of this parametrization was brought into question by the application of PARAFAC to Icelandic vowel data, where three nonorthogonal factors were reported. This solution is shown to be degenerate; a reanalysis of Jackson`s Icelandic data produces two factors that match Harshman et al.`s factors for English vowels, contradicting Jackson`s distinction between English and Icelandic language-specific `articulatory primes.` To obtain vowel factors not constrained by artificial measurement grid lines, x-ray tongue shape traces of six English speakers were marked with 13 equally spaced points. PARAFAC analysis of this unconstranied (x,y) coordinate data results in two factors that are clearly interpretable in terms of the traditional vowel quality dimensions front/back, high/low. 14 refs., 8 figs., 2 tabs.

  17. Reading vowels in Kannada script.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purushothama, G

    1990-03-01

    Among speakers of English, a greater number of vowels are misread by poor readers than are consonants. This is thought to be due to the complex way that vowels are represented in the alphabetic script. In Kannada, which has a phonetically regular script, children learn to read using a clear set of rules with respect to vowels and consonants. The purpose of this study was to determine the nature of misreadings of vowels by two groups, good readers and poor readers of Kannada. The poor readers misread a large number of items in two lists of syllables and words. Both groups misread vowels in equal proportion to their total number of misreadings. The results are discussed.

  18. Cross-language perception of Japanese vowel length contrasts: comparison of listeners from different first language backgrounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukada, Kimiko; Hirata, Yukari; Roengpitya, Rungpat

    2014-06-01

    The purpose of this research was to compare the perception of Japanese vowel length contrasts by 4 groups of listeners who differed in their familiarity with length contrasts in their first language (L1; i.e., American English, Italian, Japanese, and Thai). Of the 3 nonnative groups, native Thai listeners were expected to outperform American English and Italian listeners, because vowel length is contrastive in their L1. Native Italian listeners were expected to demonstrate a higher level of accuracy for length contrasts than American English listeners, because the former are familiar with consonant (but not vowel) length contrasts (i.e., singleton vs. geminate) in their L1. A 2-alternative forced-choice AXB discrimination test that included 125 trials was administered to all the participants, and the listeners' discrimination accuracy (d') was reported. As expected, Japanese listeners were more accurate than all 3 nonnative groups in their discrimination of Japanese vowel length contrasts. The 3 nonnative groups did not differ from one another in their discrimination accuracy despite varying experience with length contrasts in their L1. Only Thai listeners were more accurate in their length discrimination when the target vowel was long than when it was short. Being familiar with vowel length contrasts in L1 may affect the listeners' cross-language perception, but it does not guarantee that their L1 experience automatically results in efficient processing of length contrasts in unfamiliar languages. The extent of success may be related to how length contrasts are phonetically implemented in listeners' L1.

  19. Lexical Representation of Japanese Vowel Devoicing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogasawara, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Vowel devoicing happens in Japanese when the high vowel is between voiceless consonants. The aim of this study is to investigate the lexical representation of vowel devoicing. A long-term repetition-priming experiment was conducted. Participants shadowed words containing either a devoiced or a voiced vowel in three priming paradigms, and their…

  20. Lexical Representation of Japanese Vowel Devoicing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogasawara, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Vowel devoicing happens in Japanese when the high vowel is between voiceless consonants. The aim of this study is to investigate the lexical representation of vowel devoicing. A long-term repetition-priming experiment was conducted. Participants shadowed words containing either a devoiced or a voiced vowel in three priming paradigms, and their…

  1. Vowel quantity and the fortis-lenis distinction in North Low Saxon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prehn, M.

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this phonological investigation is to establish whether the primary prosodic feature in Low German dialects is tone, quantity, or something else entirely. All in all, we find that Low German employs a combination of vowel quality and vowel quantity, which carries functional load. It is a

  2. Dutch diphthong and long vowel realizations as socio-economic markers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobi, I.; Pols, L.C.W.; Stroop, J.; Trouvain, J.; Barry, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    To judge the influence of speaker background on the quality of five long vowels and diphthongs /oU/, /eI/, /Au/, /EI/, and /2y/ in Standard Dutch, the spectra of these vowel realizations in spontaneous speech were measured for 70 subjects, and analyzed with regard to the subjects’ regions of

  3. Dutch diphthong and long vowel realizations as socio-economic markers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobi, I.; Pols, L.C.W.; Stroop, J.; Trouvain, J.; Barry, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    To judge the influence of speaker background on the quality of five long vowels and diphthongs /oU/, /eI/, /Au/, /EI/, and /2y/ in Standard Dutch, the spectra of these vowel realizations in spontaneous speech were measured for 70 subjects, and analyzed with regard to the subjects’ regions of educati

  4. Diphthongs in the repopulated vowel space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogacka, Anna

    2005-04-01

    The study examined 8 British English diphthongs produced by Polish learners of English, testing the diphthongs' quality, duration, nasalization, and occurrence of glottal stops before the diphthongs. There were twelve conditions in which the diphthongs were tested: word-initial, word-final, before a voiced obstruent, before a voiceless obstruent, before a nasal consonant, and before a nasal consonant followed by a fricative, and each of these conditions was tested in a stressed and unstressed position. The diphthongs were tested in real words, embedded in sentences, controlled for the stress position, rhythmic units, and length. The sentences were read by 8 female and 8 male Polish learners of English and control subjects. The aim of the phonetic analysis done with Praat, and employing the methodologies used by Flege (1995) for SLA and Peeters (1991) and Jacewicz, Fujimara, and Fox (2003) for diphthongs, is to examine the shape of the restructured vowel space (Liljencrants and Lindblom 1972; Stevens 1989). The approach taken here is termed Vowel Space Repopulation to emphasize that the vowel space of Polish speakers of English is re-structured by new categories in complex ways which are not adequately captured by traditional notions such as ``transfer,'' ``interference,'' or ``interlanguage.''

  5. Vowel articulation in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skodda, Sabine; Visser, Wenke; Schlegel, Uwe

    2011-07-01

    The aim of the study was to analyze vowel articulation in Parkinson's disease (PD) speakers suffering from mild hypokinetic dysarthria as compared with healthy controls in correlation to net speech rate (NSR) and intonation variability (F(0)SD). Furthermore, we intended to reveal possible correlations among vowel articulation, global motor performance, and stage of disease. We examined 68 PD patients (34 male) with mild dysarthria (1 point according to the "speech" item 18 of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale/UPDRS-III) and 32 age-matched control persons (16 male) using a reading task with subsequent acoustical analysis. F1 and F2 frequency values of the vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/ were extracted from defined words within the text. Description of vowel articulation was based on measures of triangular vowel space area (tVSA) and Vowel Articulation Index (VAI). PD patients were scored according to UPDRS-III and Hoehn and Yahr stages. VAI values were significantly reduced in male and female PD patients as compared with the accordant control group, whereas tVSA was only reduced in the male PD speakers. NSR was negatively correlated to tVSA and VAI only in female PD speakers. No correlations were seen between vowel articulation and UPDRS-III and stage of disease. VAI seem to be superior to tVSA in the description of impaired vowel articulation in PD. Reduced VAI could be detected in male and female parkinsonian speakers suffering only from mild dysarthria with preserved speech intelligibility and therefore might be applicable to identify subclinical changes of vowel articulation. Moreover, some aspects of altered speech performance in PD seem to feature some gender-specific patterns, which justify further investigation. Copyright © 2011 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Perceptual assimilation and categorial discrimination of American vowels by Japanese listeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hisagi, Miwako; Strange, Winifred; Akahane-Yamada, Reiko; Kubo, Rieko

    2005-04-01

    Best's Perception Assimilation Model predicts that relative difficulty discriminating non-native (L2) contrasts is predictable from perceived similarity of L2 segments and native (L1) segments. Japanese listeners performed a categorial discrimination task in which 9 vowel pairs (6 adjacent height pairs, 3 front-back pairs) involving 6 tokens (2 speakers/3 repetitions) of each of 8 American vowels / i, I, ɛ, æ, a, squflg, U, u/ were tested in the context of hVba disyllables. In a second task, listeners were asked to categorize all stimuli with respect to which Japanese vowel they were most similar, and to rate their goodness on a 9-point Likert scale. Overall error rates on height pairs ranged from 1 percent to 29 percent, and on front/back pairs, from 1 percent to 18 percent. The most difficult height contrasts were /U-u/ and /a-squflg/ perceptual assimilation patterns showed that these pairs were assimilated to the same Japanese vowels (Single Category or Category Goodness pattern) although /a-squflg/ were assimilated to 2-mora versus 1-mora Japanese /a/, respectively. The most difficult front/back contrast was /æ-squflg/. Surprisingly, American /i-I/ was discriminated very well and were assimilated to different Japanese vowels /i, e/, respectively. In general, perceptual assimilation patterns predicted discrimination accuracy quite well. [Work supported by NIDCD.

  7. Vowel normalization : a perceptual-acoustic study of Dutch vowels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adank, Patricia Martine

    2003-01-01

    In sociolinguistics, language variation in vowel sounds is typically studied using phonetic transcription. Phonetic transcription is carried out by expert listeners, who are capable of perceptually separating (socio-) linguistic variation from anatomical/physiological speaker-related

  8. Processing of short vowels, long vowels, and vowel digraphs by disabled and non-disabled readers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun, M L; Allegretti, C L

    1984-12-01

    The speed with which disabled and non-disabled readers process short vowels, long vowels, and vowel digraphs was investigated in this study, an exploration of Morrison's 1984 conceptualization of reading disability as the failure to master the complex irregular system of rules governing sound-symbol correspondence in English. 7 disabled and 7 non-disabled readers, all of average intelligence, were presented pseudoword pairs on slides and asked to identify a pronounced target word by identifying its position ("top" or "bottom"). Reaction time was measured with voice-operated relay and digital millisecond clock counter. The pseudoword pairs were formed such that each pseudoword was paired with another that was identical except for one or two vowels in the medial position. No effects of type of reader (disabled or non-disabled) and type of letters in the medial position (long vowel, short vowel, vowel digraph) on reaction time were noted. Analysis of reaction times for individual words gave significant differences. The need for an empirically supported "complexity scale" is discussed.

  9. Effects of transitory lingual nerve impairment on speech: an acoustic study of vowel sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemi, Matti; Laaksonen, Juha-Pertti; Vähätalo, Kimmo; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Aaltonen, Olli; Happonen, Risto-Pekka

    2002-06-01

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of the lingual nerve impairment on phonetic quality of speech by analyzing the main acoustic features of vowel sounds when the normal lingual nerve function was partly distorted by local anesthesia. The study group consisted of 7 men, whose right side lingual nerve was anesthetized with 0.8 mL of Ultracaine D-Suprarenin (Aventis Pharma Deutschland GmpH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany). The speech material analyzed consisted of 8 vowels produced in sentence context by speakers. Every utterance was repeated 10 times with and without local anesthesia. After recording, the speech samples were analyzed with a computerized speech laboratory. In addition, the vowels of 1 man with permanent nerve impairment were studied. The results show that the deprived function of the tongue after lingual nerve impairment had various effects on vowel quality for every subject. The main acoustic determinants of different vowels, the lowest vocal tract resonances, changed in frequency. In addition, the total duration of vowels changed and the vowels had different fundamental frequencies. However, these effects were extremely individual and variable. According to the results of acoustic analysis, the distortion of lingual nerve function has effects on vowel production. Some of these changes were so extensive that they also could be perceptually detectable. Lingual nerve impairment seems to have potential to change speech production. Copyright 2002 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons J Oral Maxillofac Surg 60:647-652, 2002

  10. Evaluating models of vowel perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molis, Michelle R.

    2005-08-01

    There is a long-standing debate concerning the efficacy of formant-based versus whole spectrum models of vowel perception. Categorization data for a set of synthetic steady-state vowels were used to evaluate both types of models. The models tested included various combinations of formant frequencies and amplitudes, principal components derived from excitation patterns, and perceptually scaled LPC cepstral coefficients. The stimuli were 54 five-formant synthesized vowels that had a common F1 frequency and varied orthogonally in F2 and F3 frequency. Twelve speakers of American English categorized the stimuli as the vowels /smcapi/, /capomega/, or /hkbkeh/. Results indicate that formant frequencies provided the best account of the data only if nonlinear terms, in the form of squares and cross products of the formant values, were also included in the analysis. The excitation pattern principal components also produced reasonably accurate fits to the data. Although a wish to use the lowest-dimensional representation would dictate that formant frequencies are the most appropriate vowel description, the relative success of richer, more flexible, and more neurophysiologically plausible whole spectrum representations suggests that they may be preferred for understanding human vowel perception.

  11. Vowel reduction in word-final position by early and late Spanish-English bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Emily; Yavas, Mehmet

    2017-01-01

    Vowel reduction is a prominent feature of American English, as well as other stress-timed languages. As a phonological process, vowel reduction neutralizes multiple vowel quality contrasts in unstressed syllables. For bilinguals whose native language is not characterized by large spectral and durational differences between tonic and atonic vowels, systematically reducing unstressed vowels to the central vowel space can be problematic. Failure to maintain this pattern of stressed-unstressed syllables in American English is one key element that contributes to a "foreign accent" in second language speakers. Reduced vowels, or "schwas," have also been identified as particularly vulnerable to the co-articulatory effects of adjacent consonants. The current study examined the effects of adjacent sounds on the spectral and temporal qualities of schwa in word-final position. Three groups of English-speaking adults were tested: Miami-based monolingual English speakers, early Spanish-English bilinguals, and late Spanish-English bilinguals. Subjects performed a reading task to examine their schwa productions in fluent speech when schwas were preceded by consonants from various points of articulation. Results indicated that monolingual English and late Spanish-English bilingual groups produced targeted vowel qualities for schwa, whereas early Spanish-English bilinguals lacked homogeneity in their vowel productions. This extends prior claims that schwa is targetless for F2 position for native speakers to highly-proficient bilingual speakers. Though spectral qualities lacked homogeneity for early Spanish-English bilinguals, early bilinguals produced schwas with near native-like vowel duration. In contrast, late bilinguals produced schwas with significantly longer durations than English monolinguals or early Spanish-English bilinguals. Our results suggest that the temporal properties of a language are better integrated into second language phonologies than spectral qualities

  12. Vowel reduction in word-final position by early and late Spanish-English bilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Vowel reduction is a prominent feature of American English, as well as other stress-timed languages. As a phonological process, vowel reduction neutralizes multiple vowel quality contrasts in unstressed syllables. For bilinguals whose native language is not characterized by large spectral and durational differences between tonic and atonic vowels, systematically reducing unstressed vowels to the central vowel space can be problematic. Failure to maintain this pattern of stressed-unstressed syllables in American English is one key element that contributes to a “foreign accent” in second language speakers. Reduced vowels, or “schwas,” have also been identified as particularly vulnerable to the co-articulatory effects of adjacent consonants. The current study examined the effects of adjacent sounds on the spectral and temporal qualities of schwa in word-final position. Three groups of English-speaking adults were tested: Miami-based monolingual English speakers, early Spanish-English bilinguals, and late Spanish-English bilinguals. Subjects performed a reading task to examine their schwa productions in fluent speech when schwas were preceded by consonants from various points of articulation. Results indicated that monolingual English and late Spanish-English bilingual groups produced targeted vowel qualities for schwa, whereas early Spanish-English bilinguals lacked homogeneity in their vowel productions. This extends prior claims that schwa is targetless for F2 position for native speakers to highly-proficient bilingual speakers. Though spectral qualities lacked homogeneity for early Spanish-English bilinguals, early bilinguals produced schwas with near native-like vowel duration. In contrast, late bilinguals produced schwas with significantly longer durations than English monolinguals or early Spanish-English bilinguals. Our results suggest that the temporal properties of a language are better integrated into second language phonologies than spectral

  13. Effects of consonantal context on perceptual assimilation of American English vowels by Japanese listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, W; Akahane-Yamada, R; Kubo, R; Trent, S A; Nishi, K

    2001-04-01

    This study investigated the extent to which adult Japanese listeners' perceived phonetic similarity of American English (AE) and Japanese (J) vowels varied with consonantal context. Four AE speakers produced multiple instances of the 11 AE vowels in six syllabic contexts /b-b, b-p, d-d, d-t, g-g, g-k/ embedded in a short carrier sentence. Twenty-four native speakers of Japanese were asked to categorize each vowel utterance as most similar to one of 18 Japanese categories [five one-mora vowels, five two-mora vowels, plus/ei, ou/ and one-mora and two-mora vowels in palatalized consonant CV syllables, C(j)a(a), C(j)u(u), C(j)o(o)]. They then rated the "category goodness" of the AE vowel to the selected Japanese category on a seven-point scale. None of the 11 AE vowels was assimilated unanimously to a single J response category in all context/speaker conditions; consistency in selecting a single response category ranged from 77% for /eI/ to only 32% for /ae/. Median ratings of category goodness for modal response categories were somewhat restricted overall, ranging from 5 to 3. Results indicated that temporal assimilation patterns (judged similarity to one-mora versus two-mora Japanese categories) differed as a function of the voicing of the final consonant, especially for the AE vowels, /see text/. Patterns of spectral assimilation (judged similarity to the five J vowel qualities) of /see text/ also varied systematically with consonantal context and speakers. On the basis of these results, it was predicted that relative difficulty in the identification and discrimination of AE vowels by Japanese speakers would vary significantly as a function of the contexts in which they were produced and presented.

  14. Excitation patterns and phonetic identities of Chinese vowels

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU ShuiYuan

    2009-01-01

    After entering the peripheral auditory system, a sound undergoes many significant changes. The exci-tation pattern describes these changes psychoacoustically as inner expression. This study investigates the relations between excitation patterns and their phonetic qualities for Chinese steady-state vowels. First, the peak positions of the envelope of excitation patterns were measured on a database. The re-sults demonstrated that each Chinese vowel has its own special position for the representative peak of the excitation pattern. Second, to examine the sufficiency of these results, a series of experiments that consisted of identification and evaluation tasks were conducted, in which spectral components of natural isolated vowels were manipulated to create certain excitation patterns. Subjects' responses of these stimuli show that the position of the representative peak of the excitation pattern of a vowel plays a crucial role on its phonetic identity. The results suggest that the phonetic identity of vowels is determined by the position of the representative peak of the excitation pattern evoked by it, and other peaks, if any, do not have phonetic meaning. Additionally, several phenomena about speech perception are discussed on the basis of this study.

  15. The effects of regional dialect on vowel intelligibility from a cross-linguistic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frieda, Elaina M.; Fox, Robert A.

    2003-04-01

    The present experiment is a continuation of a previously reported study that examined intelligibility of English vowels as a function of dialect spoken by native speakers of English and Japanese. The purpose of this research is to assess how regional dialectal variations affect vowel intelligibility for native and non-native speakers of English. Native English and Japanese subjects were recorded in two divergent dialectal regions of the United States (Ohio and Alabama). These tokens were then employed in a perceptual experiment where native English and Japanese listeners from Ohio and Alabama identified the English vowels. To date, perceptual data from only Ohio native English and Japanese subjects have been reported. A further analysis of the data including Alabama native English and Japanese listeners revealed that native English speakers from Ohio obtained the highest intelligibility scores overall (for example, all four listener groups identified Ohio English more accurately than all other groups). Additionally, native Japanese speakers from Alabama received the lowest overall intelligibility scores. The tentative results of this study imply that non-native speakers of English that are exposed to a nonstandard dialect may have deleterious effects on comprehension.

  16. How to stretch and shrink vowel systems: results from a vowel normalization procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Christian; Mooshammer, Christine

    2009-05-01

    One of the goals of phonetic investigations is to find strategies for vowel production independent of speaker-specific vocal-tract anatomies and individual biomechanical properties. In this study techniques for speaker normalization that are derived from Procrustes methods were applied to acoustic and articulatory data. More precisely, data consist of the first two formants and EMMA fleshpoint markers of stressed and unstressed vowels of German from seven speakers in the consonantal context /t/. Main results indicate that (a) for the articulatory data, the normalization can be related to anatomical properties (palate shapes), (b) the recovery of phonemic identity is of comparable quality for acoustic and articulatory data, (c) the procedure outperforms the Lobanov transform in the acoustic domain in terms of phoneme recovery, and (d) this advantage comes at the cost of partly also changing ellipse orientations, which is in accordance with the formulation of the algorithms.

  17. Exploring the intelligibilty of foreign-accented English vowels when ``English'' is ill-defined

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundgaard-Nielsen, Rikke Louise; Bohn, Ocke-Schwen

    2001-05-01

    Many studies of foreign-accented speech have been conducted in second language settings in which learners are assumed to be exposed to a relatively homogeneous non-native sound system. However, foreign language learners, who learn an additional language in a setting where this language is not the primary medium of communication, are frequently exposed to a range of varieties of the target language which may differ considerably with respect to their sound systems. The present study examined and compared the intelligibility of English monophthongs produced by two speaker groups: Native Danes who had learned English as a foreign language (with exposure to different native and non-native varieties) and native English speakers from Australia, the US, and the UK. Ten native Canadian-English listeners, who were familiar with native and non-native accents of English, identified the 11 monophthongs of English produced by the speaker groups in a /bVt/ context. As expected, the listeners' error patterns were specific for each speaker group. However, reduced intelligibility was observed for much the same vowels irrespective of speaker group. Our results suggest that one source of problems in learning the sounds of English is the heterogeneity of English vowel systems in addition to transfer from the native language.

  18. HISTORICAL VIEW OF CARDINAL VOWELS IN TURKISH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatih ÖZEK

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Turkish is a rich language in terms of presence of vowels. There are eight vowels that originated from the relationship between palatalité, aperture and labialité in terms of their characteristics in general Turkish. These are /a/, /e/, /ı/, /i/, /o, /ö/, /u/ and /ü/. In general, /a/, /i/ and /u/ are considered as cardinal vowels in Turkish. According to this viewpoint, Turkish has a triple vowel system consisting of /a/, /i/ and /u/ in the periods when Turkish could not be pursued in writing. /e/, /ı/, /o, /ö/ and /ü/ vowels have also originated from these three cardinal vowels. Thus, our study is limited to a/, /i/ and /u/ vowels. Periodical restriction of the study is Historical Turkish Dialects Köktürk, Uighur, Karakhanid, Khorezmian, Kipchak, Chagatai and Old Oghuz Turkic languagesIn this study we are aiming to determine the following;1. Sources of /a/, /i/ and /u/ vowels in the historical Turkish dialects,2. Presence of /a/, /i/ and /u/ vowels in the first syllables and other than first syllables,3. Sound events taking place in the /a/, /i/ and /u/ vowels and their reasons,4. relations of /a/, /i/ and /u/ vowels among themselves and with the consonants,5. whether or not /a/, /i/ and /u/ vowels and sound events taking place in these vowels are determinative within a historical dialect.

  19. Progression in vowel production: comparing deaf and hearing children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Stelt, J.; Pols, L.C.W.; Wempe, T.G.

    2003-01-01

    An interesting but so far neglected topic in the development of infant sound production is the hypothesized progression toward adult vowel quality. Likely, this process is quite different for normally hearing babies and for deaf babies. A band filtering analysis method is used to measure the

  20. Velar-vowel coarticulation in a virtual target model of stop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisch, Stefan A; Wodzinski, Sylvie M

    2016-05-01

    Velar-vowel coarticulation in English, resulting in so-called velar fronting in front vowel contexts, was studied using ultrasound imaging of the tongue during /k/ onsets of monosyllabic words with no coda or a labial coda. Ten native English speakers were recorded and analyzed. A variety of coarticulation patterns that often appear to contain small differences in typical closure location for similar vowels was found. An account of the coarticulation pattern is provided using a virtual target model of stop consonant production where there are two /k/ allophones in English, one for front vowels and one for non-front vowels. Small differences in closure location along the palate between productions within each context are the result of the trajectory of movement of the tongue from the vowel to vowel through the virtual target beyond the limit of the palate. The overall pattern is thus seen as a combination of a large planned allophonic difference between consonant closure targets and smaller phonetic differences for each particular vowel quality that are the result of coarticulation.

  1. Velar–vowel coarticulation in a virtual target model of stop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisch, Stefan A.; Wodzinski, Sylvie M.

    2016-01-01

    Velar-vowel coarticulation in English, resulting in so-called velar fronting in front vowel contexts, was studied using ultrasound imaging of the tongue during /k/ onsets of monosyllabic words with no coda or a labial coda. Ten native English speakers were recorded and analyzed. A variety of coarticulation patterns that often appear to contain small differences in typical closure location for similar vowels was found. An account of the coarticulation pattern is provided using a virtual target model of stop consonant production where there are two /k/ allophones in English, one for front vowels and one for non-front vowels. Small differences in closure location along the palate between productions within each context are the result of the trajectory of movement of the tongue from the vowel to vowel through the virtual target beyond the limit of the palate. The overall pattern is thus seen as a combination of a large planned allophonic difference between consonant closure targets and smaller phonetic differences for each particular vowel quality that are the result of coarticulation. PMID:27019538

  2. Cross-language perceptual similarity predicts categorial discrimination of American vowels by naïve Japanese listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, Winifred; Hisagi, Miwako; Akahane-Yamada, Reiko; Kubo, Rieko

    2011-10-01

    Current speech perception models propose that relative perceptual difficulties with non-native segmental contrasts can be predicted from cross-language phonetic similarities. Japanese (J) listeners performed a categorical discrimination task in which nine contrasts (six adjacent height pairs, three front/back pairs) involving eight American (AE) vowels [iː, ɪ, ε, æː, ɑː, ʌ, ʊ, uː] in /hVbə/ disyllables were tested. The listeners also completed a perceptual assimilation task (categorization as J vowels with category goodness ratings). Perceptual assimilation patterns (quantified as categorization overlap scores) were highly predictive of discrimination accuracy (r(s)=0.93). Results suggested that J listeners used both spectral and temporal information in discriminating vowel contrasts.

  3. Musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing are linked through sensitivity to pitch and spectral information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempe, Vera; Bublitz, Dennis; Brooks, Patricia J

    2015-05-01

    Is the observed link between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing due to enhanced sensitivity to acoustic features underlying both musical and linguistic processing? To address this question, native English speakers (N = 118) discriminated Norwegian tonal contrasts and Norwegian vowels. Short tones differing in temporal, pitch, and spectral characteristics were used to measure sensitivity to the various acoustic features implicated in musical and speech processing. Musical ability was measured using Gordon's Advanced Measures of Musical Audiation. Results showed that sensitivity to specific acoustic features played a role in non-native speech-sound processing: Controlling for non-verbal intelligence, prior foreign language-learning experience, and sex, sensitivity to pitch and spectral information partially mediated the link between musical ability and discrimination of non-native vowels and lexical tones. The findings suggest that while sensitivity to certain acoustic features partially mediates the relationship between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing, complex tests of musical ability also tap into other shared mechanisms. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.

  4. Vowel reduction patterns of early Spanish- English bilinguals receiving continuous L1 and L2 input

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Emily Byers

    2017-01-01

    .... Our purpose was to determine how native-like early Spanish-English bilinguals′ spectral qualities and reduced vowel durations were compared to Miami English monolinguals during a reading task...

  5. Language dependent vowel representation in speech production

    OpenAIRE

    Mitsuya, Takashi; Samson, Fabienne; Ménard, Lucie; Munhall, Kevin G.

    2013-01-01

    The representation of speech goals was explored using an auditory feedback paradigm. When talkers produce vowels the formant structure of which is perturbed in real time, they compensate to preserve the intended goal. When vowel formants are shifted up or down in frequency, participants change the formant frequencies in the opposite direction to the feedback perturbation. In this experiment, the specificity of vowel representation was explored by examining the magnitude of vowel compensation ...

  6. Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Mapping to Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L.; Liss, Julie M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the present report was to explore whether vowel metrics, demonstrated to distinguish dysarthric and healthy speech in a companion article (Lansford & Liss, 2014), are able to predict human perceptual performance. Method: Vowel metrics derived from vowels embedded in phrases produced by 45 speakers with dysarthria were…

  7. Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Mapping to Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L.; Liss, Julie M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the present report was to explore whether vowel metrics, demonstrated to distinguish dysarthric and healthy speech in a companion article (Lansford & Liss, 2014), are able to predict human perceptual performance. Method: Vowel metrics derived from vowels embedded in phrases produced by 45 speakers with dysarthria were…

  8. Acoustic aspects of vowel harmony in French

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    International audience; This paper examines acoustic aspects of vowel harmony (VH), understood as regressive vowel-to-vowel assimilation, in two regional varieties of French in six speakers' productions of 107 disyllabic word pairs. In each word pair, the word-initial vowel (V1) was phonemically either /e/ or /o/, and the word-final stressed vowel (V2) alternated between /e-E/, /ø-oe/, /o-O/ or /i-a/. Results are consistent with the idea that VH in French entails variations in tongue height a...

  9. Automatic assessment of vowel space area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval, Steven; Berisha, Visar; Utianski, Rene L; Liss, Julie M; Spanias, Andreas

    2013-11-01

    Vowel space area (VSA) is an attractive metric for the study of speech production deficits and reductions in intelligibility, in addition to the traditional study of vowel distinctiveness. Traditional VSA estimates are not currently sufficiently sensitive to map to production deficits. The present report describes an automated algorithm using healthy, connected speech rather than single syllables and estimates the entire vowel working space rather than corner vowels. Analyses reveal a strong correlation between the traditional VSA and automated estimates. When the two methods diverge, the automated method seems to provide a more accurate area since it accounts for all vowels.

  10. Phonics Plus, Book B: Short Vowel Patterns, Long Vowel Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Carl B.; Ruff, Regina

    By actively involving the child in hearing, saying, seeing, and writing the letters and sounds, this workbook develops a child's skill in recognizing consonant sounds as well as the most important short and long vowels through a series of 70 lessons. It is appropriate for parents to use with advanced first grade children. By using this learning…

  11. Do Isolated Vowels Represent Vowel Targets in French? An Acoustic Study On Coarticulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurová Paillereau Nikola

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Coarticulatory effects of labial, dental, palato-velar and uvular places of articulation on vowel targets of ten French oral vowels /i, e, ɛ, a, u, o, ɔ, y, ø, œ/ were examined. The average vowel formant frequencies F1, F2, F3 and F4 in symmetrical sequences CVCVCVC to formant values of the same vowels in isolation were compared. The results show that the direction and magnitude of coarticulation of most vowels follow, as expected, contextual assimilation or acoustic centralization. Nevertheless, vowels /a/ and /ɔ/ present unpredictable coarticulatory patterns. This can be explained by the fact that 1 /a/ has two phonetic variants depending on the environment: back vowel [ɑ] in isolation and central/front vowel [a] in continuous speech, and 2 uttering [ɔ] in isolation violates the phonotactic rules of standard French.These results suggest that coarticulatory effects on vowels /a/ and /ɔ/ are probably not to be studied from their isolated positions.

  12. Ecological impacts of non-native species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, John W.

    2012-01-01

    Non-native species are considered one of the greatest threats to freshwater biodiversity worldwide (Drake et al. 1989; Allen and Flecker 1993; Dudgeon et al. 2005). Some of the first hypotheses proposed to explain global patterns of amphibian declines included the effects of non-native species (Barinaga 1990; Blaustein and Wake 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991). Evidence for the impact of non-native species on amphibians stems (1) from correlative research that relates the distribution or abundance of a species to that of a putative non-native species, and (2) from experimental tests of the effects of a non-native species on survival, growth, development or behaviour of a target species (Kats and Ferrer 2003). Over the past two decades, research on the effects of non-native species on amphibians has mostly focused on introduced aquatic predators, particularly fish. Recent research has shifted to more complex ecological relationships such as influences of sub-lethal stressors (e.g. contaminants) on the effects of non-native species (Linder et al. 2003; Sih et al. 2004), non-native species as vectors of disease (Daszak et al. 2004; Garner et al. 2006), hybridization between non-natives and native congeners (Riley et al. 2003; Storfer et al. 2004), and the alteration of food-webs by non-native species (Nystrom et al. 2001). Other research has examined the interaction of non-native species in terms of facilitation (i.e. one non-native enabling another to become established or spread) or the synergistic effects of multiple non-native species on native amphibians, the so-called invasional meltdown hypothesis (Simerloff and Von Holle 1999). Although there is evidence that some non-native species may interact (Ricciardi 2001), there has yet to be convincing evidence that such interactions have led to an accelerated increase in the number of non-native species and cumulative impacts are still uncertain (Simberloff 2006). Applied research on the control, eradication, and

  13. Identification of Vowel Speech Sounds by Skilled and Less Skilled Readers and the Relation with Vowel Spelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Yolanda V.; Swank, Paul R.; Hiscock, Merrill; Fowler, Anne E.

    1999-01-01

    This study examined the hypothesis that spelling errors involving vowels are linked to difficulties in vowel perception. Second to fourth graders (n=155) were grouped by reading skill and given vowel discrimination and identification tasks. Vowel identification errors were linearly associated with reading skill and with vowel spelling errors.…

  14. Effect of Vowel Identity and Onset Asynchrony on Concurrent Vowel Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedrick, Mark S.; Madix, Steven G.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to determine the effects of vowel identity and temporal onset asynchrony on identification of vowels overlapped in time. Method: Fourteen listeners with normal hearing, with a mean age of 24 years, participated. The listeners were asked to identify both of a pair of 200-ms vowels (referred to as…

  15. From dilation to coarticulation: is there vowel harmony in French?

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    International audience; This paper presents the preliminary results of an acoustic study, and a review of previous work on vowel harmony in French. It shows that harmony, initially regarded as regular sound change, is considered an optional constraint on the distribution of mid vowels. Acoustic evidence of anticipatory assimilation of pretonic mid vowels to tonic high and low vowels is shown in three speakers' readings of disyllabic words in two dialects. It is argued that vowel-to-vowel assi...

  16. The more, the better? Behavioral and neural correlates of frequent and infrequent vowel exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Sho; Fikkert, Paula; Minagawa, Yasuyo; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Filippin, Luca; Versteegh, Maarten; Hagoort, Peter; Cristia, Alejandrina

    2017-07-01

    A central assumption in the perceptual attunement literature holds that exposure to a speech sound contrast leads to improvement in native speech sound processing. However, whether the amount of exposure matters for this process has not been put to a direct test. We elucidated indicators of frequency-dependent perceptual attunement by comparing 5-8-month-old Dutch infants' discrimination of tokens containing a highly frequent [hɪt-he:t] and a highly infrequent [hʏt-hø:t] native vowel contrast as well as a non-native [hɛt-haet] vowel contrast in a behavioral visual habituation paradigm (Experiment 1). Infants discriminated both native contrasts similarly well, but did not discriminate the non-native contrast. We sought further evidence for subtle differences in the processing of the two native contrasts using near-infrared spectroscopy and a within-participant design (Experiment 2). The neuroimaging data did not provide additional evidence that responses to native contrasts are modulated by frequency of exposure. These results suggest that even large differences in exposure to a native contrast may not directly translate to behavioral and neural indicators of perceptual attunement, raising the possibility that frequency of exposure does not influence improvements in discriminating native contrasts. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. HISTORICAL VIEW OF CARDINAL VOWELS IN TURKISH

    OpenAIRE

    Fatih ÖZEK

    2013-01-01

    Turkish is a rich language in terms of presence of vowels. There are eight vowels that originated from the relationship between palatalité, aperture and labialité in terms of their characteristics in general Turkish. These are /a/, /e/, /ı/, /i/, /o, /ö/, /u/ and /ü/. In general, /a/, /i/ and /u/ are considered as cardinal vowels in Turkish. According to this viewpoint, Turkish has a triple vowel system consisting of /a/, /i/ and /u/ in the periods when Turkish could not be pursued in writing...

  18. Cross-modal discrepancies in coarticulation and the integration of speech information: the McGurk effect with mismatched vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, K P; Gerdeman, A

    1995-12-01

    Two experiments examined the impact of a discrepancy in vowel quality between the auditory and visual modalities on the perception of a syllable-initial consonant. One experiment examined the effect of such a discrepancy on the McGurk effect by cross-dubbing auditory /bi/ tokens onto visual /ga/ articulations (and vice versa). A discrepancy in vowel category significantly reduced the magnitude of the McGurk effect and changed the pattern of responses. A 2nd experiment investigated the effect of such a discrepancy on the speeded classification of the initial consonant. Mean reaction times to classify the tokens increased when the vowel information was discrepant between the 2 modalities but not when the vowel information was consistent. These experiments indicate that the perceptual system is sensitive to cross-modal discrepancies in the coarticulatory information between a consonant and its following vowel during phonetic perception.

  19. The Persian Vowel Formants in Normal, Moderate and Severe Hearing Impaired Students Age 7-9 Years in Isfahan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faranak Salehi

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Nowadays, auditory perception is not a complete method to assess vowels quality and we need to use more objective instruments.In this study we want to determine and compare the persian vowels formants in normal and hearing Impaired students in 7ـ9 year old children of Isfahan.Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was performed on 64 normal and hearing impaired students. Background information was by interview and then, vowel production test was performed. First three formants of each vowel were obtained and recorded by speech studio soft ware and Dr. Speech device Data were compared between groups. Results: Mean F1 and F2, and F2/F1 and F3/F1 ratio of Persian vowels between these three studied groups were different significantly. Mean F3 of /o/, /e/ and /a/ in all groups was different significantly. Although we could not find such a significant differences for /u/, /i/ and /æ/ between these groups(p<0.05.Conclusion: The most important difference between normal and hearing impaired children is their vowel Space, and we found that, the more sever the hearing impairment is, the closer vowel space will be seen. The hearing impaired children rely mostly on their proprioceptive sense because of their hearing deficiency and it causes less movement of the tongue, so they usually substitute vowels which have similar F1 and F2.

  20. Recognition of vertical vowel graphemes of Korean characters based on combination of vowel graphemes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔荣一; 洪炳熔

    2002-01-01

    Korean characters consist of 2-dimensional-distributed consonantal and vowel graphemes. The pur-pose of reducing the 2-dimensional characteristics of Korean characters to linear arrangements at early stage ofcharacter recognition is to decrease the complexity of following recognition task. By defining the identificationcodes for the vowel graphemes of Korean characters, the rules for combination of vowel graphemes are estab-lished, and a recognition algorithm based on the rules for combination of vowel graphemes, is therefore proposedfor vertical vowel graphemes. The algorithm has been proved feasilbe through demonstrating simulations.

  1. Enhancing Vowel Discrimination Using Constructed Spelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Katherine; Hayashi, Yusuke; Saunders, Kathryn

    2010-01-01

    In a computerized task, an adult with intellectual disabilities learned to construct consonant-vowel-consonant words in the presence of corresponding spoken words. During the initial assessment, the participant demonstrated high accuracy on one word group (containing the vowel-consonant units "it" and "un") but low accuracy on the other group…

  2. Brain activation for consonants and vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreiras, Manuel; Price, Cathy J

    2008-07-01

    Previous behavioral and electrophysiological studies have shown dissociation between consonants and vowels. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether vowel and consonant processing differences are expressed in the neuronal activation pattern and whether they are modulated by task. The experimental design involved reading aloud and lexical decision on visually presented pseudowords created by transposing or replacing consonants or vowels in words. During reading aloud, changing vowels relative to consonants increased activation in a right middle temporal area previously associated with prosodic processing of speech input. In contrast, during lexical decision, changing consonants relative to vowels increased activation in a right middle frontal area associated with inhibiting go-responses. The task-sensitive nature of these effects demonstrates that consonants and vowels differ at a processing, rather than stimulus, level. We argue that prosodic processing of vowel changes arise during self-monitoring of speech output, whereas greater inhibition of go-responses to consonant changes follows insufficient lexico-semantic processing when nonwords looking particularly like words must be rejected. Our results are consistent with claims that vowels and consonants place differential demands on prosodic and lexico-semantic processing, respectively. They also highlight the different types of information that can be drawn from functional imaging and neuropsychological studies.

  3. Vowel Aperture and Syllable Segmentation in French

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goslin, Jeremy; Frauenfelder, Ulrich H.

    2008-01-01

    The theories of Pulgram (1970) suggest that if the vowel of a French syllable is open then it will induce syllable segmentation responses that result in the syllable being closed, and vice versa. After the empirical verification that our target French-speaking population was capable of distinguishing between mid-vowel aperture, we examined the…

  4. Preference patterns in infant vowel perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar, Monika T.; Polka, Linda

    2001-05-01

    Infants show directional asymmetries in vowel discrimination tasks that reveal an underlying perceptual bias favoring more peripheral vowels. Polka and Bohn (2003) propose that this bias is language independent and plays an important role in the development of vowel perception. In the present study we measured infant listening preferences for vowels to assess whether a perceptual bias favoring peripheral vowels can be measured more directly. Monolingual (French and English) and bilingual infants completed a listening preference task using multiple natural tokens of German /dut/ and /dyt/ produced by a male talker. In previous work, discrimination of this vowel pair by German-learning and by English-learning infants revealed a robust directional asymmetry in which /u/ acts as a perceptual anchor; specifically, infants had difficulty detecting a change from /u/ to /y/, whereas a change from /y/ to /u/ was readily detected. Preliminary results from preference tests with these stimuli show that most infants between 3 and 5 months of age also listen longer to /u/ than to /y/. Preference data obtained from older infants and with other vowel pairs will also be reported to further test the claim that peripheral vowels have a privileged perceptual status in infant perception.

  5. Perceptual analysis from confusions between vowels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kamp, L.J.T.; Pols, L.C.W.

    1971-01-01

    In an experiment on vowel identification confusions were obtained between 11 Dutch vowel sounds. To recover the perceptual configurations of the stimuli multidimensional scaling techniques were applied directly to the asymmetric confusion matrix, and to the symmetrized confusion matrix. In order to

  6. Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Mapping to Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L.; Liss, Julie M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The aim of the present report was to explore whether vowel metrics, demonstrated to distinguish dysarthric and healthy speech in a companion article (Lansford & Liss, 2014), are able to predict human perceptual performance. Method Vowel metrics derived from vowels embedded in phrases produced by 45 speakers with dysarthria were compared with orthographic transcriptions of these phrases collected from 120 healthy listeners. First, correlation and stepwise multiple regressions were conducted to identify acoustic metrics that had predictive value for perceptual measures. Next, discriminant function analysis misclassifications were compared with listeners’ misperceptions to examine more directly the perceptual consequences of degraded vowel acoustics. Results Several moderate correlative relationships were found between acoustic metrics and perceptual measures, with predictive models accounting for 18%–75% of the variance in measures of intelligibility and vowel accuracy. Results of the second analysis showed that listeners better identified acoustically distinctive vowel tokens. In addition, the level of agreement between misclassified-to-misperceived vowel tokens supports some specificity of degraded acoustic profiles on the resulting percept. Conclusion Results provide evidence that degraded vowel acoustics have some effect on human perceptual performance, even in the presence of extravowel variables that naturally exert influence in phrase perception. PMID:24687468

  7. Using Angle calculations to demonstrate vowel shifts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Anne

    2008-01-01

    This paper gives an overview of the long-term trends of diachronic changes evident within the short vowel system of RP during the 20th century. more specifically, it focusses on changing juxtapositions of the TRAP, STRUT and LOT, FOOT vowel centroid positions. The paper uses geometric calculation...

  8. Functional connectivity associated with acoustic stability during vowel production: implications for vocal-motor control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidtis, John J

    2015-03-01

    Vowels provide the acoustic foundation of communication through speech and song, but little is known about how the brain orchestrates their production. Positron emission tomography was used to study regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during sustained production of the vowel /a/. Acoustic and blood flow data from 13, normal, right-handed, native speakers of American English were analyzed to identify CBF patterns that predicted the stability of the first and second formants of this vowel. Formants are bands of resonance frequencies that provide vowel identity and contribute to voice quality. The results indicated that formant stability was directly associated with blood flow increases and decreases in both left- and right-sided brain regions. Secondary brain regions (those associated with the regions predicting formant stability) were more likely to have an indirect negative relationship with first formant variability, but an indirect positive relationship with second formant variability. These results are not definitive maps of vowel production, but they do suggest that the level of motor control necessary to produce stable vowels is reflected in the complexity of an underlying neural system. These results also extend a systems approach to functional image analysis, previously applied to normal and ataxic speech rate that is solely based on identifying patterns of brain activity associated with specific performance measures. Understanding the complex relationships between multiple brain regions and the acoustic characteristics of vocal stability may provide insight into the pathophysiology of the dysarthrias, vocal disorders, and other speech changes in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

  9. ADVERTISING BRANDS BY MEANS OF SOUNDS SYMBOLISM: THE INFLUENCE OF VOWELS ON PERCEIVED BRAND CHARACTERISTICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Catalina Duduciuc

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to test the influence of sound symbolism on perceived characteristics of a brand as well as to highlight the importance of applied social psychology to current practice of advertising. Previous research showed that the phonetic structure of brand name communicates its characteristics, i.e. it drives consumers to assess certain features and performance of the product. I assumed that when consumers encounter an unknown brand name, they automatically infer characteristics from the meaning conveyed by the sounds (e.g. phonemes. Therefore, I supposed that a brand name for a shampoo (artificially created on experimental purpose containing back vowel is evaluated better by consumers when they compare it to another brand name with front vowels. Furthermore, for the accuracy of responses, I used the semantic differential scale to measure the differences between two brands in terms of certain attributes of product. To this end, fifty students (N=50 participated in a research based on questionnaire. As the results of the current research showed, the brand name with back vowel outnumbered the brand name with front vowel on two dimension, i.e. on brand activity and brand efficiency. The brand name containing front vowel was rated better when subjects evaluated the product in generally. Last, but not least, when it comes to convey meanings, the sound of back vowels [a] could be used more when marketers promote products that communicate its characteristics such as efficiency, velocity and health. The back vowel could be also assessed to products with larger packing or special sailing such as extra quantity. Meanwhile, the brand names with front vowels [ie] could be created for more expensive products with good quality, mainly addressed to men.

  10. Malaysian English: An Instrumental Analysis of Vowel Contrasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Stefanie; Don, Zuraidah Mohd.; Knowles, Gerald; Tang, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    This paper makes an instrumental analysis of English vowel monophthongs produced by 47 female Malaysian speakers. The focus is on the distribution of Malaysian English vowels in the vowel space, and the extent to which there is phonetic contrast between traditionally paired vowels. The results indicate that, like neighbouring varieties of English,…

  11. An acoustic investigation of Arabic vowels pronounced by Malay speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Abd Almisreb

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In Malaysia, Arabic language is spoken, and commonly used among the Malays. Malays use Arabic in their daily life, such as during performing worship. Hence, in this paper, some of the Arabic vowels attributes are investigated, analyzed and initial findings are presented based on tokens articulated by Malay speakers as we can consider the spoken Arabic by Malays as one of the Arabic dialects. It is known that in Arabic language there are 28 consonants and 6 main vowels. Firstly, the duration, variability, and overlapping attributes are highlighted based on syllables of Consonant–Vowel with each syllable representing every Arabic consonant with the corresponding vowels. Next, the dispersion of each vowel is examined to be compared with each other along with the variability among vowels that may cause overlapping between vowels in the vowel-space. Results showed that the vowel overlapping occurred between short vowels and their long counterpart vowels. Furthermore, an investigation of the Arabic vowel duration is addressed as well, and duration analysis for all the vowels is discussed, followed by the analysis for each vowel separately. In addition, a comparison between long and short vowels is presented as well as comparison between high and low vowel is carried out.

  12. Malaysian English: An Instrumental Analysis of Vowel Contrasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Stefanie; Don, Zuraidah Mohd.; Knowles, Gerald; Tang, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    This paper makes an instrumental analysis of English vowel monophthongs produced by 47 female Malaysian speakers. The focus is on the distribution of Malaysian English vowels in the vowel space, and the extent to which there is phonetic contrast between traditionally paired vowels. The results indicate that, like neighbouring varieties of English,…

  13. Pharyngeal related non-lexical vowels in Sephardic Modern Hebrew

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pariente, I.

    2010-01-01

    This paper examines non-lexical vowels in Sephardic Modern Hebrew. It is argued that two kinds of vowel, which are triggered by the pharyngeal consonants, should be identified: (a) true epenthetic vowels that emerge on the surface to repair illicit (marked) syllable structures. (b) "Echo-vowels" tha

  14. Acoustic and Durational Properties of Indian English Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Olga; Fletcher, Janet

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents findings of an acoustic phonetic analysis of vowels produced by speakers of English as a second language from northern India. The monophthongal vowel productions of a group of male speakers of Hindi and male speakers of Punjabi were recorded, and acoustic phonetic analyses of vowel formant frequencies and vowel duration were…

  15. Effects of training on learning non-native speech contrasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinnott, Joan M.

    2002-05-01

    An animal psychoacoustic procedure was used to train human listeners to categorize two non-native phonemic distinctions. In Exp 1, Japanese perception of the English liquid contrast /r-l/ was examined. In Exp 2, American-English perception of the Hindi dental-retroflex contrast /d-D/was examined. The training methods were identical in the two studies. The stimuli consisted of 64 CVs produced by four different native talkers (two male, two female) using four different vowels. The procedure involved manually moving a lever to make either a ``go-left'' or ``go-right'' response to categorize the stimuli. Feedback was given for correct and incorrect responses after each trial. After 32 training sessions, lasting about 8 weeks, performance was analyzed using both percent correct and response time as measures. Results showed that the Japanese listeners, as a group, were statistically similar to a group of native listeners in categorizing the liquid contrast. In contrast, the Amercan-English listeners were not nativelike in categorizing the dental-retroflex contrast. Hypotheses for the different results in the two experiments are discussed, including possible subject-related variables. In addition, the use of an animal model is proposed to objectively ``calibrate'' the psychoacoustic salience of various phoneme contrasts used in human speech.

  16. The pattern of tongue positions and properties of Kazak vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Ruiqing

    2017-06-01

    Acoustic analysis of Kazak vowels has been undertaken and values of the first two formants are extracted as the data for the pattern of tongue positions. Both formant values and the pattern of tongue positions of Kazak vowels indicate that there is a relative minimal-pair contrast distribution among the vowels. Although all of the vowels are within the area of the cardinal vowels, most Kazak vowel are centralized and the ultimate of tongue positions is confined in a comparatively small area. Vowels [e] and [ɨ] are actually not that as the IPA signified.

  17. Nonlinearity between acoustics and articulation in Hungarian transparent vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benus, Stefan; Kirke, Karen D.; Gafos, Adamantios I.

    2001-05-01

    We present novel results from the acoustic and articulatory investigation of the production of the transparent vowels (TVs) /i/, /i:/, /e:/ in Hungarian (colon denotes length). The acoustic measurements of the front-back distinction (second formant, the difference of the first and second formants [Ladefoged, 1993]) show that the effect of adjacent back vowels on the front quality of the TVs is only weakly significant. The articulatory measurements of the same data, however, show that adjacent back vowels cause highly significant retraction of the tongue body during the production of the front TVs. The significance of this finding lies in its relevance to the relationship between phonetics and phonology. Our results demonstrate that minor phonetic differences in articulation, impossible to access by traditional theory, correlate with full-fledged phonological alternation of suffix selection in Hungarian. Traditional phonological accounts predict no effect of continuous phonetic details on discrete phonological generalizations. This is supported in our acoustic data but contrasts with our articulatory findings. In the paper we propose a dynamic model where phonological transparency is directly related to nonlinearity between acoustics and articulation [Stevens, 1989; Wood, 1979]. [Work supported by NIH.

  18. Nonlinearity between acoustics and articulation in Hungarian transparent vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benus, Stefan; Kirke, Karen D.; Gafos, Adamantios I.

    2004-05-01

    We present novel results from the acoustic and articulatory investigation of the production of the transparent vowels (TVs) /i/, /i:/, /e:/ in Hungarian (colon denotes length). The acoustic measurements of the front-back distinction (second formant, the difference of the first and second formants [Ladefoged, 1993]) show that the effect of adjacent back vowels on the front quality of the TVs is only weakly significant. The articulatory measurements of the same data, however, show that adjacent back vowels cause highly significant retraction of the tongue body during the production of the front TVs. The significance of this finding lies in its relevance to the relationship between phonetics and phonology. Our results demonstrate that minor phonetic differences in articulation, impossible to access by traditional theory, correlate with full-fledged phonological alternation of suffix selection in Hungarian. Traditional phonological accounts predict no effect of continuous phonetic details on discrete phonological generalizations. This is supported in our acoustic data but contrasts with our articulatory findings. In the paper we propose a dynamic model where phonological transparency is directly related to nonlinearity between acoustics and articulation [Stevens, 1989; Wood, 1979]. [Work supported by NIH.

  19. Pacific northwest vowels: A Seattle neighborhood dialect study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingle, Jennifer K.; Wright, Richard; Wassink, Alicia

    2005-04-01

    According to current literature a large region encompassing nearly the entire west half of the U.S. belongs to one dialect region referred to as Western, which furthermore, according to Labov et al., ``... has developed a characteristic but not unique phonology.'' [http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono-atlas/NationalMap/NationalMap.html] This paper will describe the vowel space of a set of Pacific Northwest American English speakers native to the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Wash. based on the acoustical analysis of high-quality Marantz CDR 300 recordings. Characteristics, such as low back merger and [u] fronting will be compared to findings by other studies. It is hoped that these recordings will contribute to a growing number of corpora of North American English dialects. All participants were born in Seattle and began their residence in Ballard between ages 0-8. They were recorded in two styles of speech: individually reading repetitions of a word list containing one token each of 10 vowels within carrier phrases, and in casual conversation for 40 min with a partner matched in age, gender, and social mobility. The goal was to create a compatible data set for comparison with current acoustic studies. F1 and F2 and vowel duration from LPC spectral analysis will be presented.

  20. Adults' perception and production of the English vowel /i/.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frieda, E M; Walley, A C; Flege, J E; Sloane, M E

    2000-02-01

    This study investigated the link between the perception and production of the English vowel /i/ by adult native speakers of English. Participants first produced the vowel /i/ using normal (citation) and careful (hyperarticulated) speech, then completed a method of adjustment task in which they selected their ideal exemplar of /i/. In this perceptual task, 24 of 35 participants had a prototype; the remaining 11 did not, but were retained for comparison. In keeping with the hyperspace effect (K. Johnson, E. Flemming, & R. Wright, 1993), all participants selected perceptual stimuli with F1 and F2 values that were more extreme (i.e., higher and further forward in the vowel space) than those of their normal, citation productions. An analysis of front-back and high-low qualities for the perceptual and production data in Euclidian space revealed that hyperarticulated speech was closer to the perceptual data than citation speech was, but only for participants with relatively clear-cut prototypes. The basis for such individual variation in perception-production links is discussed.

  1. Word Durations in Non-Native English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Rachel E.; Baese-Berk, Melissa; Bonnasse-Gahot, Laurent; Kim, Midam; Van Engen, Kristin J.; Bradlow, Ann R.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we compare the effects of English lexical features on word duration for native and non-native English speakers and for non-native speakers with different L1s and a range of L2 experience. We also examine whether non-native word durations lead to judgments of a stronger foreign accent. We measured word durations in English paragraphs read by 12 American English (AE), 20 Korean, and 20 Chinese speakers. We also had AE listeners rate the `accentedness' of these non-native speakers. AE speech had shorter durations, greater within-speaker word duration variance, greater reduction of function words, and less between-speaker variance than non-native speech. However, both AE and non-native speakers showed sensitivity to lexical predictability by reducing second mentions and high frequency words. Non-native speakers with more native-like word durations, greater within-speaker word duration variance, and greater function word reduction were perceived as less accented. Overall, these findings identify word duration as an important and complex feature of foreign-accented English. PMID:21516172

  2. The effect of exposure to a single vowel on talker normalization for vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, John R; Sommers, Mitchell S; Lulich, Steven M

    2015-03-01

    The current work investigated the role of single vowels in talker normalization. Following initial training to identify six talkers from the isolated vowel /i/, participants were asked to identify vowels in three different conditions. In the blocked-talker conditions, the vowels were blocked by talker. In the mixed-talker conditions, vowels from all six talkers were presented in random order. The precursor mixed-talker conditions were identical to the mixed-talker conditions except that participants were provided with either a sample vowel or just the written name of a talker before target-vowel presentation. In experiment 1, the precursor vowel was always spoken by the same talker as the target vowel. Identification accuracy did not differ significantly for the blocked and precursor mixed-talker conditions and both were better than the pure mixed-talker condition. In experiment 2, half of the trials had a precursor spoken by the same talker as the target and half had a different talker. For the same-talker precursor condition, the results replicated those in experiment 1. In the different-talker precursor, no benefit was observed relative to the pure-mixed condition. In experiment 3, only the written name was presented as a precursor and no benefits were observed relative to the pure-mixed condition.

  3. Acoustic comparison of vowel sounds produced before and after orthognathic surgery for mandibular advancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemi, Matti; Laaksonen, Juha-Pertti; Peltomäki, Timo; Kurimo, Jukka; Aaltonen, Olli; Happonen, Risto-Pekka

    2006-06-01

    The effects of orthognathic surgery on the phonetic quality of speech were studied by analyzing the main acoustic features of vowel sounds. Five men with dentofacial deformities undergoing surgical operation for correction of malocclusion were enrolled in the study. The speech material consisted of 8 vowels in sentence context. Every utterance was repeated 10 times in 3 different sessions: before the operation, 6 weeks after the operation, and 30 weeks after the operation. The acoustic features (F1, F2, F0, duration) of vowels were measured and analyzed. At the group level, no significant acoustic changes were found between the 3 different sessions in any parameter measured (all F values vowel quality, ranging from slightly affected to completely unaffected. The 2 lowest vocal-tract resonances changed in frequency for 2 of the subjects, and 1 subject had short-term changes returning to the presurgical level. Significant changes of F0 were observed for 1 subject, and 3 of the subjects had short-term changes. No significant changes were found for duration. One subject had no significant changes in any parameter measured. No long-lasting perceptually significant changes were identified in vowel production in patients undergoing a variety of orthognathic procedures. The facial skeleton (consisting of palate, maxilla, mandible, dentition, nasal cavity, etc) imposes direct limits on the morphology of the resonating vocal tract cavities, and is therefore of immediate relevance to both speech articulation and acoustics.

  4. Discrete motor coordinates for vowel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assaneo, María Florencia; Trevisan, Marcos A; Mindlin, Gabriel B

    2013-01-01

    Current models of human vocal production that capture peripheral dynamics in speech require large dimensional measurements of the neural activity, which are mapped into equally complex motor gestures. In this work we present a motor description for vowels as points in a discrete low-dimensional space. We monitor the dynamics of 3 points at the oral cavity using Hall-effect transducers and magnets, describing the resulting signals during normal utterances in terms of active/inactive patterns that allow a robust vowel classification in an abstract binary space. We use simple matrix algebra to link this representation to the anatomy of the vocal tract and to recent reports of highly tuned neuronal activations for vowel production, suggesting a plausible global strategy for vowel codification and motor production.

  5. Discrete motor coordinates for vowel production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Florencia Assaneo

    Full Text Available Current models of human vocal production that capture peripheral dynamics in speech require large dimensional measurements of the neural activity, which are mapped into equally complex motor gestures. In this work we present a motor description for vowels as points in a discrete low-dimensional space. We monitor the dynamics of 3 points at the oral cavity using Hall-effect transducers and magnets, describing the resulting signals during normal utterances in terms of active/inactive patterns that allow a robust vowel classification in an abstract binary space. We use simple matrix algebra to link this representation to the anatomy of the vocal tract and to recent reports of highly tuned neuronal activations for vowel production, suggesting a plausible global strategy for vowel codification and motor production.

  6. Early sound symbolism for vowel sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spector, Ferrinne; Maurer, Daphne

    2013-01-01

    Children and adults consistently match some words (e.g., kiki) to jagged shapes and other words (e.g., bouba) to rounded shapes, providing evidence for non-arbitrary sound-shape mapping. In this study, we investigated the influence of vowels on sound-shape matching in toddlers, using four contrasting pairs of nonsense words differing in vowel sound (/i/ as in feet vs. /o/ as in boat) and four rounded-jagged shape pairs. Crucially, we used reduplicated syllables (e.g., kiki vs. koko) rather than confounding vowel sound with consonant context and syllable variability (e.g., kiki vs. bouba). Toddlers consistently matched words with /o/ to rounded shapes and words with /i/ to jagged shapes (p vowel sound and shape.

  7. Early Sound Symbolism for Vowel Sounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferrinne Spector

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Children and adults consistently match some words (e.g., kiki to jagged shapes and other words (e.g., bouba to rounded shapes, providing evidence for non-arbitrary sound–shape mapping. In this study, we investigated the influence of vowels on sound–shape matching in toddlers, using four contrasting pairs of nonsense words differing in vowel sound (/i/ as in feet vs. /o/ as in boat and four rounded–jagged shape pairs. Crucially, we used reduplicated syllables (e.g., kiki vs. koko rather than confounding vowel sound with consonant context and syllable variability (e.g., kiki vs. bouba. Toddlers consistently matched words with /o/ to rounded shapes and words with /i/ to jagged shapes (p < 0.01. The results suggest that there may be naturally biased correspondences between vowel sound and shape.

  8. Types and Degrees of Vowel Neutrality

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rebrus, Péter; Törkenczy, Miklós

    2016-01-01

    This paper argues that neutrality in a harmony system is a gradient property since it is due to a vowel's participation in different patterns that are considered to be indicators of neutral behaviour in harmony...

  9. A comparative analysis of Media Lengua and Quichua vowel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    This study presents a comparative analysis of F1 and F2 vowel frequencies from Pijal Media Lengua (PML) and Imbabura Quichua. Mixed-effects models are used to test Spanish-derived high and low vowels against their Quichua-derived counterparts for statistical significance. Spanish-derived and Quichua-derived high vowels are also tested against Spanish-derived mid vowels. This analysis suggests that PML may be manipulating as many as eight vowels where Spanishderived high and low vowels coexist as near-mergers with their Quichua-derived counterparts, while high and mid vowels coexist with partial overlap. Quichua, traditionally viewed as a three-vowel system, shows similar results and may be manipulating as many as six vowels. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. The Influence of Working Memory on Reading Comprehension in Vowelized versus Non-Vowelized Arabic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsayyad, Hossam; Everatt, John; Mortimore, Tilly; Haynes, Charles

    2017-01-01

    Unlike English, short vowel sounds in Arabic are represented by diacritics rather than letters. According to the presence and absence of these vowel diacritics, the Arabic script can be considered more or less transparent in comparison with other orthographies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of working memory to…

  11. A Vowel Is a Vowel: Generalizing Newly Learned Phonotactic Constraints to New Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Kyle E.; Onishi, Kristine H.; Fisher, Cynthia

    2010-01-01

    Adults can learn novel phonotactic constraints from brief listening experience. We investigated the representations underlying phonotactic learning by testing generalization to syllables containing new vowels. Adults heard consonant-vowel-consonant study syllables in which particular consonants were artificially restricted to the onset or coda…

  12. Automatic evaluation of tracheoesophageal substitute voice: sustained vowel versus standard text.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocklet, Tobias; Toy, Hikmet; Nöth, Elmar; Schuster, Maria; Eysholdt, Ulrich; Rosanowski, Frank; Gottwald, Frank; Haderlein, Tino

    2009-01-01

    The Hoarseness Diagram, a program for voice quality analysis used in German-speaking countries, was compared with an automatic speech recognition system with a module for prosodic analysis. The latter computed prosodic features on the basis of a text recording. We examined whether voice analysis of sustained vowels and text analysis correlate in tracheoesophageal speakers. Test speakers were 24 male laryngectomees with tracheoesophageal substitute speech, age 60.6 +/- 8.9 years. Each person read the German version of the text 'The North Wind and the Sun'. Additionally, five sustained vowels were recorded from each patient. The fundamental frequency (F(0)) detected by both programs was compared for all vowels. The correlation between the measures obtained by the Hoarseness Diagram and the features from the prosody module was computed. Both programs have problems in determining the F(0) of highly pathologic voices. Parameters like jitter, shimmer, F(0), and irregularity as computed by the Hoarseness Diagram from vowels show correlations of about -0.8 with prosodic features obtained from the text recordings. Voice properties can reliably be evaluated both on the basis of vowel and text recordings. Text analysis, however, also offers possibilities for the automatic evaluation of running speech since it realistically represents everyday speech. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Categorical vowel perception enhances the effectiveness and generalization of auditory feedback in human-machine-interfaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Larson

    Full Text Available Human-machine interface (HMI designs offer the possibility of improving quality of life for patient populations as well as augmenting normal user function. Despite pragmatic benefits, utilizing auditory feedback for HMI control remains underutilized, in part due to observed limitations in effectiveness. The goal of this study was to determine the extent to which categorical speech perception could be used to improve an auditory HMI. Using surface electromyography, 24 healthy speakers of American English participated in 4 sessions to learn to control an HMI using auditory feedback (provided via vowel synthesis. Participants trained on 3 targets in sessions 1-3 and were tested on 3 novel targets in session 4. An "established categories with text cues" group of eight participants were trained and tested on auditory targets corresponding to standard American English vowels using auditory and text target cues. An "established categories without text cues" group of eight participants were trained and tested on the same targets using only auditory cuing of target vowel identity. A "new categories" group of eight participants were trained and tested on targets that corresponded to vowel-like sounds not part of American English. Analyses of user performance revealed significant effects of session and group (established categories groups and the new categories group, and a trend for an interaction between session and group. Results suggest that auditory feedback can be effectively used for HMI operation when paired with established categorical (native vowel targets with an unambiguous cue.

  14. Acoustic Characteristics of Stressed Front Vowels in the French speech of Russian and Mari people

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Зоя Георгиевна Зорина

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The article describes the spectral characteristics of stressed front vowels in the French speech of native speakers, Russian, Hill and Meadow Mari speakers under conditions of «artificial» bilingualism. Vowel spectra were determined by the F-picture (the first two formants. The research revealed that Russian and Mari native speakers demonstrate an ability to differentiate the rise of French vowels more frequently. Correct pronunciation of a number of French vowels is observed more frequently in the speech of the Hill Mari, more rarely- in the speech of the Meadow Mari. Russian speakers hardly differentiate vowel rows. However, the "poor" quality of speech in a foreign language does not prevent one from good understanding due to the fact that for a bilingual speaker the sounding of tokens on the morphemic level becomes less relevant than the meaning. Sufficiently deep immersion into lifestyle, behavior of speakers of another language can help achieve a real image of the picture of another language.

  15. Vowel reduction patterns of early Spanish- English bilinguals receiving continuous L1 and L2 input

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byers Emily

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the production of three morphophonetic variations of schwa in American English: the plural allomorph {-s} as in watches, the possessive allomorph {-s} as in Sasha’s, and word-finally as in Russia. The production of these three allomorphs were examined in Miami’s English monolingual and early Spanish-English bilingual populations. Our purpose was to determine how native-like early Spanish-English bilinguals′ spectral qualities and reduced vowel durations were compared to Miami English monolinguals during a reading task. Results indicate that early bilinguals′ reduced vowels followed the same overall pattern as monolinguals, but had different acoustic properties.

  16. Vowel normalization for accent: An investigation of perceptual plasticity in young adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Bronwen G.; Iverson, Paul

    2004-05-01

    Previous work has emphasized the role of early experience in the ability to accurately perceive and produce foreign or foreign-accented speech. This study examines how listeners at a much later stage in language development-early adulthood-adapt to a non-native accent within the same language. A longitudinal study investigated whether listeners who had had no previous experience of living in multidialectal environments adapted their speech perception and production when attending university. Participants were tested before beginning university and then again 3 months later. An acoustic analysis of production was carried out and perceptual tests were used to investigate changes in word intelligibility and vowel categorization. Preliminary results suggest that listeners are able to adjust their phonetic representations and that these patterns of adjustment are linked to the changes in production that speakers typically make due to sociolinguistic factors when living in multidialectal environments.

  17. Learning English vowels with different first-language vowel systems II: Auditory training for native Spanish and German speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Paul; Evans, Bronwen G

    2009-08-01

    This study investigated whether individuals with small and large native-language (L1) vowel inventories learn second-language (L2) vowel systems differently, in order to better understand how L1 categories interfere with new vowel learning. Listener groups whose L1 was Spanish (5 vowels) or German (18 vowels) were given five sessions of high-variability auditory training for English vowels, after having been matched to assess their pre-test English vowel identification accuracy. Listeners were tested before and after training in terms of their identification accuracy for English vowels, the assimilation of these vowels into their L1 vowel categories, and their best exemplars for English (i.e., perceptual vowel space map). The results demonstrated that Germans improved more than Spanish speakers, despite the Germans' more crowded L1 vowel space. A subsequent experiment demonstrated that Spanish listeners were able to improve as much as the German group after an additional ten sessions of training, and that both groups were able to retain this learning. The findings suggest that a larger vowel category inventory may facilitate new learning, and support a hypothesis that auditory training improves identification by making the application of existing categories to L2 phonemes more automatic and efficient.

  18. Effects of phonetic reduction and regional dialect on vowel production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clapper, Cynthia G.; Mitsch, Jane F.; Tamati, Terrin N.

    Many linguistic factors contribute to variation in vowel dispersion, including lexical properties, such as word frequency, and discourse properties, such as previous mention. Indexical factors, such as regional dialect, similarly contribute to spectral vowel variation in production. A handful of

  19. Mid Vowel Alternations in Verbal Stems in Brazilian Portuguese

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seung-Hwa Lee

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes an alternative analysis for mid vowel alternations in verbal stems in BP, treating them as vowel coalescence, where two input vowels unite into a single output vowel that shares features of its ancestor, in the framework of Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky, 1993; McCarthy & Prince, 1995. The vowel coalescence in BP is triggered by the markedness constraint ONSET, which prohibits vowel initial syllables, competing with faithfulness constraints. The ranking of MAX and the markedness constraint ONSET above UNIFORMITY (no coalescence yields coalescence instead of deletion. For vowel neutralization in BP, I assume the typology of height contrasts in relation to stress proposed by Beckman (1997 and McCarthy (1999; this typology needs to be adapted for Portuguese, since Portuguese has a seven vowel system. In addition, the faithfulness constraint IDENT-SUFFIX is introduced to explain leftward coalescence since coalescence in BP does not occur in locally adjacent segments.

  20. Key Issues in Vowel Based Splitting of Telugu Bigrams

    OpenAIRE

    Kameswara Rao; Prasad, Dr. T. V

    2014-01-01

    Splitting of compound Telugu words into its components or root words is one of the important, tedious and yet inaccurate tasks of Natural Language Processing (NLP). Except in few special cases, at least one vowel is necessarily involved in Telugu conjunctions. In the result, vowels are often repeated as they are or are converted into other vowels or consonants. This paper describes issues involved in vowel based splitting of a Telugu bigram into proper root words using Telugu grammar conjunct...

  1. Auditory free classification of nonnative speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atagi, Eriko; Bent, Tessa

    2013-01-01

    Through experience with speech variability, listeners build categories of indexical speech characteristics including categories for talker, gender, and dialect. The auditory free classification task—a task in which listeners freely group talkers based on audio samples—has been a useful tool for examining listeners’ representations of some of these characteristics including regional dialects and different languages. The free classification task was employed in the current study to examine the perceptual representation of nonnative speech. The category structure and salient perceptual dimensions of nonnative speech were investigated from two perspectives: general similarity and perceived native language background. Talker intelligibility and whether native talkers were included were manipulated to test stimulus set effects. Results showed that degree of accent was a highly salient feature of nonnative speech for classification based on general similarity and on perceived native language background. This salience, however, was attenuated when listeners were listening to highly intelligible stimuli and attending to the talkers’ native language backgrounds. These results suggest that the context in which nonnative speech stimuli are presented—such as the listeners’ attention to the talkers’ native language and the variability of stimulus intelligibility—can influence listeners’ perceptual organization of nonnative speech. PMID:24363470

  2. Auditory free classification of nonnative speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atagi, Eriko; Bent, Tessa

    2013-11-01

    Through experience with speech variability, listeners build categories of indexical speech characteristics including categories for talker, gender, and dialect. The auditory free classification task-a task in which listeners freely group talkers based on audio samples-has been a useful tool for examining listeners' representations of some of these characteristics including regional dialects and different languages. The free classification task was employed in the current study to examine the perceptual representation of nonnative speech. The category structure and salient perceptual dimensions of nonnative speech were investigated from two perspectives: general similarity and perceived native language background. Talker intelligibility and whether native talkers were included were manipulated to test stimulus set effects. Results showed that degree of accent was a highly salient feature of nonnative speech for classification based on general similarity and on perceived native language background. This salience, however, was attenuated when listeners were listening to highly intelligible stimuli and attending to the talkers' native language backgrounds. These results suggest that the context in which nonnative speech stimuli are presented-such as the listeners' attention to the talkers' native language and the variability of stimulus intelligibility-can influence listeners' perceptual organization of nonnative speech.

  3. VOWEL REDUCTION IN SOUTHERN RUSSIAN DISSIMILATIVE DIALECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. M. Savinov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper shows that the development of pretonic vocalism in South Russian dialects is directly conditioned by changes occurring in the rhythmic and prosodic structure of the phonetic word. It is the rhythmic structure of the word that is immediately involved in the formation of articulatory program, which in turn determines the main regularities of the linear sound sequence. In these dialects a consistent link between segmental and suprasegmental levels has been observed. Articulatory and acoustic features of pretonic vowels cannot be separated from the prosody of the utterance, while tendencies in the development of vowel systems can only be revealed from the perspective of speech prosody. The greater involvement of all vowel (primarily in pre-stress position in positional interchange and interdependence between vowels in the word context make for absence of unstressed vowels reduced to zero in the dialects with dissimilative akanye. There are two reductional types in this dialects: «donskoj» and «kaluzhskij», named after regions of its fixation.

  4. Analysis of Polish Vowels of Tracheoesophageal Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mięsikowska, Marzena

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the acoustical differences between normal and tracheoesophageal Polish speakers during Polish vowel production. Formant frequencies, namely, the first (F1) and second (F2) formant frequencies for 6 Polish vowels produced by 11 normal and 11 tracheoesophageal speakers, were analyzed using statistical analysis of variance and discriminant analysis. Spectral analysis showed that the F1 and F2 values of Polish vowels produced by tracheoesophageal speakers were significantly higher than those produced by normal speakers, with the exception of the F2 value of /i/ produced by tracheoesophageal speakers. Analysis of variance showed significant differences between speeches based on the F1 and F2 formant frequencies. Discriminant analysis based on the formant frequencies for F1 and F2 exhibited 73.33% of the mean classification score for tracheoesophageal speakers and 96.36% for normal speakers. Tracheoesophageal speakers exhibit higher F1 and F2 formant frequencies, with the exception of the F2 value for the vowel /i/ than normal speakers. Discriminant analysis showed that the classification process for TE speech exhibits lower accuracy due to the poorer classification of the vowels /i/, /u/, and /y/. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Fusion of spatially separated vowel formant cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takanen, Marko; Raitio, Tuomo; Santala, Olli; Alku, Paavo; Pulkki, Ville

    2013-12-01

    Previous studies on fusion in speech perception have demonstrated the ability of the human auditory system to group separate components of speech-like sounds together and consequently to enable the identification of speech despite the spatial separation between the components. Typically, the spatial separation has been implemented using headphone reproduction where the different components evoke auditory images at different lateral positions. In the present study, a multichannel loudspeaker system was used to investigate whether the correct vowel is identified and whether two auditory events are perceived when a noise-excited vowel is divided into two components that are spatially separated. The two components consisted of the even and odd formants. Both the amount of spatial separation between the components and the directions of the components were varied. Neither the spatial separation nor the directions of the components affected the vowel identification. Interestingly, an additional auditory event not associated with any vowel was perceived at the same time when the components were presented symmetrically in front of the listener. In such scenarios, the vowel was perceived from the direction of the odd formant components.

  6. Weighted vowel prototypes in Finnish and German.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savela, Janne; Eerola, Osmo; Aaltonen, Olli

    2014-03-01

    This study explores the perceptual vowel space of the Finnish and German languages, which have a similar vowel system with eight vowels, /ɑ/ /e/ /i/ /o/ /u/ /y/ /æ∼ε/ /ø/. Three different prototypicality measures are used for describing the internal structuring of the vowel categories in terms of the F1 and F2 formant frequencies: The arithmetic mean (centroid) of the F1-F2 space of the category (Pc), the absolute prototype of the category (Pa), and the weighted prototype of the category (Pω), in which the stimulus formant values are weighted by their goodness rating values. The study gave the following main results: (1) in both languages, the inter-subject differences were the smallest in Pω, and on the order of Difference Limen (DL) of F1-F2 frequencies for all of the three measures, (2) the Pa and Pω differed significantly from the centroid, with the absolute prototypes being the most peripheric, (3) the vowel systems of the two languages were similar (Euclidean distances in Pω of Finnish and German 7-34 mels) although minor differences were found in /e/, / ø/, and /u/, and (4) the mean difference of the prototypes from some earlier published production data was 100-150 mels.

  7. Native- and Non-Native Speaking English Teachers in Vietnam: Weighing the Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walkinshaw, Ian; Duong, Oanh Thi Hoang

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines a common belief that learners of English as a foreign language prefer to learn English from native-speaker teachers rather than non-native speakers of English. 50 Vietnamese learners of English evaluated the importance of native-speakerness compared with seven qualities valued in an English language teacher: teaching…

  8. The Effect of Training on the Discrimination of English Vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cenoz, Jasone; Lecumberri, Luisa Garcie

    1999-01-01

    Analyzes the effect of training on perception of English vowels by native speakers of Basque and Spanish. University students who took a training course in English phonetics completed questionnaires and vowel perception tests. Findings confirm that training exerts a positive effect on the perception of English vowels and that this effect is also…

  9. Vowel Processing During Silent Reading: Evidence from Eye Movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashby, Jane; Treiman, Rebecca; Kessler, Brett; Rayner, Keith

    2006-01-01

    Two eye movement experiments examined whether skilled readers include vowels in the early phonological representations used in word recognition during silent reading. Target words were presented in sentences preceded by parafoveal previews in which the vowel phoneme was concordant or discordant with the vowel phoneme in the target word. In…

  10. Audiovisual Perception of Congruent and Incongruent Dutch Front Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkenier, Bea; Duyne, Jurriaan Y.; Andringa, Tjeerd C.; Baskent, Deniz

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Auditory perception of vowels in background noise is enhanced when combined with visually perceived speech features. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the influence of visual cues on vowel perception extends to incongruent vowels, in a manner similar to the McGurk effect observed with consonants. Method:…

  11. Consonant-vowel interaction in an unusual phonological system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, V I; Blocker, S D

    1990-08-01

    This paper presents information regarding the interactive effects of consonants and vowels in a disordered phonological system. Labial and labiodental consonants were produced as alveolar consonants before front vowels and labial consonants before back vowels. Motivation for the sound change is discussed in terms of assimilation and labial constraints. Implications for therapeutic intervention are discussed.

  12. Reading in Thai: The Case of Misaligned Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winskel, Heather

    2009-01-01

    Thai has its own distinctive alphabetic script with syllabic characteristics as it has implicit vowels for some consonants. Consonants are written in a linear order, but vowels can be written non-linearly above, below or to either side of the consonant. Of particular interest to the current study are that vowels can precede the consonant in…

  13. Distributional vowel training may not be effective for Dutch adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wanrooij, K.; De Vos, J.F.; Boersma, P.

    2015-01-01

    Distributional vowel training for adults has been reported as "effective" for Spanish and Bulgarian learners of Dutch vowels, in studies using a behavioural task. A recent study did not yield a similar clear learning effect for Dutch learners of the English vowel contrast /æ/~/ε/, as measured with e

  14. Acoustic Analysis on the Palatalized Vowels of Modern Mongolian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangidkhorloo Bulgantamir

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In Modern Mongolian the palatalized vowels [ȧ, ɔ̇, ʊ̇] before palatalized consonants are considered as phoneme allophones according to the most scholars. Nevertheless theses palatalized vowels have the distinctive features what could be proved by the minimal pairs and nowadays this question is open and not profoundly studied. The purpose of this work is to determine the acoustic and articulator features of the vowels preceding the palatalized consonants and the corresponding plain vowels of Modern Mongolian, Khalkha dialect. In the introduction, the definitions on the palatalized vowels and the previous traditional, experimental analysis of the palatalized vowels are discussed. Therefore, in the second section we presented the results of comparison of the short palatalized vowels and the corresponding plain vowels: (1 methods of the experimental study, (2 results of the acoustic features of palatalized and plain vowels. In result of this observation the formants, the length and the pitch of the short palatalized vowels differ more or less in comparison with corresponding plain vowels. Keywords: Mongolian, Khalkha dialect, vowel, palatalized, plain, acoustic

  15. Comparing identification of standardized and regionally-valid vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Richard; Souza, Pamela

    2012-01-01

    Purpose In perception studies, it is common to use vowel stimuli from standardized recordings or synthetic stimuli created using values from well-known published research. Although the use of standardized stimuli is convenient, unconsidered dialect and regional accent differences may introduce confounding effects. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of regional accent variation on vowel identification. Method We analyzed formant values of 8 monophthong vowels produced by 12 talkers from the region where the research took place and compared them to standardized vowels. Fifteen listeners with normal hearing identified synthesized vowels presented in varying levels of noise and at varying spectral distances from the local-dialect values. Results Acoustically, local vowels differed from standardized vowels, and distance varied across vowels. Perceptually, there was a robust effect of accent similarity such that identification was reduced for vowels at greater distances from local values. Conclusions Researchers and clinicians should take care in choosing stimuli for perception experiments. It is recommended that regionally validated vowels be used rather than relying on standardized vowels in vowel perception tasks. PMID:22199181

  16. Speechant: A Vowel Notation System to Teach English Pronunciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Reis, Jorge; Hazan, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    This paper introduces a new vowel notation system aimed at aiding the teaching of English pronunciation. This notation system, designed as an enhancement to orthographic text, was designed to use concepts borrowed from the representation of musical notes and is also linked to the acoustic characteristics of vowel sounds. Vowel timbre is…

  17. Effects of spectral modulation filtering on vowel identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Eddins, David A

    2008-09-01

    The goal of this study was to measure the effects of global spectral manipulations on vowel identification by progressively high-pass filtering vowel stimuli in the spectral modulation domain. Twelve American-English vowels, naturally spoken by a female talker, were subjected to varied degrees of high-pass filtering in the spectral modulation domain, with cutoff frequencies of 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 cycles/octave. Identification performance for vowels presented at 70 dB sound pressure level with and without spectral modulation filtering was measured for five normal-hearing listeners. Results indicated that vowel identification performance was progressively degraded as the spectral modulation cutoff frequency increased. Degradation of vowel identification was greater for back vowels than for front or central vowels. Detailed acoustic analyses indicated that spectral modulation filtering resulted in a more crowded vowel space (F1xF2), reduced spectral contrast, and reduced spectral tilt relative to the original unfiltered vowels. Changes in the global spectral features produced by spectral modulation filtering were associated with substantial reduction in vowel identification. The results indicated that the spectral cues critical for vowel identification were represented by spectral modulation frequencies below 2 cycles/octave. These results are considered in terms of the interactions among spectral shape perception, spectral smearing, and speech perception.

  18. Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Speech Disorder Diagnosis and Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L.; Liss, Julie M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which vowel metrics are capable of distinguishing healthy from dysarthric speech and among different forms of dysarthria. Method: A variety of vowel metrics were derived from spectral and temporal measurements of vowel tokens embedded in phrases produced by 45 speakers with…

  19. The Role of Consonant/Vowel Organization in Perceptual Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chetail, Fabienne; Drabs, Virginie; Content, Alain

    2014-01-01

    According to a recent hypothesis, the CV pattern (i.e., the arrangement of consonant and vowel letters) constrains the mental representation of letter strings, with each vowel or vowel cluster being the core of a unit. Six experiments with the same/different task were conducted to test whether this structure is extracted prelexically. In the…

  20. Palatalization and Intrinsic Prosodic Vowel Features in Russian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordin, Mikhail

    2011-01-01

    The presented study is aimed at investigating the interaction of palatalization and intrinsic prosodic features of the vowel in CVC (consonant+vowel+consonant) syllables in Russian. The universal nature of intrinsic prosodic vowel features was confirmed with the data from the Russian language. It was found that palatalization of the consonants…

  1. Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Speech Disorder Diagnosis and Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L.; Liss, Julie M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which vowel metrics are capable of distinguishing healthy from dysarthric speech and among different forms of dysarthria. Method: A variety of vowel metrics were derived from spectral and temporal measurements of vowel tokens embedded in phrases produced by 45 speakers with…

  2. Distributional vowel training may not be effective for Dutch adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wanrooij, K.; De Vos, J.F.; Boersma, P.

    2015-01-01

    Distributional vowel training for adults has been reported as "effective" for Spanish and Bulgarian learners of Dutch vowels, in studies using a behavioural task. A recent study did not yield a similar clear learning effect for Dutch learners of the English vowel contrast /æ/~/ε/, as measured with

  3. The Role of Vowel Signs in Hebrew: Beyond Word Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimron, Joseph

    1999-01-01

    Examines contributions of vowel signs in reading Hebrew on memory and comprehension. Finds that vowel signs speeded up recognition memory of words in third graders, and improved recall of words printed in the context of mixed lists in sixth graders. Finds also that vowelization improved memory and comprehension of some prose texts. (RS)

  4. Audiovisual Perception of Congruent and Incongruent Dutch Front Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkenier, Bea; Duyne, Jurriaan Y.; Andringa, Tjeerd C.; Baskent, Deniz

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Auditory perception of vowels in background noise is enhanced when combined with visually perceived speech features. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the influence of visual cues on vowel perception extends to incongruent vowels, in a manner similar to the McGurk effect observed with consonants. Method:…

  5. Speechant: A Vowel Notation System to Teach English Pronunciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Reis, Jorge; Hazan, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    This paper introduces a new vowel notation system aimed at aiding the teaching of English pronunciation. This notation system, designed as an enhancement to orthographic text, was designed to use concepts borrowed from the representation of musical notes and is also linked to the acoustic characteristics of vowel sounds. Vowel timbre is…

  6. Auditory preattentive processing of Thai vowel change perception in consonant-vowel (CV syllables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naiphinich Kotchabhakdi

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Event-related potential (ERP responses to infrequently presented spoken deviant syllables /pi/ among repetitive standard /pc/ syllables were recorded in Thai subjects who ignored these stimuli while reading books of their choices. The vowel across-category changes elicited a change-specific mismatch negativity response (MMN. The across-category change perception of vowels in consonant-vowel (CV syllables was also assessed using low- resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA. The LORETA-MMN generator appeared in the left auditory cortex, emphasizing the role of the left hemisphere in speech processing already at a preattentive processing level also in CV-syllables.

  7. Heart Rate Extraction from Vowel Speech Signals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Abdelwadood Mesleh; Dmitriy Skopin; Sergey Baglikov; Anas Quteishat

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a novel non-contact heart rate extraction method from vowel speech signals.The proposed method is based on modeling the relationship between speech production of vowel speech signals and heart activities for humans where it is observed that the moment of heart beat causes a short increment (evolution) of vowel speech formants.The short-time Fourier transform (STFT) is used to detect the formant maximum peaks so as to accurately estimate the heart rate.Compared with traditional contact pulse oximeter,the average accuracy of the proposed non-contact heart rate extraction method exceeds 95%.The proposed non-contact heart rate extraction method is expected to play an important role in modern medical applications.

  8. Embedded Vowels: Remedying the Problems Arising out of Embedded Vowels in the English Writings of Arab Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohamed Fazlulla

    2013-01-01

    L1 habits often tend to interfere with the process of learning a second language. The vowel habits of Arab learners of English are one such interference. Arabic orthography is such that certain vowels indicated by diacritics are often omitted, since an experienced reader of Arabic knows, by habit, the exact vowel sound in each phonetic…

  9. An EMA/EPG Study of Vowel-to-Vowel Articulation across Velars in Southern British English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Janet

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies have attested that the extent of transconsonantal vowel-to-vowel coarticulation is at least partly dependent on degree of prosodic accentuation, in languages like English. A further important factor is the mutual compatibility of consonant and vowel gestures associated with the segments in question. In this study two speakers of…

  10. Embedded Vowels: Remedying the Problems Arising out of Embedded Vowels in the English Writings of Arab Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohamed Fazlulla

    2013-01-01

    L1 habits often tend to interfere with the process of learning a second language. The vowel habits of Arab learners of English are one such interference. Arabic orthography is such that certain vowels indicated by diacritics are often omitted, since an experienced reader of Arabic knows, by habit, the exact vowel sound in each phonetic…

  11. Four Regular Errors in Non-English Majors' Pronunciation of English Vowel Sounds--Based on an Investigation of the English Vowel Production Quality of Non-English Majors%非英语专业大学生元音发音存在四种规律性的错误——基于某高校非英语专业学生英语元音产出质量的调查研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    段田美; 穆凤英; 赵玲; 方超; 刘尚芬

    2012-01-01

    元音是英语语音的核心和主干,在口语交际中起着不可或缺的作用。通过调查160名非英语专业大学生英语基础单词中元音的发音状况,经人工听辨和Praat软件分析,发现:其一,元音错误占发音总错误的72.8%;其二,大学生在元音发音方面存在四种规律性错误:长短元音发音混淆,元音后加音,望形生音,以及非中央元音//和边音/l/发音混淆。研究结果显示,非英语专业大学生英语基础单词掌握不牢固,元音发音存在很多问题。基础单词掌握不牢固会严重影响学生的综合语言能力和长期语言发展,这一现象发人深省。%Vowels are the core of English phonetics and play an indispensible role in oral communication. In this study, 160 non-English majors' pronunciation of vowel sounds in basic English words were diagnosed with manual scoring and Praat software. The findings are that : 1 ) 72.8% of vowel sounds were pronounced incorrectly; 2) four regular errors occur in their vowel sounds : confusion between long and short vowels, phoneme addition to vowels, grapheme interference, and confusion of schwa/~/and lateral/1/. The results indicate that the non-English majors investigated had a poor command of basic English vocabulary, with many pronunciation errors in vowel sounds. Such phenomenon is worthy thinking because poor command of basic words has a serious impact on the development of comprehensive language competence in the long run.

  12. Experimental research on English vowel errors analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Qiuhua

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Our paper analyzed relevant acoustic parameters of people’s speech samples and the results that compared with English standard pronunciation with methods of experimental phonetics by phonetic analysis software and statistical analysis software. Then we summarized phonetic pronunciation errors of college students through the analysis of English pronunciation of vowels, we found that college students’ English pronunciation are easy occur tongue position and lip shape errors during pronounce vowels. Based on analysis of pronunciation errors, we put forward targeted voice training for college students’ English pronunciation, eventually increased the students learning interest, and improved the teaching of English phonetics.

  13. Early sound symbolism for vowel sounds

    OpenAIRE

    Ferrinne Spector; Daphne Maurer

    2013-01-01

    Children and adults consistently match some words (e.g., kiki) to jagged shapes and other words (e.g., bouba) to rounded shapes, providing evidence for non-arbitrary sound–shape mapping. In this study, we investigated the influence of vowels on sound–shape matching in toddlers, using four contrasting pairs of nonsense words differing in vowel sound (/i/ as in feet vs. /o/ as in boat) and four rounded–jagged shape pairs. Crucially, we used reduplicated syllables (e.g., kiki vs. koko) rather th...

  14. Degraded Vowel Acoustics and the Perceptual Consequences in Dysarthria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L.

    Distorted vowel production is a hallmark characteristic of dysarthric speech, irrespective of the underlying neurological condition or dysarthria diagnosis. A variety of acoustic metrics have been used to study the nature of vowel production deficits in dysarthria; however, not all demonstrate sensitivity to the exhibited deficits. Less attention has been paid to quantifying the vowel production deficits associated with the specific dysarthrias. Attempts to characterize the relationship between naturally degraded vowel production in dysarthria with overall intelligibility have met with mixed results, leading some to question the nature of this relationship. It has been suggested that aberrant vowel acoustics may be an index of overall severity of the impairment and not an "integral component" of the intelligibility deficit. A limitation of previous work detailing perceptual consequences of disordered vowel acoustics is that overall intelligibility, not vowel identification accuracy, has been the perceptual measure of interest. A series of three experiments were conducted to address the problems outlined herein. The goals of the first experiment were to identify subsets of vowel metrics that reliably distinguish speakers with dysarthria from non-disordered speakers and differentiate the dysarthria subtypes. Vowel metrics that capture vowel centralization and reduced spectral distinctiveness among vowels differentiated dysarthric from non-disordered speakers. Vowel metrics generally failed to differentiate speakers according to their dysarthria diagnosis. The second and third experiments were conducted to evaluate the relationship between degraded vowel acoustics and the resulting percept. In the second experiment, correlation and regression analyses revealed vowel metrics that capture vowel centralization and distinctiveness and movement of the second formant frequency were most predictive of vowel identification accuracy and overall intelligibility. The third

  15. Effect of L2 phonetic learning on L1 vowels

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Haisheng

    2008-01-01

    This research examines the effect of L2 phonetic learning on L1 vowel production. Mandarin-English bilinguals differing in amount of L1 use produced Mandarin and English vowels. An acoustic analysis showed that both the Mandarin-English bilinguals of high L1 use and those of low L1 use deviated from the norm of Mandarin vowel /i/. The Mandarin-English bilinguals of low L1 use who successfully acquired English vowel /aj/ deviated from the norm of Mandarin vowel /aj/, indicating a carry-over ef...

  16. Weighting of Auditory Feedback Across the English Vowel Space

    OpenAIRE

    Purcell, David; Munhall, Kevin

    2008-01-01

    Auditory feedback in the headphones of talkers was manipulated in the F1 dimension using a real-time vowel formant filtering system. Minimum formant shifts required to elicit a response and the amount of compensation were measured for vowels across the English vowel space. The largest response in production of F1 was observed for the vowel /ε/ and smaller or non-significant changes were found for point vowels. In general, changes in production were of a compensatory nature that reduced the er...

  17. Vowel Raising in Nkpor Dialect: A Pattern of Sound Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mbah, Evelyn Ezinwanne

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores a pattern of phonological change known as vowel raising in the Nkpor dialect of the Igbo language. Using a corpus of conversational Nkpor speech collected from the respondents through tape-recording, we presented data from an authority analysis of the vowels and auditory data of vowel raising. The data support three main claims. First, the voiced palatal nasal /ɲ/ is elided. It claims that in a word consisting of two root verbs, the initial verb root contains any consonant and any vowel, and the second verb root contains the voiced palatal nasal /ɲ/ and a mid front vowel /e/, then, the voiced palatal nasal is elided. Second, after the elision, the mid vowel /e/ of the second verb is raised to a high front vowel /i/ or /ɪ/, agreeing with the vowel harmony rule. Third, Nkpor dialect goes beyond the raising of only vowels of the second verb. It further raises vowels of the first verb which are not high. The much more rapid loss of the voiced palatal nasal /ɲ/ and the consequent raising of the vowels are plausibly attributed to rapid speech, especially in construction and some sociolinguistic factors.

  18. American and Swedish children's acquisition of vowel duration: Effects of vowel identity and final stop voicing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buder, Eugene H.; Stoel-Gammon, Carol

    2002-04-01

    Vowel durations typically vary according to both intrinsic (segment-specific) and extrinsic (contextual) specifications. It can be argued that such variations are due to both predisposition and cognitive learning. The present report utilizes acoustic phonetic measurements from Swedish and American children aged 24 and 30 months to investigate the hypothesis that default behaviors may precede language-specific learning effects. The predicted pattern is the presence of final consonant voicing effects in both languages as a default, and subsequent learning of intrinsic effects most notably in the Swedish children. The data, from 443 monosyllabic tokens containing high-front vowels and final stop consonants, are analyzed in statistical frameworks at group and individual levels. The results confirm that Swedish children show an early tendency to vary vowel durations according to final consonant voicing, followed only six months later by a stage at which the intrinsic influence of vowel identity grows relatively more robust. Measures of vowel formant structure from selected 30-month-old children also revealed a tendency for children of this age to focus on particular acoustic contrasts. In conclusion, the results indicate that early acquisition of vowel specifications involves an interaction between language-specific features and articulatory predispositions associated with phonetic context.

  19. Many ways to read your vowels--Neural processing of diacritics and vowel letters in Hebrew.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Yael; Katzir, Tami; Bitan, Tali

    2015-11-01

    The current study examined the effect of orthographic transparency and familiarity on brain mechanisms involved in word recognition in adult Hebrew readers. We compared the effects of diacritics that provide transparent but less familiar information and vowel letters that increase orthographic transparency without compromising familiarity. Brain activation was measured in 18 adults during oral reading of single words, while manipulating the presence of diacritic marks, the presence of a vowel letter, and word length (3 vs. 4 consonants). We found opposite effects of diacritics and vowel letters on temporo-parietal regions associated with mapping orthography to phonology. The increase in activation for diacritic marks and the decrease in activation for vowel letters in these regions suggest that the greater familiarity of vowel letters compared to diacritics overrides the effect of orthographic transparency. Vowel letters also reduced activation in regions associated with semantic processing in unpointed words, and were thus distinct from the effect of an additional consonant. Altogether the results suggest that both orthographic transparency and familiarity contribute to word recognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Time dependence of vocal tract modes during production of vowels and vowel sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Story, Brad H

    2007-06-01

    Vocal tract shaping patterns based on articulatory fleshpoint data from four speakers in the University of Wisconsin x-ray microbeam (XRMB) database [J. Westbury, UW-Madison, (1994)] were determined with a principal component analysis (PCA). Midsagittal cross-distance functions representative of approximately the front 6 cm of the oral cavity for each of 11 vowels and vowel-vowel (VV) sequences were obtained from the pellet positions and the hard palate profile for the four speakers. A PCA was independently performed on each speaker's set of cross-distance functions representing static vowels only, and again with time-dependent cross-distance functions representing vowels and VV sequences. In all cases, results indicated that the first two orthogonal components (referred to as modes) accounted for more than 97% of the variance in each speaker's set of cross-distance functions. In addition, the shape of each mode was shown to be similar across the speakers suggesting that the modes represent common patterns of vocal tract deformation. Plots of the resulting time-dependent coefficient records showed that the four speakers activated each mode similarly during production of the vowel sequences. Finally, a procedure was described for using the time-dependent mode coefficients obtained from the XRMB data as input for an area function model of the vocal tract.

  1. Non-natives: 141 scientists object

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simberloff, D.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Supplementary information to: Non-natives: 141 scientists object Full list of co-signatories to a Correspondence published in Nature 475, 36 (2011); doi: 10.1038/475036a. Daniel Simberloff University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. dsimberloff@utk.edu Jake Alexander Institute of Integrative

  2. Non-natives: 141 scientists object

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simberloff, D.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Supplementary information to: Non-natives: 141 scientists object Full list of co-signatories to a Correspondence published in Nature 475, 36 (2011); doi: 10.1038/475036a. Daniel Simberloff University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. dsimberloff@utk.edu Jake Alexander Institute of Integrative

  3. Small mammal use of native warm-season and non-native cool-season grass forage fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan L Klimstra,; Christopher E Moorman,; Converse, Sarah J.; Royle, J. Andrew; Craig A Harper,

    2015-01-01

    Recent emphasis has been put on establishing native warm-season grasses for forage production because it is thought native warm-season grasses provide higher quality wildlife habitat than do non-native cool-season grasses. However, it is not clear whether native warm-season grass fields provide better resources for small mammals than currently are available in non-native cool-season grass forage production fields. We developed a hierarchical spatially explicit capture-recapture model to compare abundance of hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), and house mice (Mus musculus) among 4 hayed non-native cool-season grass fields, 4 hayed native warm-season grass fields, and 4 native warm-season grass-forb ("wildlife") fields managed for wildlife during 2 summer trapping periods in 2009 and 2010 of the western piedmont of North Carolina, USA. Cotton rat abundance estimates were greater in wildlife fields than in native warm-season grass and non-native cool-season grass fields and greater in native warm-season grass fields than in non-native cool-season grass fields. Abundances of white-footed mouse and house mouse populations were lower in wildlife fields than in native warm-season grass and non-native cool-season grass fields, but the abundances were not different between the native warm-season grass and non-native cool-season grass fields. Lack of cover following haying in non-native cool-season grass and native warm-season grass fields likely was the key factor limiting small mammal abundance, especially cotton rats, in forage fields. Retention of vegetation structure in managed forage production systems, either by alternately resting cool-season and warm-season grass forage fields or by leaving unharvested field borders, should provide refugia for small mammals during haying events.

  4. Adult Second Language Learning of Spanish Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, Katherine; Simonet, Miquel

    2015-01-01

    The present study reports on the findings of a cross-sectional acoustic study of the production of Spanish vowels by three different groups of speakers: 1) native Spanish speakers; 2) native English intermediate learners of Spanish; and 3) native English advanced learners of Spanish. In particular, we examined the production of the five Spanish…

  5. Adult Second Language Learning of Spanish Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, Katherine; Simonet, Miquel

    2015-01-01

    The present study reports on the findings of a cross-sectional acoustic study of the production of Spanish vowels by three different groups of speakers: 1) native Spanish speakers; 2) native English intermediate learners of Spanish; and 3) native English advanced learners of Spanish. In particular, we examined the production of the five Spanish…

  6. Developmental Dyslexics Show Deficits in the Processing of Temporal Auditory Information in German Vowel Length Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, Katarina; Lachmann, Thomas; Riecker, Axel; Muthmann, Irene; Steinbrink, Claudia

    2011-01-01

    The present study investigated auditory temporal processing in developmental dyslexia by using a vowel length discrimination task. Both temporal and phonological processing were studied in a single experiment. Seven German vowel pairs differing in vowel height were used. The vowels of each pair differed only with respect to vowel length (e.g., /a/…

  7. Vowel identification by amplitude and phase contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molis, Michelle R; Diedesch, Anna; Gallun, Frederick; Leek, Marjorie R

    2013-02-01

    Vowel identification is largely dependent on listeners' access to the frequency of two or three peaks in the amplitude spectrum. Earlier work has demonstrated that, whereas normal-hearing listeners can identify harmonic complexes with vowel-like spectral shapes even with very little amplitude contrast between "formant" components and remaining harmonic components, listeners with hearing loss require greater amplitude differences. This is likely the result of the poor frequency resolution that often accompanies hearing loss. Here, we describe an additional acoustic dimension for emphasizing formant versus non-formant harmonics that may supplement amplitude contrast information. The purpose of this study was to determine whether listeners were able to identify "vowel-like" sounds using temporal (component phase) contrast, which may be less affected by cochlear loss than spectral cues, and whether overall identification improves when congruent temporal and spectral information are provided together. Five normal-hearing and five hearing-impaired listeners identified three vowels over many presentations. Harmonics representing formant peaks were varied in amplitude, phase, or a combination of both. In addition to requiring less amplitude contrast, normal-hearing listeners could accurately identify the sounds with less phase contrast than required by people with hearing loss. However, both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired groups demonstrated the ability to identify vowel-like sounds based solely on component phase shifts, with no amplitude contrast information, and they also showed improved performance when congruent phase and amplitude cues were combined. For nearly all listeners, the combination of spectral and temporal information improved identification in comparison to either dimension alone.

  8. The F1-F2 vowel chart for Czech whispered vowels a, e, i, o, u.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grepl, Michal; Furst, Tomas; Pesak, Josef

    2007-12-01

    The aim of this contribution is to present the formant chart of the Czech vowels a, e, i, o, u and show that this can be achieved by means of digital methods of sound processing. A group of 35 Czech students of the Pedagogical Faculty of Palacky University was tested and a record of whispered vowels was taken from each of them. The record was digitalized and processed by the Discrete Fourier Trasform. The result is the power spectrum of the individual vocals - the graphic output consists of a plot of the relative power of individual frequencies in the original sound. The values of the first two maxima which represent the first and the second formants were determined from the graph. The values were plotted on a formant chart. Altogether, 175 spectral analyses of individual vowels were performed. In the resulting power spectrum, the first and the second formant frequencies were identified. The first formant was plotted against the second one and pure vocal formant regions were identified. Frequency bands for the Czech vowel "a" were circumscribed between 850 and 1150 Hz for first formant (F1) and between 1200 and 2000 Hz for second formant (F2). Similarly, borders of frequency band for vowel "e" they were 700 and 950 Hz for F1 and 1700 and 3000 Hz for F2. For vowel "i" 300 and 450 Hz for F1 and 2000 and 3600 Hz for F2, for vowel "o" 600 and 800 Hz for F1 and 600 and 1400 Hz for F2, for vowel "u" 100 and 400 Hz for F1 and 400 and 1200 Hz for F2. At low frequencies it is feasible to invoke the source-filter model of voice production and associate vowel identity with frequencies of the first two formants in the voice spectrum. On the other hand, subject to intonation, singing or other forms of exposed voice (such as emotional speech, focused speech), the formant regions tend to spread. In spectral analysis other frequencies dominate, so specific formant frequency bands are not easily recognizable. Although the resulting formant map is not much different from the formant

  9. Emotions in freely varying and mono-pitched vowels, acoustic and EGG analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaramaa, Teija; Palo, Pertti; Kankare, Elina

    2015-12-01

    Vocal emotions are expressed either by speech or singing. The difference is that in singing the pitch is predetermined while in speech it may vary freely. It was of interest to study whether there were voice quality differences between freely varying and mono-pitched vowels expressed by professional actors. Given their profession, actors have to be able to express emotions both by speech and singing. Electroglottogram and acoustic analyses of emotional utterances embedded in expressions of freely varying vowels [a:], [i:], [u:] (96 samples) and mono-pitched protracted vowels (96 samples) were studied. Contact quotient (CQEGG) was calculated using 35%, 55%, and 80% threshold levels. Three different threshold levels were used in order to evaluate their effects on emotions. Genders were studied separately. The results suggested significant gender differences for CQEGG 80% threshold level. SPL, CQEGG, and F4 were used to convey emotions, but to a lesser degree, when F0 was predetermined. Moreover, females showed fewer significant variations than males. Both genders used more hypofunctional phonation type in mono-pitched utterances than in the expressions with freely varying pitch. The present material warrants further study of the interplay between CQEGG threshold levels and formant frequencies, and listening tests to investigate the perceptual value of the mono-pitched vowels in the communication of emotions.

  10. Neural Representation of Concurrent Vowels in Macaque Primary Auditory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Yonatan I; Micheyl, Christophe; Steinschneider, Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    Successful speech perception in real-world environments requires that the auditory system segregate competing voices that overlap in frequency and time into separate streams. Vowels are major constituents of speech and are comprised of frequencies (harmonics) that are integer multiples of a common fundamental frequency (F0). The pitch and identity of a vowel are determined by its F0 and spectral envelope (formant structure), respectively. When two spectrally overlapping vowels differing in F0 are presented concurrently, they can be readily perceived as two separate "auditory objects" with pitches at their respective F0s. A difference in pitch between two simultaneous vowels provides a powerful cue for their segregation, which in turn, facilitates their individual identification. The neural mechanisms underlying the segregation of concurrent vowels based on pitch differences are poorly understood. Here, we examine neural population responses in macaque primary auditory cortex (A1) to single and double concurrent vowels (/a/ and /i/) that differ in F0 such that they are heard as two separate auditory objects with distinct pitches. We find that neural population responses in A1 can resolve, via a rate-place code, lower harmonics of both single and double concurrent vowels. Furthermore, we show that the formant structures, and hence the identities, of single vowels can be reliably recovered from the neural representation of double concurrent vowels. We conclude that A1 contains sufficient spectral information to enable concurrent vowel segregation and identification by downstream cortical areas.

  11. Vowel recognition at fundamental frequencies up to 1 kHz reveals point vowels as acoustic landmarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrichs, Daniel; Maurer, Dieter; Rosen, Stuart; Dellwo, Volker

    2017-08-01

    The phonological function of vowels can be maintained at fundamental frequencies (fo) up to 880 Hz [Friedrichs, Maurer, and Dellwo (2015). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 138, EL36-EL42]. Here, the influence of talker variability and multiple response options on vowel recognition at high fos is assessed. The stimuli (n = 264) consisted of eight isolated vowels (/i y e ø ε a o u/) produced by three female native German talkers at 11 fos within a range of 220-1046 Hz. In a closed-set identification task, 21 listeners were presented excised 700-ms vowel nuclei with quasi-flat fo contours and resonance trajectories. The results show that listeners can identify the point vowels /i a u/ at fos up to almost 1 kHz, with a significant decrease for the vowels /y ε/ and a drop to chance level for the vowels /e ø o/ toward the upper fos. Auditory excitation patterns reveal highly differentiable representations for /i a u/ that can be used as landmarks for vowel category perception at high fos. These results suggest that theories of vowel perception based on overall spectral shape will provide a fuller account of vowel perception than those based solely on formant frequency patterns.

  12. Maximal vowel space method in analysis of vowels in prelingual speech phase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojnović Milan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The main problems in the analysis of vowels which occur in prelingual speech phase are centralization of utterance and unknown dimension of vocal tract. Most researches in this field are based on the analysis of maximal vowel space (MVS because discrimination of vowels is very difficult in this early period. MVS analysis includes the estimation of vocal tract (VT physical dimensions. The aim of this research was to estimate and define changes in vowel pronunciation during prelingual speech phase. The analysis and voice recording were performed in a two month old child until he turned one. The recording was performed in 42 sessions, on average 4 sessions every month. Sound segments that look like vowel pronunciation were extracted from the recordings and were used for the formant frequencies estimation by PRAAT software. The Burg method was used for formant frequency estimation. Research results showed that MVS can be used in diagnostic procedure from a child's earliest age. MVS analysis is appropriate for a child's earliest age as a child needs to pronounce individual phonemes, and does not need to respond to speech stimuli. These results need to be confirmed on a larger sample when extended analysis should define criteria for discrimination of typical and atypical formant frequencies.

  13. Unmasking the acoustic effects of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation: A statistical modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Jennifer; Linebaugh, Gary; Munson, Cheyenne; McMurray, Bob

    2010-01-01

    Coarticulation is a source of acoustic variability for vowels, but how large is this effect relative to other sources of variance? We investigate acoustic effects of anticipatory V-to-V coarticulation relative to variation due to the following C and individual speaker. We examine F1 and F2 from V1 in 48 V1-C#V2 contexts produced by 10 speakers of American English. ANOVA reveals significant effects of both V2 and C on F1 and F2 measures of V1. The influence of V2 and C on acoustic variability relative to that of speaker and target vowel identity is evaluated using hierarchical linear regression. Speaker and target vowel account for roughly 80% of the total variance in F1 and F2, but when this variance is partialed out C and V2 account for another 18% (F1) and 63% (F2) of the remaining target vowel variability. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) models are constructed to test the power of target vowel F1 and F2 for predicting C and V2 of the upcoming context. Prediction accuracy is 58% for C-Place, 76% for C-Voicing and 54% for V2, but only when variance due to other sources is factored out. MLR is discussed as a model of the parsing mechanism in speech perception. PMID:21173864

  14. NATIVE VS NON-NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masrizal Masrizal

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Although the majority of English language teachers worldwide are non-native English speakers (NNS, no research was conducted on these teachers until recently. A pioneer research by Peter Medgyes in 1994 took quite a long time until the other researchers found their interests in this issue. There is a widespread stereotype that a native speaker (NS is by nature the best person to teach his/her foreign language. In regard to this assumption, we then see a very limited room and opportunities for a non native teacher to teach language that is not his/hers. The aim of this article is to analyze the differences among these teachers in order to prove that non-native teachers have equal advantages that should be taken into account. The writer expects that the result of this short article could be a valuable input to the area of teaching English as a foreign language in Indonesia.

  15. Non-natives: 141 scientists object

    OpenAIRE

    Simberloff, D.; van der Putten, W. H.

    2011-01-01

    Supplementary information to: Non-natives: 141 scientists object Full list of co-signatories to a Correspondence published in Nature 475, 36 (2011); doi: 10.1038/475036a. Daniel Simberloff University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. Jake Alexander Institute of Integrative Biology, Zurich, Switzerland. Fred Allendorf University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA. James Aronson CEFE/CNRS, Montpellier, France. Pedro M. Antunes Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie, Onta...

  16. When too many vowels impede language processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trecca, Fabio; Bleses, Dorthe; Højen, Anders

    2017-01-01

    Research has suggested that Danish-learning children lag behind in the early acquisition of receptive vocabulary and past-tense morphology. The phenomenon has been attributed to the opaque segmental phonology of Danish, which features frequent long stretches of non-consonantal sounds. These might...... provide fewer cues to word segmentation, and therefore make perceptual processing harder. The present study explored whether highly vocalic carrier phrases and target words do, in fact, affect real-time speech processing in 24-month-old children from native Danish-speaking families. Using eye-tracking, we...... tested children’s real-time comprehension of known consonant-initial and vowel-initial words, when presented in either a consonant-laden, or a vowel-laden carrier phrase. Results indicated that performance was consistently better when target words were presented in consonant-laden carrier phrases....

  17. Discrete Motor Coordinates for Vowel Production

    OpenAIRE

    María Florencia Assaneo; Trevisan, Marcos A.; Mindlin, Gabriel B.

    2013-01-01

    Current models of human vocal production that capture peripheral dynamics in speech require large dimensional measurements of the neural activity, which are mapped into equally complex motor gestures. In this work we present a motor description for vowels as points in a discrete low-dimensional space. We monitor the dynamics of 3 points at the oral cavity using Hall-effect transducers and magnets, describing the resulting signals during normal utterances in terms of active...

  18. The Perception of Scale in Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    identification experiments. The horizontal axis is log glottal pulse rate in Hz. The vertical axis is log Spectral Envelope Ratio (SER). The...glottal pulse rate in Hz and Spectral Envelope Ratio (SER). The SER values are shown above the glottal pulse rate axis. Smooth curves through the data...is the anatomical basis for the differences in the vowels of men, women and children? To understand this we need to know how the complex tonal sounds

  19. Vowel constrictions are recoverable from formants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iskarous, Khalil

    2010-07-01

    The area function of the vocal tract in all of its spatial detail is not directly computable from the speech signal. But is partial, yet phonetically distinctive, information about articulation recoverable from the acoustic signal that arrives at the listener's ear? The answer to this question is important for phonetics, because various theories of speech perception predict different answers. Some theories assume that recovery of articulatory information must be possible, while others assume that it is impossible. However, neither type of theory provides firm evidence showing that distinctive articulatory information is or is not extractable from the acoustic signal. The present study focuses on vowel gestures and examines whether linguistically significant information, such as the constriction location, constriction degree, and rounding, is contained in the speech signal, and whether such information is recoverable from formant parameters. Perturbation theory and linear prediction were combined, in a manner similar to that in Mokhtari (1998) [Mokhtari, P. (1998). An acoustic-phonetic and articulatory study of speech-speaker dichotomy. Doctoral dissertation, University of New South Wales], to assess the accuracy of recovery of information about vowel constrictions. Distinctive constriction information estimated from the speech signal for ten American English vowels were compared to the constriction information derived from simultaneously collected X-ray microbeam articulatory data for 39 speakers [Westbury (1994). Xray microbeam speech production database user's handbook. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI]. The recovery of distinctive articulatory information relies on a novel technique that uses formant frequencies and amplitudes, and does not depend on a principal components analysis of the articulatory data, as do most other inversion techniques. These results provide evidence that distinctive articulatory information for vowels can be recovered from the

  20. Key Issues in Vowel Based Splitting of Telugu Bigrams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kameswara Rao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Splitting of compound Telugu words into its components or root words is one of the important, tedious and yet inaccurate tasks of Natural Language Processing (NLP. Except in few special cases, at least one vowel is necessarily involved in Telugu conjunctions. In the result, vowels are often repeated as they are or are converted into other vowels or consonants. This paper describes issues involved in vowel based splitting of a Telugu bigram into proper root words using Telugu grammar conjunction (‘sandhi’ rules for MT.

  1. Vowel space density as an indicator of speech performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Story, Brad H; Bunton, Kate

    2017-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop a method for visualizing and assessing the characteristics of vowel production by measuring the local density of normalized F1 and F2 formant frequencies. The result is a three-dimensional plot called the vowel space density (VSD) and indicates the regions in the vowel space most heavily used by a talker during speech production. The area of a convex hull enclosing the vowel space at specific threshold density values was proposed as a means of quantifying the VSD.

  2. A dedicated neural mechanism for vowel selection: a case of relative vowel deficit sparing the number lexicon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenza, Carlo; Bencini, Giulia M L; Bertella, Laura; Mori, Ileana; Pignatti, Riccardo; Ceriani, Francesca; Cherrick, Danielle; Caldognetto, Emanuela Magno

    2007-01-28

    We report the case of an Italian speaker (GBC), with classical Wernicke's aphasia following a vascular lesion in the posterior middle temporal region. GBC exhibited a selective deficit in spoken language production affecting vowels more than consonants. In reading from a newspaper, GBC substituted vowels for other vowels from the Italian inventory at a rate of 7/1 compared to consonants. No effects of frequency or grammatical class were found. Vowel errors could also not be accounted for by morphological or known phonological processes. Production of number words, in contrast, was free from phonological errors. While GBC has intact representations of Italian vowels and consonants, his data argue for a separate selection mechanism for vowels that is dissociable from that used for consonants. This case provides neuropsychological evidence for models of word production that distinguish between the abstract phonological properties of a word (e.g., sequencing of phonemic slots, or "CV skeleton") and a separate representation for the specific sounds (melody).

  3. Vowels in the buffer: a case study of acquired dysgraphia with selective vowel substitutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotelli, Maria; Abutalebi, Jubin; Zorzi, Marco; Cappa, Stefano F

    2003-03-01

    We report the case of a patient who recovered from a clinical picture of fluent aphasia to selective dysgraphia. The features of the writing disorder were compatible with a graphemic output buffer dysfunction (errors in all spelling tasks and for all type of material, affected by word length and consisting mostly of graphemic deviations), with the exception of the lack of transposition errors and position preference. Further, the spelling disorder was selective for vowels, replicating the original observation by Cubelli (1991). A similar, although milder, error pattern was also observed in reading tasks, in particular for nonwords, suggesting that the locus of dysfunction involves a processing stage shared by reading and writing. These findings support the notion that the consonant-vowel status is a property of graphemic representations, and is compatible with that a common buffer is involved in spelling and reading. We discuss the implications of selective vowel disorders for current models of the spelling system.

  4. English vowel learning by speakers of Mandarin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Ron I.

    2005-04-01

    One of the most influential models of second language (L2) speech perception and production [Flege, Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience (York, Baltimore, 1995) pp. 233-277] argues that during initial stages of L2 acquisition, perceptual categories sharing the same or nearly the same acoustic space as first language (L1) categories will be processed as members of that L1 category. Previous research has generally been limited to testing these claims on binary L2 contrasts, rather than larger portions of the perceptual space. This study examines the development of 10 English vowel categories by 20 Mandarin L1 learners of English. Imitation of English vowel stimuli by these learners, at 6 data collection points over the course of one year, were recorded. Using a statistical pattern recognition model, these productions were then assessed against native speaker norms. The degree to which the learners' perception/production shifted toward the target English vowels and the degree to which they matched L1 categories in ways predicted by theoretical models are discussed. The results of this experiment suggest that previous claims about perceptual assimilation of L2 categories to L1 categories may be too strong.

  5. Formant discrimination in noise for isolated vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Kewley-Port, Diane

    2004-11-01

    Formant discrimination for isolated vowels presented in noise was investigated for normal-hearing listeners. Discrimination thresholds for F1 and F2, for the seven American English vowels /eye, smcapi, eh, æ, invv, aye, you/, were measured under two types of noise, long-term speech-shaped noise (LTSS) and multitalker babble, and also under quiet listening conditions. Signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) varied from -4 to +4 dB in steps of 2 dB. All three factors, formant frequency, signal-to-noise ratio, and noise type, had significant effects on vowel formant discrimination. Significant interactions among the three factors showed that threshold-frequency functions depended on SNR and noise type. The thresholds at the lowest levels of SNR were highly elevated by a factor of about 3 compared to those in quiet. The masking functions (threshold vs SNR) were well described by a negative exponential over F1 and F2 for both LTSS and babble noise. Speech-shaped noise was a slightly more effective masker than multitalker babble, presumably reflecting small benefits (1.5 dB) due to the temporal variation of the babble. .

  6. Defining the Impact of Non-Native Species

    OpenAIRE

    Jeschke, Jonathan M; Bacher, Sven; Tim M Blackburn; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Essl, Franz; Evans, Thomas; Gaertner, Mirijam; Hulme, Philip E.; Kühn, Ingolf; Mrugała, Agata; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Ricciardi, Anthony; Richardson, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Non-native species cause changes in the ecosystems to which they are introduced. These changes, or some of them, are usually termed impacts; they can be manifold and potentially damaging to ecosystems and biodiversity. However, the impacts of most non-native species are poorly understood, and a synthesis of available information is being hindered because authors often do not clearly define impact. We argue that explicitly defining the impact of non-native species will promote progress toward ...

  7. Practitioner perspectives on using nonnative plants for revegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise Gornish

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Restoration practitioners use both native and nonnative plant species for revegetation projects. Typically, when rehabilitating damaged working lands, more practitioners consider nonnative plants; while those working to restore habitat have focused on native plants. But this may be shifting. Novel ecosystems (non-analog communities are commonly being discussed in academic circles, while practical factors such as affordability and availability of natives and the need for more drought tolerant species to accommodate climate change may be making nonnative species attractive to land managers. To better understand the current use of nonnatives for revegetation, we surveyed 192 California restoration stakeholders who worked in a variety of habitats. A large portion (42% of them considered nonnatives for their projects, and of survey respondents who did not use nonnatives in vegetation rehabilitation, almost half indicated that they would consider them in the future. Across habitats, the dominant value of nonnatives for vegetation rehabilitation was found to be erosion control, and many respondents noted the high cost and unavailability of natives as important drivers of nonnative use in revegetation projects. Moreover, 37% of respondents noted they had changed their opinion or use of nonnatives in response to climate change.

  8. Non-native educators in English language teaching

    CERN Document Server

    Braine, George

    2013-01-01

    The place of native and non-native speakers in the role of English teachers has probably been an issue ever since English was taught internationally. Although ESL and EFL literature is awash, in fact dependent upon, the scrutiny of non-native learners, interest in non-native academics and teachers is fairly new. Until recently, the voices of non-native speakers articulating their own concerns have been even rarer. This book is a response to this notable vacuum in the ELT literature, providing a forum for language educators from diverse geographical origins and language backgrounds. In additio

  9. Speech Recognition by Goats, Wolves, Sheep and Non-Natives

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-08-01

    existent, will lead to vowel insertions and 1126. diphtongs are likely to be replaced by a single vowel. A [Bona97] P. Bonaventura , F. Gallocchio, G. Micca...Bona98] P. Bonaventura , F. Gallocchio, J. Mari, G. efficient for the small group of frequent language-pair Micca, "Speech recognition methods for non

  10. A non-native prey mediates the effects of a shared predator on an ecosystem service.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E Byers

    Full Text Available Non-native species can alter ecosystem functions performed by native species often by displacing influential native species. However, little is known about how ecosystem functions may be modified by trait-mediated indirect effects of non-native species. Oysters and other reef-associated filter feeders enhance water quality by controlling nutrients and contaminants in many estuarine environments. However, this ecosystem service may be mitigated by predation, competition, or other species interactions, especially when such interactions involve non-native species that share little evolutionary history. We assessed trophic and other interference effects on the critical ecosystem service of water filtration in mesocosm experiments. In single-species trials, typical field densities of oysters (Crassostrea virginica reduced water-column chlorophyll a more strongly than clams (Mercenaria mercenaria. The non-native filter-feeding reef crab Petrolisthes armatus did not draw down chlorophyll a. In multi-species treatments, oysters and clams combined additively to influence chlorophyll a drawdown. Petrolisthes did not affect net filtration when added to the bivalve-only treatments. Addition of the predatory mud crab Panopeus herbstii did not influence oyster feeding rates, but it did stop chlorophyll a drawdown by clams. However, when Petrolisthes was also added in with the clams, the clams filtered at their previously unadulterated rates, possibly because Petrolisthes drew the focus of predators or habituated the clams to crab stimuli. In sum, oysters were the most influential filter feeder, and neither predators nor competitors interfered with their net effect on water-column chlorophyll. In contrast, clams filtered less, but were more sensitive to predators as well as a facilitative buffering effect of Petrolisthes, illustrating that non-native species can indirectly affect an ecosystem service by aiding the performance of a native species.

  11. Towards a continuous population model for natural language vowel shift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipman, Patrick D; Faria, Sérgio H; Strickland, Christopher

    2013-09-07

    The Great English Vowel Shift of 16th-19th centuries and the current Northern Cities Vowel Shift are two examples of collective language processes characterized by regular phonetic changes, that is, gradual changes in vowel pronunciation over time. Here we develop a structured population approach to modeling such regular changes in the vowel systems of natural languages, taking into account learning patterns and effects such as social trends. We treat vowel pronunciation as a continuous variable in vowel space and allow for a continuous dependence of vowel pronunciation in time and age of the speaker. The theory of mixtures with continuous diversity provides a framework for the model, which extends the McKendrick-von Foerster equation to populations with age and phonetic structures. We develop the general balance equations for such populations and propose explicit expressions for the factors that impact the evolution of the vowel pronunciation distribution. For illustration, we present two examples of numerical simulations. In the first one we study a stationary solution corresponding to a state of phonetic equilibrium, in which speakers of all ages share a similar phonetic profile. We characterize the variance of the phonetic distribution in terms of a parameter measuring a ratio of phonetic attraction to dispersion. In the second example we show how vowel shift occurs upon starting with an initial condition consisting of a majority pronunciation that is affected by an immigrant minority with a different vowel pronunciation distribution. The approach developed here for vowel systems may be applied also to other learning situations and other time-dependent processes of cognition in self-interacting populations, like opinions or perceptions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Interspeaker Variability in Hard Palate Morphology and Vowel Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammert, Adam; Proctor, Michael; Narayanan, Shrikanth

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Differences in vocal tract morphology have the potential to explain interspeaker variability in speech production. The potential acoustic impact of hard palate shape was examined in simulation, in addition to the interplay among morphology, articulation, and acoustics in real vowel production data. Method: High-front vowel production from…

  13. The Representation of Vowel Duration in Civili Dictionaries*

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Riette Ruthven

    linked to its representation in the Civili orthography, i.e. the word writing sys- tem. For this reason ..... as writing and reading rule that the diaeresis represents vowel duration (a long vowel). Finally, the full .... Doctoral Thesis. Paris: Sorbonne ...

  14. Variation in Vowel Duration Among Southern African American English Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Yolanda Feimster; Jacewicz, Ewa; Fox, Robert Allen

    2015-08-01

    Atypical duration of speech segments can signal a speech disorder. In this study, we examined variation in vowel duration in African American English (AAE) relative to White American English (WAE) speakers living in the same dialect region in the South to characterize the nature of systematic variation between the 2 groups. The goal was to establish whether segmental durations in minority populations differ from the well-established patterns in mainstream populations. Participants were 32 AAE and 32 WAE speakers differing in age who, in their childhood, attended either segregated (older speakers) or integrated (younger speakers) public schools. Speech materials consisted of 14 vowels produced in hVd-frame. AAE vowels were significantly longer than WAE vowels. Vowel duration did not differ as a function of age. The temporal tense-lax contrast was minimized for AAE relative to WAE. Vowels produced by females were significantly longer than vowels produced by males for both AAE and WAE. African American speakers should be expected to produce longer vowels relative to White speakers in a common geographic area. These longer durations are not deviant but represent a typical feature of AAE. This finding has clinical importance in guiding assessments of speech disorders in AAE speakers.

  15. Perceptual Adaptation of Voice Gender Discrimination with Spectrally Shifted Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether perceptual adaptation improves voice gender discrimination of spectrally shifted vowels and, if so, which acoustic cues contribute to the improvement. Method: Voice gender discrimination was measured for 10 normal-hearing subjects, during 5 days of adaptation to spectrally shifted vowels, produced by processing the…

  16. Reference Data for the American English Acoustic Vowel Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flipsen, Peter, Jr.; Lee, Sungbok

    2012-01-01

    Reference data for the acoustic vowel space area (VSA) in children and adolescents do not currently appear to be available in a form suitable for normative comparisons. In the current study, individual speaker formant data for the four corner vowels of American English (/i, u, ae, [alpha]/) were used to compute individual speaker VSAs. The sample…

  17. Modeling consonant-vowel coarticulation for articulatory speech synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Birkholz

    Full Text Available A central challenge for articulatory speech synthesis is the simulation of realistic articulatory movements, which is critical for the generation of highly natural and intelligible speech. This includes modeling coarticulation, i.e., the context-dependent variation of the articulatory and acoustic realization of phonemes, especially of consonants. Here we propose a method to simulate the context-sensitive articulation of consonants in consonant-vowel syllables. To achieve this, the vocal tract target shape of a consonant in the context of a given vowel is derived as the weighted average of three measured and acoustically-optimized reference vocal tract shapes for that consonant in the context of the corner vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/. The weights are determined by mapping the target shape of the given context vowel into the vowel subspace spanned by the corner vowels. The model was applied for the synthesis of consonant-vowel syllables with the consonants /b/, /d/, /g/, /l/, /r/, /m/, /n/ in all combinations with the eight long German vowels. In a perception test, the mean recognition rate for the consonants in the isolated syllables was 82.4%. This demonstrates the potential of the approach for highly intelligible articulatory speech synthesis.

  18. Congruent and Incongruent Semantic Context Influence Vowel Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wotton, J. M.; Elvebak, R. L.; Moua, L. C.; Heggem, N. M.; Nelson, C. A.; Kirk, K. M.

    2011-01-01

    The influence of sentence context on the recognition of naturally spoken vowels degraded by reverberation and Gaussian noise was investigated. Target words were paired to have similar consonant sounds but different vowels (e.g., map/mop) and were embedded early in sentences which provided three types of semantic context. Fifty-eight…

  19. Vowel formant dispersion as a measure of articulation proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, Fredrik; van Doorn, Jan

    2012-10-01

    The articulatory range of a speaker has previously been estimated by the shape formed by first and second formant measurements of produced vowels. In a majority of the currently available metrics, formant frequency measurements are reduced to a single estimate for a condition, which has adverse consequences for subsequent statistical testing. Other metrics provide estimates of size of vowel articulation changes only, and do not provide a method for studying the direction of the change. This paper proposes an alternative approach. Vowel formant frequencies are redefined as vectors originating from a defined center point of the vowel space fixed to a basic three-vowel frame. The Euclidean length of the vectors, the vowel formant dispersion (VFD), can be compared across conditions for evidence of articulatory expansions or reductions across conditions or speaker groups. Further, the angle component of the vowel vectors allows for analyses of direction of the reduction or expansion. Based on the range of investigations afforded by the VFD metric, and simulation experiments that compare its statistical properties with those of other proposed metrics, it is argued that the VFD procedure offers an enhanced view of vowel articulation change over rival metrics.

  20. Influence of vowel selection on determination of phonation threshold pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plexico, Laura W; Sandage, Mary J

    2012-09-01

    Phonation threshold pressure values reported in the literature have largely been determined with use of one of three consonant-vowel sequences, /pi/, /pae/, and /pa/; however, it is not currently known if vowel choice influences phonation threshold pressure values. Based on the evidence that describes velopharyngeal closure variations between vowels, this research effort hypothesized that phonation threshold pressure values measured from the consonant-vowel sequence /pi/ would be significantly lower than the /pae/ and /pa/ sequences. Twelve female participants aged between 20 and 27 years produced five-syllable trains of /pi/, /pae/, and /pa/ at low, modal, and high pitches. A within-subject repeated measures approach was conducted to compare phonation threshold pressure value differences between the three consonant-vowel sequences for three different pitches while controlling for other task elicitation variables that may also influence phonation threshold pressure values. Repeated measures analysis of the data indicated that there was no significant difference (Pvowel sequences at any frequency assessed. Further, for all three consonant-vowel sequences measured, significant differences of phonation threshold pressure magnitude were observed when comparing the high frequency versus the low and modal frequencies, a finding consistent with previous publications. The vowel selected for task elicitation for phonation threshold pressure determination does not appear to significantly affect phonation threshold values, indicating flexibility of the vowel aspect of this measure for clinical use of phonation threshold pressure. Copyright © 2012 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Bite Block Vowel Production in Apraxia of Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacks, Adam

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This study explored vowel production and adaptation to articulatory constraints in adults with acquired apraxia of speech (AOS) plus aphasia. Method: Five adults with acquired AOS plus aphasia and 5 healthy control participants produced the vowels [iota], [epsilon], and [ash] in four word-length conditions in unconstrained and bite block…

  2. Vowel Acoustics in Adults with Apraxia of Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacks, Adam; Mathes, Katey A.; Marquardt, Thomas P.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the hypothesis that vowel production is more variable in adults with acquired apraxia of speech (AOS) relative to healthy individuals with unimpaired speech. Vowel formant frequency measures were selected as the specific target of focus. Method: Seven adults with AOS and aphasia produced 15 repetitions of 6 American English…

  3. Interspeaker Variability in Hard Palate Morphology and Vowel Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammert, Adam; Proctor, Michael; Narayanan, Shrikanth

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Differences in vocal tract morphology have the potential to explain interspeaker variability in speech production. The potential acoustic impact of hard palate shape was examined in simulation, in addition to the interplay among morphology, articulation, and acoustics in real vowel production data. Method: High-front vowel production from…

  4. Vowel Perception and Production in Adolescents with Reading Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertucci, Carol; Hook, Pamela; Haynes, Charles; Macaruso, Paul; Bickley, Corine

    2003-01-01

    Perception and production of vowels in the words "pit,""pet," and "pat" were investigated with 19 adolescents with reading disabilities. Students with reading disabilities perceived and produced less well-defined vowel categories than a control group. Results suggest that speech processing difficulties of students with reading disabilities include…

  5. Vowel recognition of patients after total laryngectomy using Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients and mouth contour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietruch Rafal W.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper addresses a problem of isolated vowels recognition in patients following total laryngectomy. The visual and acoustic speech modalities were separately incorporated in the machine learning algorithms. The authors used the Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients as acoustic descriptors of a speech signal. A lip contour was extracted from a video signal of the speaking faces using OpenCV software library. In a vowels recognition procedure the three types of classifiers were used for comparison purposes: Artificial Neural Networks, Support Vector Machines and Naive Bayes. The highest recognition rate was evaluated using Support Vector Machines. For a group of the laryngectomees having a different quality of speech the authors achieved 75% for acoustic and 40% for visual recognition performances. The authors obtained higher recognition rate than in a previous research where 10 cross-sectional areas of a vocal tract were estimated. Using presented image processing algorithm the visual features can be extracted automatically from a video signal.

  6. A one-year longitudinal study of English and Japanese vowel production by Japanese adults and children in an English-speaking setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Grace E; Guion-Anderson, Susan; Aoyama, Katsura; Flege, James E; Akahane-Yamada, Reiko; Yamada, Tsuneo

    2011-04-01

    The effect of age of acquisition on first- and second-language vowel production was investigated. Eight English vowels were produced by Native Japanese (NJ) adults and children as well as by age-matched Native English (NE) adults and children. Productions were recorded shortly after the NJ participants' arrival in the USA and then one year later. In agreement with previous investigations [Aoyama, et al., J. Phon. 32, 233-250 (2004)], children were able to learn more, leading to higher accuracy than adults in a year's time. Based on the spectral quality and duration comparisons, NJ adults had more accurate production at Time 1, but showed no improvement over time. The NJ children's productions, however, showed significant differences from the NE children's for English "new" vowels /ɪ/, /ε/, /ɑ/, /ʌ/ and /ʊ/ at Time 1, but produced all eight vowels in a native-like manner at Time 2. An examination of NJ speakers' productions of Japanese /i/, /a/, /u/ over time revealed significant changes for the NJ Child Group only. Japanese /i/ and /a/ showed changes in production that can be related to second language (L2) learning. The results suggest that L2 vowel production is affected importantly by age of acquisition and that there is a dynamic interaction, whereby the first and second language vowels affect each other.

  7. Fluency in native and nonnative English speech

    CERN Document Server

    Götz, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    This book takes a new and holistic approach to fluency in English speech and differentiates between productive, perceptive, and nonverbal fluency. The in-depth corpus-based description of productive fluency points out major differences of how fluency is established in native and nonnative speech. It also reveals areas in which even highly advanced learners of English still deviate strongly from the native target norm and in which they have already approximated to it. Based on these findings, selected learners are subjected to native speakers' ratings of seven perceptive fluency variables in or

  8. Aging effect on Mandarin Chinese vowel and tone identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaohu; Wang, Yuxia; Xu, Lilong; Zhang, Hui; Xu, Can; Liu, Chang

    2015-10-01

    Mandarin Chinese speech sounds (vowels × tones) were presented to younger and older Chinese-native speakers with normal hearing. For the identification of vowel-plus-tone, vowel-only, and tone-only, younger listeners significantly outperformed older listeners. The tone 3 identification scores correlated significantly with the age of older listeners. Moreover, for older listeners, the identification rate of vowel-plus-tone was significantly lower than that of vowel-only and tone-only, whereas for younger listeners, there was no difference among the three identification scores. Therefore, aging negatively affected Mandarin vowel and tone perception, especially when listeners needed to process both phonemic and tonal information.

  9. FIXED TEMPORAL PATTERNS IN CHILDREN'S SPEECH DESPITE VARIABLE VOWEL DURATIONS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redford, Melissa A; Oh, Grace E

    2015-08-01

    The current study compared children's and adults' ability to produce inherent and context-specific vowel duration differences with their ability to repeatedly produce the same vowel in the same context. Children (5- and 8-year-olds) and adults produced real English words in a frame sentence multiple times. Mean vowel duration and variability in vowel duration were analysed as a function of the manipulated factors. Results were that children produced exactly the same contrasts as adults despite also exhibiting more variability in their production of individual vowels. The results are consistent with a model where the 'plan' is remembered relative timing information and execution is the achievement of motor goals at specified temporal intervals.

  10. A selective deficit for writing vowels in acquired dysgraphia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubelli, R

    1991-09-19

    Brain-damaged patients with acquired writing disorders provide important information about the normal processes of spelling and writing. Current models indicate that to produce a letter string, its 'abstract' representation is computed and stored in a temporary orthographic buffer, from which it is converted to a verbal code (if the word is to be spelled aloud) or to a physical letter code (if the word is to be written). The stored graphemic representations specify the identity and order of the component letters and their consonant/vowel status. Here I describe the spelling performance of two patients with a selective deficit in writing vowels. When writing words, the first patient omitted all vowels, leaving a blank space between consonants or consonant clusters, whereas the second produced errors that almost exclusively involved vowels. This pattern of performance supports the hypothesis that the consonant/vowel status of graphemes is differentially specified in the spelling process and may be selectively affected after brain damage.

  11. The Phonetic Nature of Vowels in Modern Standard Arabic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Yahya Bani Salameh

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to explore the phonetic nature of vowels in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA. Although Arabic is a Semitic language, the speech sound system of Arabic is very comprehensive. Data used for this study were elicited from the standard speech of nine informants who are native speakers of Arabic. The researchers used themselves as informants, they also benefited from three other Jordanians and four educated Yemenis. Considering the alphabets as the written symbols used for transcribing the phones of actual pronunciation, it was found that the pronunciation of many Arabic sounds has gradually diverged from the standard.  The study also discussed several related issues including: The phonetic description of Arabic vowels, classification of Arabic vowels, types of Arabic vowels and distribution of Arabic vowels.

  12. The influence of sexual orientation on vowel production (L)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierrehumbert, Janet B.; Bent, Tessa; Munson, Benjamin; Bradlow, Ann R.; Bailey, J. Michael

    2004-10-01

    Vowel production in gay, lesbian, bisexual (GLB), and heterosexual speakers was examined. Differences in the acoustic characteristics of vowels were found as a function of sexual orientation. Lesbian and bisexual women produced less fronted /u/ and /opena/ than heterosexual women. Gay men produced a more expanded vowel space than heterosexual men. However, the vowels of GLB speakers were not generally shifted toward vowel patterns typical of the opposite sex. These results are inconsistent with the conjecture that innate biological factors have a broadly feminizing influence on the speech of gay men and a broadly masculinizing influence on the speech of lesbian/bisexual women. They are consistent with the idea that innate biological factors influence GLB speech patterns indirectly by causing selective adoption of certain speech patterns characteristic of the opposite sex. .

  13. Different ERP profiles for learning rules over consonants and vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monte-Ordoño, Júlia; Toro, Juan M

    2017-02-20

    The Consonant-Vowel hypothesis suggests that consonants and vowels tend to be used differently during language processing. In this study we explored whether these functional differences trigger different neural responses in a rule learning task. We recorded ERPs while nonsense words were presented in an Oddball paradigm. An ABB rule was implemented either over the consonants (Consonant condition) or over the vowels (Vowel condition) composing standard words. Deviant stimuli were composed by novel phonemes. Deviants could either implement the same ABB rule as standards (Phoneme deviants) or implement a different ABA rule (Rule deviants). We observed shared early components (P1 and MMN) for both types of deviants across both conditions. We also observed differences across conditions around 400ms. In the Consonant condition, Phoneme deviants triggered a posterior negativity. In the Vowel condition, Rule deviants triggered an anterior negativity. Such responses demonstrate different neural responses after the violation of abstract rules over distinct phonetic categories.

  14. Non-native speech perception in adverse conditions: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia Lecumberri, M.L.; Cooke, M.P.; Cutler, A.

    2010-01-01

    If listening in adverse conditions is hard, then listening in a foreign language is doubly so: non-native listeners have to cope with both imperfect signals and imperfect knowledge. Comparison of native and non-native listener performance in speech-in-noise tasks helps to clarify the role of prior l

  15. Intelligibility of native and non-native Dutch Speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijngaarden, S.J. van

    2001-01-01

    The intelligibility of speech is known to be lower if the speaker is non-native instead of native for the given language. This study is aimed at quantifying the overall degradation due to limitations of non-native speakers of Dutch, specifically of Dutch-speaking Americans who have lived in the Neth

  16. Speech intelligibility of native and non-native speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijngaarden, S.J. van

    1999-01-01

    The intelligibility of speech is known to be lower if the talker is non-native instead of native for the given language. This study is aimed at quantifying the overall degradation due to acoustic-phonetic limitations of non-native talkers of Dutch, specifically of Dutch-speaking Americans who have l

  17. Preparing Non-Native English-Speaking ESL Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Sarah J.

    2008-01-01

    This article addresses the challenges that non-native English-speaking teacher trainees face as they begin teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in Western, English-speaking countries. Despite a great deal of training, non-native speaker teachers may be viewed as inadequate language teachers because they often lack native speaker competence…

  18. When the Teacher Is a Non-native Speaker

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pèter Medgyes

    2005-01-01

    @@ In "When the Teacher is a Non-native Speaker," Medgyes examines the differences in teaching behavior between native and non-native teachers of English, and then specifies the causes of those differences. The aim of the discussion is to raise the awareness of both groups of teachers to their respective strengths and weaknesses, and thus help them become better teachers.

  19. The Non-Native English Speaker Teachers in TESOL Movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamhi-Stein, Lía D.

    2016-01-01

    It has been almost 20 years since what is known as the non-native English-speaking (NNES) professionals' movement--designed to increase the status of NNES professionals--started within the US-based TESOL International Association. However, still missing from the literature is an understanding of what a movement is, and why non-native English…

  20. Computational model predictions of cues for concurrent vowel identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintanpalli, Ananthakrishna; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Dubno, Judy R

    2014-10-01

    Although differences in fundamental frequencies (F0s) between vowels are beneficial for their segregation and identification, listeners can still segregate and identify simultaneous vowels that have identical F0s, suggesting that additional cues are contributing, including formant frequency differences. The current perception and computational modeling study was designed to assess the contribution of F0 and formant difference cues for concurrent vowel identification. Younger adults with normal hearing listened to concurrent vowels over a wide range of levels (25-85 dB SPL) for conditions in which F0 was the same or different between vowel pairs. Vowel identification scores were poorer at the lowest and highest levels for each F0 condition, and F0 benefit was reduced at the lowest level as compared to higher levels. To understand the neural correlates underlying level-dependent changes in vowel identification, a computational auditory-nerve model was used to estimate formant and F0 difference cues under the same listening conditions. Template contrast and average localized synchronized rate predicted level-dependent changes in the strength of phase locking to F0s and formants of concurrent vowels, respectively. At lower levels, poorer F0 benefit may be attributed to poorer phase locking to both F0s, which resulted from lower firing rates of auditory-nerve fibers. At higher levels, poorer identification scores may relate to poorer phase locking to the second formant, due to synchrony capture by lower formants. These findings suggest that concurrent vowel identification may be partly influenced by level-dependent changes in phase locking of auditory-nerve fibers to F0s and formants of both vowels.

  1. The Spelling of Vowels Is Influenced by Australian and British English Dialect Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Nenagh

    2009-01-01

    Two experiments examined the influence of dialect on the spelling of vowel sounds. British and Australian children (6 to 8 years) and university students wrote words whose unstressed vowel sound is spelled i or e and pronounced /I/ or /schwa/. Participants often (mis)spelled these vowel sounds as they pronounced them. When vowels were pronounced…

  2. We're Not in Kansas Anymore: The TOTO Strategy for Decoding Vowel Pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meese, Ruth Lyn

    2016-01-01

    Vowel teams such as vowel digraphs present a challenge to struggling readers. Some researchers assert that phonics generalizations such as the "two vowels go walking and the first one does the talking" rule do not hold often enough to be reliable for children. Others suggest that some vowel teams are highly regular and that children can…

  3. Acoustic Characteristics of Vowels and Plosives/Affricates of Mandarin-Speaking Hearing-Impaired Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Shu-Chuan; Kuei, Ko; Tsou, Pei-Chen

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the results of an acoustic analysis of vowels and plosives/affricates produced by 45 Mandarin-speaking children with hearing impairment. Vowel production is represented and categorized into three groups by vowel space size calculated with normalized F1 and F2 values of corner vowels. The correlation between speech…

  4. Perception of Vowel Length by Japanese- and English-Learning Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugitani, Ryoko; Pons, Ferran; Fais, Laurel; Dietrich, Christiane; Werker, Janet F.; Amano, Shigeaki

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated vowel length discrimination in infants from 2 language backgrounds, Japanese and English, in which vowel length is either phonemic or nonphonemic. Experiment 1 revealed that English 18-month-olds discriminate short and long vowels although vowel length is not phonemically contrastive in English. Experiments 2 and 3 revealed…

  5. Vowel Production in Persian Deaf Children with Cochlear Implant: is the Age of Implantation an Important Factor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamani, Peyman; Rahmanirasa, Amir; Weisi, Farzad; Valadbeigi, Ayub; Farahani, Farhad; Rezaei, Mohammad

    2014-12-01

    Proper production of vowels has great significance in speech intelligibility. Evidence shows that cochlear implantation has a significant impact on language and reading abilities in some children immediately after the surgery. The aim of the present study is comparing the quality of 6 simple Persian vowels between two groups of cochlear-implanted children under and over 2 years old. This was a cross-sectional analytic study conducted on 70 children who were implanted under the age of 2, 70 children who were implanted over the age of 2 and 238 normal children as control group. For data analysis, the SFS win acoustic analysis was used. Result of this study showed that F2/i/, f1/e/, f2/e/, f2/∞/, f1/a/, F2/a/, f1/o/, F2/o/and F2/u/means had significant difference between three groups (P vowel production. Early cochlear implantation (under the age of 2) affects the quality of simple Persian vowel production significantly as well as the increase of speech intelligibility.

  6. Acoustic aspects of vowel harmony in French [Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS)

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    International audience; This paper explores acoustic and articulatory aspects of regressive vowel-to-vowel assimilation known as vowel harmony (VH) in French. Based on three speakers' renditions of 136 pairs of disyllabic word pairs containing a mid-vowel in the first, and a low or a non-low vowel in the second, syllables of each pair, we examined assimilatory effects of final vowels on the duration and spectral properties of non-final mid-vowels. Results show that /e/ and /o/ have longer dur...

  7. Acoustic comparison of vowel sounds among adult females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franca, Maria Claudia

    2012-09-01

    This study consist of an experiment comparing acoustic characteristics of vowel production among females. The aim of this investigation was to explore the stability among vowels with quantification of acoustic changes in the voice related to speech production associated with an ample variety of vowel sounds. An additional goal was to establish a systematic control of variables and standardization of the data collection procedures. All data were collected in a quiet environment using the Computerized Speech Lab (CSL; Kay Elemetrics, Montvale, NJ), a computer-based system designed to measure characteristics of voice. Jitter and shimmer, measures of perturbation that reflect characteristics of voice, were applied. Two additional acoustic measures were examined: (1) noise-to-harmonic ratio (NHR), a general evaluation of presence of noise in the voice signal; and (2) voice turbulence index (VTI), related to turbulence caused by abnormal adduction of vocal folds. A systematic methodology of data collection was organized, in an effort to establish a research protocol based on relevant literature, involving (1) keeping constant fundamental frequency (F0) and intensity, (2) positioning of participants and recording equipment, and (3) environmental noise. When measured acoustic parameters of vowels were compared, results revealed that the vowel sounds had a significant effect on shimmer and VTI. Furthermore, speech sounds classified as back vowels exhibited less perturbation and noise in the acoustic signal: the high-back vowels [u] and []; and the mid-back vowels [o] and [], demonstrated most of the statistically significant reduced values of shimmer and VTI among the 12 vowels compared. Further comparisons among front and back vowels grouped in clusters associated to more and less variability led to statistically significant differences in shimmer, NHR, and VTI. Overall, speech sounds classified as back vowels exhibited less variability and noise. Based on the results of

  8. Infant-directed speech (IDS) vowel clarity and child language outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Kelly M; Ratner, Nan Bernstein; Newman, Rochelle S

    2017-09-01

    There have been many studies examining the differences between infant-directed speech (IDS) and adult-directed speech (ADS). However, investigations asking whether mothers clarify vowel articulation in IDS have reached equivocal findings. Moreover, it is unclear whether maternal speech clarification has any effect on a child's developing language skills. This study examined vowel clarification in mothers' IDS at 0;10-11, 1;6, and 2;0, as compared to their vowel production in ADS. Relationships between vowel space, vowel duration, and vowel variability and child language outcomes at two years were also explored. Results show that vowel space and vowel duration tended to be greater in IDS than in ADS, and that one measure of vowel clarity, a mother's vowel space at 1;6, was significantly related to receptive as well as expressive child language outcomes at two years of age.

  9. Native and Non-Native Perceptions on a Non-Native Oral Discourse in an Academic Setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenan Dikilitaş

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available This qualitative study investigates discourse-level patterns typically employed by a Turkish lecturer based on the syntactic patterns found in the collected data. More specifically, the study aims to reveal how different native and non-native speakers of English perceive discourse patterns used by a non-native lecturer teaching in English. The data gathered from a Turkish lecturer teaching finance, and the interviews both with the lecturer and the students. The lecturer and the students were videotaped and the data was evaluated by content analysis. The results revealed a difference between the way non-native and native speakers evaluate an oral discourse of a non-native lecturer teaching in English. Native speakers of English found the oral performance moderately comprehensible, while non-native speakers found it relatively comprehensible.

  10. Monopitched expression of emotions in different vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaramaa, Teija; Laukkanen, Anne-Maria; Alku, Paavo; Väyrynen, Eero

    2008-01-01

    Fundamental frequency (F(0)) and intensity are known to be important variables in the communication of emotions in speech. In singing, however, pitch is predetermined and yet the voice should convey emotions. Hence, other vocal parameters are needed to express emotions. This study investigated the role of voice source characteristics and formant frequencies in the communication of emotions in monopitched vowel samples [a:], [i:] and [u:]. Student actors (5 males, 8 females) produced the emotional samples simulating joy, tenderness, sadness, anger and a neutral emotional state. Equivalent sound level (L(eq)), alpha ratio [SPL (1-5 kHz) - SPL (50 Hz-1 kHz)] and formant frequencies F1-F4 were measured. The [a:] samples were inverse filtered and the estimated glottal flows were parameterized with the normalized amplitude quotient [NAQ = f(AC)/(d(peak)T)]. Interrelations of acoustic variables were studied by ANCOVA, considering the valence and psychophysiological activity of the expressions. Forty participants listened to the randomized samples (n = 210) for identification of the emotions. The capacity of monopitched vowels for conveying emotions differed. L(eq) and NAQ differentiated activity levels. NAQ also varied independently of L(eq). In [a:], filter (formant frequencies F1-F4) was related to valence. The interplay between voice source and F1-F4 warrants a synthesis study. Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. The acquisition of Hungarian high front unrounded short vs. long vowels

    OpenAIRE

    Zajdó, K.; Wempe, T.G.; van der Stelt, J.; Pols, L.C.W.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined spectral properties of the Hungarian vowel pair /i/ vs. /i:/ with contrasting phonemic vowel lengths in 2;0 and 4;0 years old boys acquiring Hungarian as their native language. Results were obtained by an automated pitch-synchronous bandfilter analysis method that estimates the spectral envelope representation of vowels. Subsequent data reduction was achieved via principal component analysis. Examining the spectral differentiation of vowels with contrasting phonemic vowel ...

  12. Retroactive Streaming Fails to Improve Concurrent Vowel Identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandewie, Eugene J; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    The sequential organization of sound over time can interact with the concurrent organization of sounds across frequency. Previous studies using simple acoustic stimuli have suggested that sequential streaming cues can retroactively affect the perceptual organization of sounds that have already occurred. It is unknown whether such effects generalize to the perception of speech sounds. Listeners' ability to identify two simultaneously presented vowels was measured in the following conditions: no context, a preceding context stream (precursors), and a following context stream (postcursors). The context stream was comprised of brief repetitions of one of the two vowels, and the primary measure of performance was listeners' ability to identify the other vowel. Results in the precursor condition showed a significant advantage for the identification of the second vowel compared to the no-context condition, suggesting that sequential grouping mechanisms aided the segregation of the concurrent vowels, in agreement with previous work. However, performance in the postcursor condition was significantly worse compared to the no-context condition, providing no evidence for an effect of stream segregation, and suggesting a possible interference effect. Two additional experiments involving inharmonic (jittered) vowels were performed to provide additional cues to aid retroactive stream segregation; however, neither manipulation enabled listeners to improve their identification of the target vowel. Taken together with earlier studies, the results suggest that retroactive streaming may require large spectral differences between concurrent sources and thus may not provide a robust segregation cue for natural broadband sounds such as speech.

  13. Retroactive Streaming Fails to Improve Concurrent Vowel Identification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene J Brandewie

    Full Text Available The sequential organization of sound over time can interact with the concurrent organization of sounds across frequency. Previous studies using simple acoustic stimuli have suggested that sequential streaming cues can retroactively affect the perceptual organization of sounds that have already occurred. It is unknown whether such effects generalize to the perception of speech sounds. Listeners' ability to identify two simultaneously presented vowels was measured in the following conditions: no context, a preceding context stream (precursors, and a following context stream (postcursors. The context stream was comprised of brief repetitions of one of the two vowels, and the primary measure of performance was listeners' ability to identify the other vowel. Results in the precursor condition showed a significant advantage for the identification of the second vowel compared to the no-context condition, suggesting that sequential grouping mechanisms aided the segregation of the concurrent vowels, in agreement with previous work. However, performance in the postcursor condition was significantly worse compared to the no-context condition, providing no evidence for an effect of stream segregation, and suggesting a possible interference effect. Two additional experiments involving inharmonic (jittered vowels were performed to provide additional cues to aid retroactive stream segregation; however, neither manipulation enabled listeners to improve their identification of the target vowel. Taken together with earlier studies, the results suggest that retroactive streaming may require large spectral differences between concurrent sources and thus may not provide a robust segregation cue for natural broadband sounds such as speech.

  14. Retroactive Streaming Fails to Improve Concurrent Vowel Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    The sequential organization of sound over time can interact with the concurrent organization of sounds across frequency. Previous studies using simple acoustic stimuli have suggested that sequential streaming cues can retroactively affect the perceptual organization of sounds that have already occurred. It is unknown whether such effects generalize to the perception of speech sounds. Listeners’ ability to identify two simultaneously presented vowels was measured in the following conditions: no context, a preceding context stream (precursors), and a following context stream (postcursors). The context stream was comprised of brief repetitions of one of the two vowels, and the primary measure of performance was listeners’ ability to identify the other vowel. Results in the precursor condition showed a significant advantage for the identification of the second vowel compared to the no-context condition, suggesting that sequential grouping mechanisms aided the segregation of the concurrent vowels, in agreement with previous work. However, performance in the postcursor condition was significantly worse compared to the no-context condition, providing no evidence for an effect of stream segregation, and suggesting a possible interference effect. Two additional experiments involving inharmonic (jittered) vowels were performed to provide additional cues to aid retroactive stream segregation; however, neither manipulation enabled listeners to improve their identification of the target vowel. Taken together with earlier studies, the results suggest that retroactive streaming may require large spectral differences between concurrent sources and thus may not provide a robust segregation cue for natural broadband sounds such as speech. PMID:26451598

  15. A longitudinal study of very young children's vowel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Rebecca W; McGowan, Richard S; Denny, Margaret; Nittrouer, Susan

    2014-02-01

    Ecologically realistic, spontaneous, adult-directed, longitudinal speech data of young children were described by acoustic analyses. The first 2 formant frequencies of vowels produced by 6 children from different American English dialect regions were analyzed from ages 18 to 48 months. The vowels were from largely conversational contexts and were classified according to dictionary pronunciation. Within-subject formant frequency variability remained relatively constant for the span of ages studied. It was often difficult to detect overall decreases in the first 2 formant frequencies between ages 30 and 48 months. A study of the movement of the corner vowels with respect to the vowel centroid showed that the shape of the vowel space remained qualitatively constant from 30 through 48 months. The shape of the vowel space is established early in life. Some aspects of regional dialect were observed in some of the subjects at 42 months of age. The present study adds to the existing data on the development of vowel spaces by describing ecologically realistic speech.

  16. Effects of coda voicing and aspiration on Hindi vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampp, Claire; Reklis, Heidi

    2004-05-01

    This study reexamines the well-attested coda voicing effect on vowel duration [Chen, Phonetica 22, 125-159 (1970)], in conjunction with the relationship between vowel duration and aspiration of codas. The first step was to replicate the results of Maddieson and Gandour [UCLA Working Papers Phonetics 31, 46-52 (1976)] with a larger, language-specific data set. Four nonsense syllables ending in [open-o] followed by [k, kh, g, gh] were read aloud in ten different carrier sentences by four native speakers of Hindi. Results confirm that longer vowels precede voiced word-final consonants and aspirated word-final consonants. Thus, among the syllables, vowel duration would be longest when preceding the voiced aspirate [gh]. Coda voicing, and thus, vowel duration, have been shown to correlate negatively to vowel F1 in English and Arabic [Wolf, J. Phonetics 6, 299-309 (1978); de Jong and Zawaydeh ibid, 30, 53-75 (2002)]. It is not known whether vowel F1 depends directly on coda voicing, or is determined indirectly via duration. Since voicing and aspiration both increase duration, F1 measurements of this data set (which will be presented) may answer that question.

  17. Categorization of Natural Whistled Vowels by Naïve Listeners of Different Language Background.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2017-01-01

    Whistled speech in a non-tonal language consists of the natural emulation of vocalic and consonantal qualities in a simple modulated whistled signal. This special speech register represents a natural telecommunication system that enables high levels of sentence intelligibility by trained speakers and is not directly intelligible to naïve listeners. Yet, it is easily learned by speakers of the language that is being whistled, as attested by the current efforts of the revitalization of whistled Spanish in the Canary Islands. To better understand the relation between whistled and spoken speech perception, we look herein at how Spanish, French, and Standard Chinese native speakers, knowing nothing about whistled speech, categorized four Spanish whistled vowels. The results show that the listeners categorized differently depending on their native language. The Standard Chinese speakers demonstrated the worst performance on this task but were still able to associate a tonal whistle to vowel categories. Spanish speakers were the most accurate, and both Spanish and French participants were able to categorize the four vowels, although not as accurately as an expert whistler. These results attest that whistled speech can be used as a natural laboratory to test the perceptual processes of language.

  18. Prosodic exaggeration within infant-directed speech: Consequences for vowel learnability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adriaans, Frans; Swingley, Daniel

    2017-05-01

    Perceptual experiments with infants show that they adapt their perception of speech sounds toward the categories of the native language. How do infants learn these categories? For the most part, acoustic analyses of natural infant-directed speech have suggested that phonetic categories are not presented to learners as separable clusters of sounds in acoustic space. As a step toward explaining how infants begin to solve this problem, the current study proposes that the exaggerated prosody characteristic of infant-directed speech may highlight for infants certain speech-sound tokens that collectively form more readily identifiable categories. A database is presented, containing vowel measurements in a large sample of natural American English infant-directed speech. Analyses of the vowel space show that prosodic exaggeration in infant-directed speech has the potential to support distributional vowel learning by providing the learner with a subset of "high-quality" tokens that infants might attend to preferentially. Categorization models trained on prosodically exaggerated tokens outperformed models that were trained on tokens that were not exaggerated. Though focusing on more prominent, exaggerated tokens does not provide a solution to the categorization problem, it would make it easier to solve.

  19. Categorization of Natural Whistled Vowels by Naïve Listeners of Different Language Background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2017-01-01

    Whistled speech in a non-tonal language consists of the natural emulation of vocalic and consonantal qualities in a simple modulated whistled signal. This special speech register represents a natural telecommunication system that enables high levels of sentence intelligibility by trained speakers and is not directly intelligible to naïve listeners. Yet, it is easily learned by speakers of the language that is being whistled, as attested by the current efforts of the revitalization of whistled Spanish in the Canary Islands. To better understand the relation between whistled and spoken speech perception, we look herein at how Spanish, French, and Standard Chinese native speakers, knowing nothing about whistled speech, categorized four Spanish whistled vowels. The results show that the listeners categorized differently depending on their native language. The Standard Chinese speakers demonstrated the worst performance on this task but were still able to associate a tonal whistle to vowel categories. Spanish speakers were the most accurate, and both Spanish and French participants were able to categorize the four vowels, although not as accurately as an expert whistler. These results attest that whistled speech can be used as a natural laboratory to test the perceptual processes of language. PMID:28174545

  20. Vowel Height Allophony and Dorsal Place Contrasts in Cochabamba Quechua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Gillian

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports on the results of two studies investigating the role of allophony in cueing phonemic contrasts. In Cochabamba Quechua, the uvularvelar place distinction is often cued by additional differences in the height of the surrounding vowels. An acoustic study documents the lowering effect of a preceding tautomorphemic or a following heteromorphemic uvular on the high vowels /i u/. A discrimination study finds that vowel height is a significant cue to the velar-uvular place contrast. These findings support a view of contrasts as collections of distinguishing properties, as opposed to oppositions in a single distinctive feature. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Perceptual assimilation of Dutch vowels by Peruvian Spanish listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, Paola; Williams, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Many cross-language and L2 speech perception studies have been conducted on English sounds and a limited number of speakers or synthetic tokens have been used for auditory stimuli. The Spanish listeners of the present study were presented with natural tokens of Dutch vowels produced by males and females selected from the corpus reported in Adank et al. [(2004) J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 1729-1738]. The results show that single category assimilations are common and that certain Dutch vowels frequently assimilate to Spanish diphthongs. Predictions are made for Spanish learners' initial stage in the acquisition of the Dutch vowel system.

  2. Tongue movements in vowel-consonant-vowel (VCV) sequences: The effect of consonant length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lofqvist, Anders

    2005-09-01

    This study examined the effect of consonant duration on the tongue movement from the first to the second vowel in VCV sequences, where the consonant is a short or long labial nasal consonant. Lip, tongue, and jaw movements were recorded in native speakers of Japanese using a magnetometer system. Measurements were made of the duration, path, and speed of the tongue movement trajectory between the two vowels. The coordination of the onsets of the lip closing and tongue movements was also studied, as well as the relative part of the trajectory that occurred during the consonant and the vowels. Preliminary results show a robust difference in duration between the long and short consonants, with the long ones about twice as long. The duration of the tongue movement was longer in the long than the short consonants. Both the peak and average speed of the tongue movement were slower in the long consonants. The tongue movement path was slightly longer in the long consonants. These results suggest that speakers adjust the tongue movement trajectory so that a similar relationship between the movement and the consonant closure is maintained in both the long and the short consonants. [Work supported by NIH.

  3. History of nonnative Monk Parakeets in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, Elizabeth A; Smith-Vidaurre, Grace; Salinas-Melgoza, Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    Nonnative Monk Parakeets have been reported in increasing numbers across many cities in Mexico, and were formally classified as an invasive species in Mexico in late 2016. However, there has not been a large-scale attempt to determine how international pet trade and national and international governmental regulations have played a part in colonization, and when the species appeared in different areas. We describe the changes in regulations that led the international pet trade market to shift to Mexico, then used international trade data to determine how many parakeets were commercially imported each year and where those individuals originated. We also quantified the recent increases in Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) sightings in Mexico in both the scientific literature and in citizen science reports. We describe the timeline of increased reports to understand the history of nonnative Monk Parakeets in Mexico. As in other areas where the species has colonized, the main mode of transport is through the international pet trade. Over half a million Monk Parakeets were commercially imported to Mexico during 2000-2015, with the majority of importation (90%) occurring in 2008-2014, and almost all (98%) were imported from Uruguay. The earliest record of a free-flying Monk Parakeet was observed during 1994-1995 in Mexico City, but sightings of the parakeets did not become geographically widespread in either the scientific literature or citizen science databases until 2012-2015. By 2015, parakeets had been reported in 97 cities in Mexico. Mexico City has consistently seen steep increases in reporting since this species was first reported in Mexico. Here we find that both national and international legal regulations and health concerns drove a rise and fall in Monk Parakeet pet trade importations, shortly followed by widespread sightings of feral parakeets across Mexico. Further monitoring of introduced Monk Parakeet populations in Mexico is needed to understand the

  4. Non-native salmonids affect amphibian occupancy at multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Hossack, Blake R.; Bahls, Peter F.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Corn, Paul Stephen; Hokit, Grant; Maxell, Bryce A.; Munger, James C.; Wyrick, Aimee

    2010-01-01

    Aim The introduction of non-native species into aquatic environments has been linked with local extinctions and altered distributions of native species. We investigated the effect of non-native salmonids on the occupancy of two native amphibians, the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), across three spatial scales: water bodies, small catchments and large catchments. Location Mountain lakes at ≥ 1500 m elevation were surveyed across the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Methods We surveyed 2267 water bodies for amphibian occupancy (based on evidence of reproduction) and fish presence between 1986 and 2002 and modelled the probability of amphibian occupancy at each spatial scale in relation to habitat availability and quality and fish presence. Results After accounting for habitat features, we estimated that A. macrodactylum was 2.3 times more likely to breed in fishless water bodies than in water bodies with fish. Ambystoma macrodactylum also was more likely to occupy small catchments where none of the water bodies contained fish than in catchments where at least one water body contained fish. However, the probability of salamander occupancy in small catchments was also influenced by habitat availability (i.e. the number of water bodies within a catchment) and suitability of remaining fishless water bodies. We found no relationship between fish presence and salamander occupancy at the large-catchment scale, probably because of increased habitat availability. In contrast to A. macrodactylum, we found no relationship between fish presence and R. luteiventris occupancy at any scale. Main conclusions Our results suggest that the negative effects of non-native salmonids can extend beyond the boundaries of individual water bodies and increase A. macrodactylum extinction risk at landscape scales. We suspect that niche overlap between non-native fish and A. macrodactylum at higher elevations in the northern Rocky

  5. Japanese Vowel Devoicing: Cases of Consecutive Devoicing Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchida, Ayako

    2001-01-01

    Argues that devoicing sites in Japanese are specified for the feature, departing from the traditional phonological analysis of Japanese vowel devoicing, which considers devoicing as an assimilation of the feature [+spread glottis]. (Author/VWL)

  6. Hemispheric differences in the effects of context on vowel perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sjerps, M.J.; Mitterer, H.A.; McQueen, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Listeners perceive speech sounds relative to context. Contextual influences might differ over hemispheres if different types of auditory processing are lateralized. Hemispheric differences in contextual influences on vowel perception were investigated by presenting speech targets and both speech and

  7. Interaural bimodal pitch matching with two-formant vowels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2013-01-01

    practice. Behavioral pitch matching between the two ears has also been suggested, but has been shown to be tedious and unreliable. Here, an alternative method using two-formant vowels was developed and tested with a vocoder system simulating different CI insertion depths. The hypothesis was that patients...... may more easily identify vowels than perform a classical pitch-matching task. A spectral shift is inferred by comparing vowel spaces, measured by presenting the first formant in the HA and the second either in the HA or the CI. Preliminary results suggest that pitch mismatches can be derived from...... such vowel spaces. In order to take auditory adaptation in individual patients into account, the method will be tested with CI patients with contralateral residual hearing....

  8. Interaural bimodal pitch matching with two-formant vowels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerit, Francois Marie Louis Paul; Chalupper, Josef; Santurette, Sébastien

    practice. Behavioral pitch matching between the two ears has also been suggested, but has been shown to be tedious and unreliable. Here, an alternative method using two-formant vowels was developed and tested with a vocoder system simulating different CI insertion depths. The hypothesis was that patients...... may more easily identify vowels than perform a classical pitch-matching task. A spectral shift is inferred by comparing vowel spaces, measured by presenting the first formant in the HA and the second either in the HA or the CI. Preliminary results suggest that pitch mismatches can be derived from...... such vowel spaces. In order to take auditory adaptation in individual patients into account, the method will be tested with CI patients with contralateral residual hearing....

  9. Asymmetries in English vowel perception mirror compression effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Jonah

    2013-01-01

    A series of vowel-identification experiments using gated consonant stimuli shows that English listeners are capable of recovering the vocalic context in which a consonant appears from information contained in the consonant alone. This is true for most consonants tested, including liquids, nasals, and stops in onset and coda position. Positional asymmetries in vowel sensitivity go in opposite directions for liquids (coda sensitivity > onset) and stops (onset > coda). Nasals pattern with liquids in terms of vowel sensitivity from consonant steady states alone, but pat- tern more closely with stops when portions outside the steady state are taken into account. It is argued that these asymmetries are related to patterns of cluster-driven vowel compression (also called 'compensatory shortening') in speech production. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Acoustic Correlates of Devoiced Japanese Vowels : Velar Context

    OpenAIRE

    VARDEN, J. Kevin

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports preliminary findings of research on the acoustic characteristics of voiceless obstruent/devoiced vowel sequences in Japanese. The starting point for the investigation is Beckman & Shoji (1984), who detailed the characteristics of /∫/ be

  11. Vowel-Plosive of English Word Recognition using HMM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hemakumar G

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses a speech recognition based on spoken English words formed by vowel, diphthong and plosive and it has been developed and experimented for single speaker. The success rate of recognition of individually uttered words in experiments is excellent and has reached about 98.86 %. The miss rate of about 1.14% was almost only because of false acceptance. In phonemes classification on an average we have reached 85% and miss classification rate was 15%. We have successfully tested all the words formed by vowel followed by vowel-plosive or plosive-vowels or diphthong-plosive and reached high success rate in recognition of the words. All computations are performed in MATLAB and PRAAT software.

  12. Vowel generalization and its relation to adaptation during perturbations of auditory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Kevin J; Pettibone, Chelsea

    2017-08-23

    Repeated perturbations of auditory feedback during vowel production elicit changes not only in the production of the perturbed vowel (adaptation) but also in the production of nearby vowels that were not perturbed (generalization). The finding that adaptation generalizes to other, non-perturbed vowels suggest that sensorimotor representations for vowels are not independent; instead the goals for producing any one vowel may depend in part on the goals for other vowels. The present study investigated the dependence or independence of vowel representations by evaluating adaptation and generalization in two groups of speakers exposed to auditory perturbations of their first formant (F1) during different vowels. The speakers in both groups who adapted to the perturbation exhibited generalization in two non-perturbed vowels that were produced under masking noise. Correlation testing was performed to evaluate the relations between adaptation and generalization as well as between the generalization in the two non-perturbed vowels. These tests identified significant coupling between the F1 changes of adjacent vowels but not non-adjacent vowels. The pattern of correlation findings indicates that generalization was due in part to feedforward representations that are partly shared across adjacent vowels, possibly to maintain their acoustic contrast. Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology.

  13. The Attitudes and Perceptions of Non-Native English Speaking ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Attitudes and Perceptions of Non-Native English Speaking Adults toward Explicit Grammar Instruction. ... to excel in their academic careers, obtain good jobs, and interact well with those who speak English. ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  14. Early learners' discrimination of second-language vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Højen, Anders; Flege, James E

    2006-05-01

    It is uncertain from previous research to what extent the perceptual system retains plasticity after attunement to the native language (L1) sound system. This study evaluated second-language (L2) vowel discrimination by individuals who began learning the L2 as children ("early learners"). Experiment 1 identified procedures that lowered discrimination scores for foreign vowel contrasts in an AXB test (with three physically different stimuli per trial, where "X" was drawn from the same vowel category as "A" or "B"). Experiment 2 examined the AXB discrimination of English vowels by native Spanish early learners and monolingual speakers of Spanish and English (20 per group) at interstimulus intervals (ISIs) of 1000 and 0 ms. The Spanish monolinguals obtained near-chance scores for three difficult vowel contrasts, presumably because they did not perceive the vowels as distinct phonemes and because the experimental design hindered low-level encoding strategies. Like the English monolinguals, the early learners obtained high scores, indicating they had shown considerable perceptual learning. However, statistically significant differences between early learners and English monolinguals for two of three difficult contrasts at the 0-ms ISI suggested that their underlying perceptual systems were not identical. Implications for claims regarding perceptual plasticity following L1 attunement are discussed.

  15. Training Japanese listeners to identify American English vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishi, Kanae; Kewley-Port, Diane

    2005-04-01

    Perception training of phonemes by second language (L2) learners has been studied primarily using consonant contrasts, where the number of contrasting sounds rarely exceeds five. In order to investigate the effects of stimulus sets, this training study used two conditions: 9 American English vowels covering the entire vowel space (9V), and 3 difficult vowels for problem-focused training (3V). Native speakers of Japanese were trained for nine days. To assess changes in performance due to training, a battery of perception and production tests were given pre- and post-training, as well as 3 months following training. The 9V trainees improved vowel perception on all vowels after training, on average by 23%. Their performance at the 3-month test was slightly worse than the posttest, but still better than the pretest. Transfer of training effect to stimuli spoken by new speakers was observed. Strong response bias observed in the pretest disappeared after the training. The preliminary results of the 3V trainees showed substantial improvement only on the trained vowels. The implications of this research for improved training of L2 learners to understand speech will be discussed. [Work supported by NIH-NIDCD DC-006313 & DC-02229.

  16. Vowel sound extraction in anterior superior temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obleser, Jonas; Boecker, Henning; Drzezga, Alexander; Haslinger, Bernhard; Hennenlotter, Andreas; Roettinger, Michael; Eulitz, Carsten; Rauschecker, Josef P

    2006-07-01

    We investigated the functional neuroanatomy of vowel processing. We compared attentive auditory perception of natural German vowels to perception of nonspeech band-passed noise stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). More specifically, the mapping in auditory cortex of first and second formants was considered, which spectrally characterize vowels and are linked closely to phonological features. Multiple exemplars of natural German vowels were presented in sequences alternating either mainly along the first formant (e.g., [u]-[o], [i]-[e]) or along the second formant (e.g., [u]-[i], [o]-[e]). In fixed-effects and random-effects analyses, vowel sequences elicited more activation than did nonspeech noise in the anterior superior temporal cortex (aST) bilaterally. Partial segregation of different vowel categories was observed within the activated regions, suggestive of a speech sound mapping across the cortical surface. Our results add to the growing evidence that speech sounds, as one of the behaviorally most relevant classes of auditory objects, are analyzed and categorized in aST. These findings also support the notion of an auditory "what" stream, with highly object-specialized areas anterior to primary auditory cortex. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Automatic measurement of vowel duration via structured prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adi, Yossi; Keshet, Joseph; Cibelli, Emily; Gustafson, Erin; Clopper, Cynthia; Goldrick, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    A key barrier to making phonetic studies scalable and replicable is the need to rely on subjective, manual annotation. To help meet this challenge, a machine learning algorithm was developed for automatic measurement of a widely used phonetic measure: vowel duration. Manually-annotated data were used to train a model that takes as input an arbitrary length segment of the acoustic signal containing a single vowel that is preceded and followed by consonants and outputs the duration of the vowel. The model is based on the structured prediction framework. The input signal and a hypothesized set of a vowel's onset and offset are mapped to an abstract vector space by a set of acoustic feature functions. The learning algorithm is trained in this space to minimize the difference in expectations between predicted and manually-measured vowel durations. The trained model can then automatically estimate vowel durations without phonetic or orthographic transcription. Results comparing the model to three sets of manually annotated data suggest it out-performed the current gold standard for duration measurement, an HMM-based forced aligner (which requires orthographic or phonetic transcription as an input).

  18. Does knowing speaker sex facilitate vowel recognition at short durations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David R R

    2014-05-01

    A man, woman or child saying the same vowel do so with very different voices. The auditory system solves the complex problem of extracting what the man, woman or child has said despite substantial differences in the acoustic properties of their voices. Much of the acoustic variation between the voices of men and woman is due to changes in the underlying anatomical mechanisms for producing speech. If the auditory system knew the sex of the speaker then it could potentially correct for speaker sex related acoustic variation thus facilitating vowel recognition. This study measured the minimum stimulus duration necessary to accurately discriminate whether a brief vowel segment was spoken by a man or woman, and the minimum stimulus duration necessary to accuately recognise what vowel was spoken. Results showed that reliable vowel recognition precedesreliable speaker sex discrimination, thus questioning the use of speaker sex information in compensating for speaker sex related acoustic variation in the voice. Furthermore, the pattern of performance across experiments where the fundamental frequency and formant frequency information of speaker's voices were systematically varied, was markedly different depending on whether the task was speaker-sex discrimination or vowel recognition. This argues for there being little relationship between perception of speaker sex (indexical information) and perception of what has been said (linguistic information) at short durations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Nonnative Speaker-Initiated Repair in A Sequential Complex Context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yufu, Mamiko

    Repair has been one of the main subjects of conversation analytical studies and the focus is often put on achieving mutual understanding. However, there are also some phenomena unique to a contact situation, which may be due to restricted linguistic knowledge of nonnative speakers, difference...... to such factors as how Germans see Japanese, the interference of Japanese conversational styles, etc. Through the analyses of nonnative speaker-initiated repair, the context-sensitive complexities are demonstrated in this paper....

  20. Nonnative Speaker-Initiated Repair in A Sequential Complex Context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yufu, Mamiko

    Repair has been one of the main subjects of conversation analytical studies and the focus is often put on achieving mutual understanding. However, there are also some phenomena unique to a contact situation, which may be due to restricted linguistic knowledge of nonnative speakers, difference...... to such factors as how Germans see Japanese, the interference of Japanese conversational styles, etc. Through the analyses of nonnative speaker-initiated repair, the context-sensitive complexities are demonstrated in this paper....

  1. Measuring Phenological Changes due to Defoliation of the Non-Native Species, Saltcedar (Tamarisk) Following Episodic Foliage Removal by the Beetle Diorhabda elongate and Phenological Impacts on Forage Quality for Insectivorous Birds on the Dolores River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, P. L.; Dennison, P. E.; Hultine, K. R.; van Riper, C.; Glenn, E. P.

    2008-12-01

    Since its introduction to the western U.S. more than a century ago, tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) has become dominant or sub-dominant over many major arid, and semi-arid river systems and their tributaries. The presence of tamarisk has been cited for reducing water availability for human enterprise and biodiversity, displacing native vegetation and for reducing habitat quality for wildlife. With increasing emphasis by public and private sectors on controlling saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis) in the western US, there will likely be a dramatic change in riparian vegetation composition over the course of the next several decades. The rates at which these changes will occur, and the resultant effects on riparian insects and birds that utilize insects for food, are presently unknown. Effects on riparian vegetation communities, resulting from changes in host plant species composition, will likely include changes in plant biomass, microclimate changes, and plant species diversity. These changes could potentially have a profound impact on migratory and breeding birds within riparian corridors throughout the southwest. Recently, the saltcedar leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata) was released as a tamarisk biocontrol agent. This beetle has successfully defoliated tamarisk where it has been introduced, but there are currently no comprehensive programs in place for monitoring the rapid spread of Diorhabda, the impact of defoliation on habitat and water resources, or the long-term impact of defoliation on tamarisk. We used higher spatial resolution ASTER data and coarser MODIS data for monitoring defoliation caused by Diorhabda elongata and subsequent changes in evapotranspiration (ET). Widespread tamarisk defoliation was observed in an eastern Utah study area during summers 2007, 2008. We measured stem sap flux, leaf carbon isotope ratios, leaf area, LAI, and vegetation indices from mounted visible and infrared cameras and satellite imagery. The cameras were paired on towers installed 30

  2. Effects of pain on vowel production – Towards a new way of pain-level estimation based on acoustic speech-signal analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salinas-Ranneberg, Melissa; Niebuhr, Oliver; Kunz, Miriam

    2017-01-01

    source characteristics and was based on 50 German speakers who immersed their hands in water tanks with temperatures from 40° to 47 °C. A multi-parametric acoustic analysis of sustained vowel productions showed an increase of mean F0 and mean acoustic-energy level for the painful 47 °C condition......, particularly in those vowels that are associated with stereotypical pain groaning. Moreover, inspections of the acoustic data beyond the measured parameters suggest that the scope of our analysis is worth being extended in future studies to include voice-quality and formant parameters. Our research has...

  3. Categorical dependence of vowel detection in long-term speech-shaped noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Eddins, David A

    2008-06-01

    The goal of this study was to measure detection thresholds for 12 isolated American English vowels naturally spoken by three male and three female talkers for young normal-hearing listeners in the presence of a long-term speech-shaped (LTSS) noise, which was presented at 70 dB sound pressure level. The vowel duration was equalized to 170 ms and the spectrum of the LTSS noise was identical to the long-term average spectrum of 12-talker babble. Given the same duration, detection thresholds for vowels differed by 19 dB across the 72 vowels. Thresholds for vowel detection showed a roughly U-shaped pattern as a function of the vowel category across talkers with lowest thresholds at /i/ and /ae/ vowels and highest thresholds at /u/ vowel in general. Both vowel category and talker had a significant effect on vowel detectability. Detection thresholds predicted from three excitation pattern metrics by using a simulation model were well matched with thresholds obtained from human listeners, suggesting that listeners could use a constant metric in the excitation pattern of the vowel to detect the signal in noise independent of the vowel category and talker. Application of the simulation model to predict thresholds of vowel detection in noise was also discussed.

  4. Infant cortical electrophysiology and perception of vowel contrasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cone, Barbara K

    2015-02-01

    Cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) were obtained for vowel tokens presented in an oddball stimulus paradigm. Perceptual measures of vowel discrimination were obtained using a visually-reinforced head-turn paradigm. The hypothesis was that CAEP latencies and amplitudes would differ as a function of vowel type and be correlated with perceptual performance. Twenty normally hearing infants aged 4-12 months were evaluated. CAEP component amplitudes and latencies were measured in response to the standard, frequent token /a/ and for infrequent, deviant tokens /i/, /o/ and /u/, presented at rates of 1 and 2 tokens/s. The perceptual task required infants to make a behavioral response for trials that contained two different vowel tokens, and ignore those in which the tokens were the same. CAEP amplitudes were larger in response to the deviant tokens, when compared to the control condition in which /a/ served as both standard and deviant. This was also seen in waveforms derived by subtracting the response to standard /a/ from the responses to deviant tokens. CAEP component latencies in derived responses at 2/s also demonstrated some sensitivity to vowel contrast type. The average hit rate for the perceptual task was 68.5%, with a 25.7% false alarm rate. There were modest correlations of CAEP amplitudes and latencies with perceptual performance. The CAEP amplitude differences for vowel contrasts could be used as an indicator of the underlying neural capacity to encode spectro-temporal differences in vowel sounds. This technique holds promise for translation to clinical methods for evaluating speech perception. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Acoustic analyses of thyroidectomy-related changes in vowel phonation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Nancy Pearl; Awan, Shaheen N; Helou, Leah B; Stojadinovic, Alexander

    2012-11-01

    Changes in vocal function that can occur after thyroidectomy were tracked with acoustic analyses of sustained vowel productions. The purpose was to determine which time-based or spectral/cepstral-based measures of two vowels were able to detect voice changes over time in patients undergoing thyroidectomy. Prospective, longitudinal, and observational clinical trial. Voice samples of sustained /ɑ/ and /i/ recorded from 70 adults before and approximately 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after thyroid surgery were analyzed for jitter, shimmer, harmonic-to-noise ratio (HNR), cepstral peak prominence (CPP), low-to-high ratio of spectral energy (L/H ratio), and the standard deviations of CPP and L/H ratio. Three trained listeners rated vowel and sentence productions for the four data collection sessions for each participant. For analysis purposes, participants were categorized post hoc according to voice outcome (VO) at their first postthyroidectomy assessment session. Shimmer, HNR, and CPP differed significantly across sessions; follow-up analyses revealed the strongest effect for CPP. CPP for /ɑ/ and /i/ differed significantly between groups of participants with normal versus negative (adverse) VO and between the pre- and 2-week postthyroidectomy sessions for the negative VO group. HNR, CPP, and L/H ratio differed across vowels, but both /ɑ/ and /i/ were similarly effective in tracking voice changes over time and differentiating VO groups. This study indicated that shimmer, HNR, and CPP determined from vowel productions can be used to track changes in voice over time as patients undergo and subsequently recover from thyroid surgery, with CPP being the strongest variable for this purpose. Evidence did not clearly reveal whether acoustic voice evaluations should include both /ɑ/ and /i/ vowels, but they should specify which vowel is used to allow for comparisons across studies and multiple clinical assessments. Copyright © 2012 The Voice Foundation. All rights

  6. Coarticulation effects on the nasalization of vowels using nasal/voice amplitude ratio instrumentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, P L; Hamlet, S L

    1987-10-01

    Nasal coarticulation in phonetically controlled nonsense syllables was investigated in four normal adult speakers. Nasalization was determined using the ratio of a nasal accelerometer signal amplitude to airborn microphone signal amplitude. Measurements of nasalization were made at the midpoint of vowels and at a constant time from the nasal consonant. Nasal acoustical coupling was greater for high vowels than for low vowels in all consonant contexts. Nasalization was also greater for vowels between two nasal consonants than for vowels between a nasal consonant and a fricative or stop. Results for progressive versus regressive assimilation depended on the measurement strategy. For within-vowel measurements made a constant time from the nasal consonant, prenasal vowels showed greater nasalization than postnasal vowels. This nasal accelerometric technique shows promise for clinical assessment of articulatory details of velar function.

  7. Vowel Analysis for Identifying Expression of Emotions in Odia-Spoken-Language

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sanghamitra Mohanty; Basanta Kumar Swain

    2012-01-01

    .... The objective of this study is to analyse the effect of vocal characteristics like duration of vowels, mean pitch, jitter and shimmer of vowels in different Oriya spoken emotional speech uttered by female & male speakers...

  8. Changes in vowel articulation with subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation in dysarthric speakers with Parkinson's disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Martel Sauvageau, Vincent; Macoir, Joël; Langlois, Mélanie; Prud'Homme, Michel; Cantin, Léo; Roy, Johanna-Pascale

    2014-01-01

    ... (1 hour after DBS was turned off). Vowel articulation was compared ON-simulation versus OFF-stimulation using acoustic vowel space and formant centralization ratio, calculated with the first (F1...

  9. Effect of Vowel Context on the Recognition of Initial Consonants in Kannada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalaiah, Mohan Kumar; Bhat, Jayashree S

    2017-09-01

    The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of vowel context on the recognition of Kannada consonants in quiet for young adults. A total of 17 young adults with normal hearing in both ears participated in the study. The stimuli included consonant-vowel syllables, spoken by 12 native speakers of Kannada. Consonant recognition task was carried out as a closed-set (fourteen-alternative forced-choice). The present study showed an effect of vowel context on the perception of consonants. Maximum consonant recognition score was obtained in the /o/ vowel context, followed by the /a/ and /u/ vowel contexts, and then the /e/ context. Poorest consonant recognition score was obtained in the vowel context /i/. Vowel context has an effect on the recognition of Kannada consonants, and the vowel effect was unique for Kannada consonants.

  10. AN ANALYSIS OF mE VOWEL PRODUCTION OF A PROFOUNDLY ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    According to Osberger (1989), the achievement of correct vowel production is ... acoustic cues that differentiates vowels occurs in the frequency region above 2000Hz, ...... The vocal tract configurations are also influenced by preceding and.

  11. Articulatory Changes in Vowel Production following STN DBS and Levodopa Intake in Parkinson’s Disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Martel Sauvageau, Vincent; Roy, Johanna-Pascale; Cantin, Léo; Prud’Homme, Michel; Langlois, Mélanie; Macoir, Joël

    2015-01-01

    ...) and levodopa intake on vowel articulation in dysarthric speakers with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Methods. Vowel articulation was assessed in seven Quebec French speakers diagnosed with idiopathic PD who underwent STN DBS...

  12. Comparing vowel perception and production in Spanish and Portuguese: European versus Latin American dialects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chládková, K.; Escudero, P.

    2012-01-01

    Recent acoustic descriptions have shown that Spanish and Portuguese vowels are produced differently in Europe and Latin America. The present study investigates whether comparable between-variety differences exist in vowel perception. Spanish, Peruvian, Portuguese, and Brazilian listeners were tested

  13. Articulatory Changes in Vowel Production following STN DBS and Levodopa Intake in Parkinson's Disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Martel Sauvageau, Vincent; Roy, Johanna-Pascale; Cantin, Léo; Prud'Homme, Michel; Langlois, Mélanie; Macoir, Joël

    2015-01-01

    ...) and levodopa intake on vowel articulation in dysarthric speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods. Vowel articulation was assessed in seven Quebec French speakers diagnosed with idiopathic PD who underwent STN DBS...

  14. Vowel production of Mandarin-speaking hearing aid users with different types of hearing loss

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yu-Chen Hung; Ya-Jung Lee; Li-Chiun Tsai

    2017-01-01

    ...), and sensorineural hearing loss (n = 7) and compared it with the speech of hearing control. Speech intelligibility was evaluated by computing the vowel space area defined by the Mandarin Chinese corner vowels /a, u...

  15. Reading Arabic Texts: Effects of Text Type, Reader Type and Vowelization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Rabia, Salim

    1998-01-01

    Investigates the effect of vowels on reading accuracy in Arabic orthography. Finds that vowels had a significant effect on reading accuracy of poor and skilled readers in reading each of four kinds of texts. (NH)

  16. Microscopic examination of skin in native and nonnative fish from Lake Tahoe exposed to ultraviolet radiation and fluoranthene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gevertz, Amanda K., E-mail: agevertz@geiconsultants.com [Miami University, Department of Zoology, 212 Pearson Hall, Oxford 45056, Ohio (United States); GEI Consultants, Inc. , 4601 DTC Blvd, Suite 900, Denver 80237, Colorado (United States); Oris, James T., E-mail: orisjt@miamioh.edu [Miami University, Department of Zoology, 212 Pearson Hall, Oxford 45056, Ohio (United States)

    2014-02-15

    Highlights: •PAH cause photo-induced toxicity in aquatic organisms in the natural environment. •Montane lakes like Lake Tahoe receive PAH exposure from recreational watercraft. •These lakes are susceptible to invasion and establishment of non-native species. •Non-natives were less tolerant to photo-toxicity compared to native species. •Sensitivity differences were related to levels of oxidative damage in epidermis. -- Abstract: The presence of nonnative species in Lake Tahoe (CA/NV), USA has been an ongoing concern for many decades, and the management of these species calls for an understanding of their ability to cope with the Lake's stressors and for an understanding of their potential to out-compete and reduce the populations of native species. Decreasing levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) due to eutrophication and increasing levels of phototoxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) due to recreational activities may combine to affect the relative ability of native versus nonnative fish species to survive in the lake. Following a series of toxicity tests which exposed larvae of the native Lahontan redside minnow (Richardsonius egregius) and the nonnative warm-water bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) to UVR and FLU, the occurrence of skin damage and/or physiologic defense mechanisms were studied using multiple microscopic techniques. The native minnow appeared to exhibit fewer instances of skin damage and increased instances of cellular coping mechanisms. This study supports the results of previous work conducted by the authors, who determined that the native redside minnow is the more tolerant of the two species, and that setting and adhering to a water quality standard for UVR transparency may aid in preventing the spread of the less tolerant nonnative bluegill and similar warm-water species.

  17. Vowel transcription systems: An Australian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Felicity

    2008-01-01

    Transcription is an essential clinical tool for speech-language pathologists as it provides a permanent written record of communicative behaviour and forms an important source of data for analysis, interpretation, decision making, and dissemination. One of the responsibilities in speech-language pathology is to faithfully capture the speech production characteristics of clinical populations so that informed management decisions may be made. Notation systems that are appropriately suited for this purpose are mandatory. In Australia today, the conventional phonemic transcription system was first described over 60 years ago. However, an alternative to this traditional system has more recently been proposed by Harrington, Cox and Evans (HCE). This paper details the HCE system and argues its advantage as a clinical tool for speech-language pathologists in Australia. This new system provides a more accurate phonetically oriented foundation against which atypical vowel production can be assessed. It is further argued that the HCE system can form the basis for narrower phonetic examination and has pedagogical value in the description of Standard Australian English.

  18. A Comparative Analysis of Chinese and Shona Vowels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herbert Mushangwe

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a comparative analysis between Chinese and Shona vowel system. The research is biased towards helping Chinese language learners whose mother tongue is Shona however it is expected to benefit other researchers interested in comparative researches. The main focus of this research is on the major differences that exist between these two languages, with an aim to predict and combat the possible pronunciation errors that may result from native language transfer. The research findings show that Chinese language’s vowel system is more complex than the Shona vowel system. It is therefore assumed that though Chinese language learners whose mother tongue is Shona language may find it challenging to acquire the Chinese vowel system, however if students are advised in advanced the differences between the Chinese and Shona vowels represented by same letters in the writing systems of these two languages, students are likely to have less pronunciation errors in Chinese since they will not borrow the Shona pronunciation strategies.

  19. Perception of height and categorization of Brazilian Portuguese front vowels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Márcio Rodrigues SILVA

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Cross-linguistic typological observations and theoretical models in phonology suggest that certain speech sound distinctions are more complex then others. One such example is the opposition between mid-high and mid-low vowels, usually thought to be more complex than the opposition between high and mid vowels. The present study provides experimental evidence on speech sound perception which supports this notion. Native Brazilian Portuguese speakers performed vowel classification tasks involving either the distinction between the front high mid /e/ and the front high /i/, or the distinction between the front high mid /e/ and the front low mid /ε/ vowel. Measures of response time and discriminability (d' at the vowel category boundaries were obtained. Participants showed significantly slower responses and lower d' values in the "e-ε" as compared to the "i-e" classification task. Results indicate that perceptually distinguishing /e/ from /ı/ requires more processing time and resources, and involves more complex information than distinguishing /e/ from /i/.

  20. Acoustic analysis of vowel sounds before and after orthognathic surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Jaemyung; Kim, Gunjong; Kim, Young Ho; Hong, Jongrak

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the articular structures and vowel sounds of patients with mandibular prognathism before and after bilateral sagittal split ramus osteotomy (BSSRO). Eight patients who underwent BSSRO to correct mandibular prognathism were selected for inclusion in this study. All patients were asked to read short words (vowels), and these sounds were recorded. Every utterance was repeated twice in four different sessions before the operation and at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after the operation. The data were analysed using Praat (ver. 5.1.31), and the formant frequencies (F1, F2) of the eight vowels were extracted. PlotFormant (ver. 1.0) was used to draw formant diagrams. The F1 and F2 of front-low vowels were reduced after BSSRO, and the articulating positions of the patients shifted in a posterior-superior direction after the procedure. Additionally, the area of vowel articulation was dramatically reduced after BSSRO but increased slowly over time. Copyright © 2014 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Acoustic characteristics of vowel sounds in patients with Parkinson disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Young-Im; Min, Kyunghoon; Sohn, Young H; Cho, Sung-Rae

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to define the acoustic voice and speech characteristics of patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Seven female patients with PD and seven female healthy controls participated in this study. Each subject was instructed to vocalize extended corner vowels (/a/, /e/, /i/, /u/) three times for at least 5 seconds at a comfortable voice loudness and tone. The voice was analyzed using the Praat program. As a result, female patients with PD showed a significant increase in jitter and noise-to-harmonics ratio (NHR). In addition, F1 and F2 among the PD patients demonstrated asymmetric centralization of unrounded vowels (/a/, /e/, /i/) in high/low/front/back positions of the tongue, consequently leading to a significant decrease in vowel space area, compared to healthy controls. This study showed the acoustic characteristics of vowel sounds not only by laryngeal variables such as abnormal jitter and NHR, but also by articulatory variables such as asymmetric centralization and reduced vowel space area in female patients with PD. Therefore, it is important to use these objective and sensitive variables to evaluate the status or severity of hypokinetic dysarthria in patients with PD.

  2. Cross-generational vowel change in American English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacewicz, Ewa; Fox, Robert Allen; Salmons, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    This study examines cross-generational changes in the vowel systems in central Ohio, southeastern Wisconsin and western North Carolina. Speech samples from 239 speakers, males and females, were divided into three age groups: grandparents (66–91 years old), parents (35–51) and children (8–12). Acoustic analysis of vowel dynamics (i.e., formant movement) was undertaken to explore variation in the amount of spectral change for each vowel. A robust set of cross-generational changes in /ɪ, ε, æ, ɑ/ was found within each dialect-specific vowel system, involving both their positions and dynamics. With each successive generation, /ɪ, ε, æ/ become increasingly monophthongized and /ɑ/ is diphthongized in children. These changes correspond to a general anticlockwise parallel rotation of vowels (with some exceptions in /ɪ/ and /ε/). Given the widespread occurrence of these parallel chain-like changes, we term this development the “North American Shift” which conforms to the general principles of chain shifting formulated by Labov (1994) and others. PMID:25140113

  3. Consonant/vowel asymmetry in early word form recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poltrock, Silvana; Nazzi, Thierry

    2015-03-01

    Previous preferential listening studies suggest that 11-month-olds' early word representations are phonologically detailed, such that minor phonetic variations (i.e., mispronunciations) impair recognition. However, these studies focused on infants' sensitivity to mispronunciations (or omissions) of consonants, which have been proposed to be more important for lexical identity than vowels. Even though a lexically related consonant advantage has been consistently found in French from 14 months of age onward, little is known about its developmental onset. The current study asked whether French-learning 11-month-olds exhibit a consonant-vowel asymmetry when recognizing familiar words, which would be reflected in vowel mispronunciations being more tolerated than consonant mispronunciations. In a baseline experiment (Experiment 1), infants preferred listening to familiar words over nonwords, confirming that at 11 months of age infants show a familiarity effect rather than a novelty effect. In Experiment 2, which was constructed using the familiar words of Experiment 1, infants preferred listening to one-feature vowel mispronunciations over one-feature consonant mispronunciations. Given the familiarity preference established in Experiment 1, this pattern of results suggests that recognition of early familiar words is more dependent on their consonants than on their vowels. This adds another piece of evidence that, at least in French, consonants already have a privileged role in lexical processing by 11 months of age, as claimed by Nespor, Peña, and Mehler (2003). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Variability in Vowel Production within and between Days.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon L M Heald

    Full Text Available Although the acoustic variability of speech is often described as a problem for phonetic recognition, there is little research examining acoustic-phonetic variability over time. We measured naturally occurring acoustic variability in speech production at nine specific time points (three per day over three days to examine daily change in production as well as change across days for citation-form vowels. Productions of seven different vowels (/EE/, /IH/, /AH/, /UH/, /AE/, /OO/, /EH/ were recorded at 9AM, 3PM and 9PM over the course of each testing day on three different days, every other day, over a span of five days. Results indicate significant systematic change in F1 and F0 values over the course of a day for each of the seven vowels recorded, whereas F2 and F3 remained stable. Despite this systematic change within a day, however, talkers did not show significant changes in F0, F1, F2, and F3 between days, demonstrating that speakers are capable of producing vowels with great reliability over days without any extrinsic feedback besides their own auditory monitoring. The data show that in spite of substantial day-to-day variability in the specific listening and speaking experiences of these participants and thus exposure to different acoustic tokens of speech, there is a high degree of internal precision and consistency for the production of citation form vowels.

  5. Variability in Vowel Production within and between Days.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heald, Shannon L M; Nusbaum, Howard C

    2015-01-01

    Although the acoustic variability of speech is often described as a problem for phonetic recognition, there is little research examining acoustic-phonetic variability over time. We measured naturally occurring acoustic variability in speech production at nine specific time points (three per day over three days) to examine daily change in production as well as change across days for citation-form vowels. Productions of seven different vowels (/EE/, /IH/, /AH/, /UH/, /AE/, /OO/, /EH/) were recorded at 9AM, 3PM and 9PM over the course of each testing day on three different days, every other day, over a span of five days. Results indicate significant systematic change in F1 and F0 values over the course of a day for each of the seven vowels recorded, whereas F2 and F3 remained stable. Despite this systematic change within a day, however, talkers did not show significant changes in F0, F1, F2, and F3 between days, demonstrating that speakers are capable of producing vowels with great reliability over days without any extrinsic feedback besides their own auditory monitoring. The data show that in spite of substantial day-to-day variability in the specific listening and speaking experiences of these participants and thus exposure to different acoustic tokens of speech, there is a high degree of internal precision and consistency for the production of citation form vowels.

  6. Vowel acquisition by prelingually deaf children with cochlear implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard, Marie-Eve; Le Normand, Marie-Thérèse; Ménard, Lucie; Goud, Marilyne; Cohen, Henri

    2004-05-01

    Phonetic transcriptions (study 1) and acoustic analysis (study 2) were used to clarify the nature and rhythm of vowel acquisition following the cochlear implantation of prelingually deaf children. In the first study, seven children were divided according to their degree of hearing loss (DHL): DHL I: 90-100 dB of hearing loss, 1 children; DHL II: 100-110 dB, 3 children; and DHL III: over 110 dB, 3 children. Spontaneous speech productions were recorded and videotaped 6 and 12 months postsurgery and vowel inventories were obtained by listing all vowels that occurred at least twice in the child's repertoire at the time of recording. Results showed that degree of hearing loss and age at implantation have a significant impact on vowel acquisition. Indeed, DHL I and II children demonstrated more diversified as well as more typical pattern of acquisition. In the second study, the values of the first and second formants were extracted. The results suggest evolving use of the acoustic space, reflecting the use of auditory feedback to produce the three phonological features exploited to contrast French vowels (height, place of articulation, and rounding). The possible influence of visual feedback before cochlear implant is discussed.

  7. Engineering biofuel tolerance in non-native producing microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hu; Chen, Lei; Wang, Jiangxin; Zhang, Weiwen

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale production of renewable biofuels through microbiological processes has drawn significant attention in recent years, mostly due to the increasing concerns on the petroleum fuel shortages and the environmental consequences of the over-utilization of petroleum-based fuels. In addition to native biofuel-producing microbes that have been employed for biofuel production for decades, recent advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have made it possible to produce biofuels in several non-native biofuel-producing microorganisms. Compared to native producers, these non-native systems carry the advantages of fast growth, simple nutrient requirements, readiness for genetic modifications, and even the capability to assimilate CO2 and solar energy, making them competitive alternative systems to further decrease the biofuel production cost. However, the tolerance of these non-native microorganisms to toxic biofuels is naturally low, which has restricted the potentials of their application for high-efficiency biofuel production. To address the issues, researches have been recently conducted to explore the biofuel tolerance mechanisms and to construct robust high-tolerance strains for non-native biofuel-producing microorganisms. In this review, we critically summarize the recent progress in this area, focusing on three popular non-native biofuel-producing systems, i.e. Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus and photosynthetic cyanobacteria.

  8. Defining the impact of non-native species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeschke, Jonathan M; Bacher, Sven; Blackburn, Tim M; Dick, Jaimie T A; Essl, Franz; Evans, Thomas; Gaertner, Mirijam; Hulme, Philip E; Kühn, Ingolf; Mrugała, Agata; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Ricciardi, Anthony; Richardson, David M; Sendek, Agnieszka; Vilà, Montserrat; Winter, Marten; Kumschick, Sabrina

    2014-10-01

    Non-native species cause changes in the ecosystems to which they are introduced. These changes, or some of them, are usually termed impacts; they can be manifold and potentially damaging to ecosystems and biodiversity. However, the impacts of most non-native species are poorly understood, and a synthesis of available information is being hindered because authors often do not clearly define impact. We argue that explicitly defining the impact of non-native species will promote progress toward a better understanding of the implications of changes to biodiversity and ecosystems caused by non-native species; help disentangle which aspects of scientific debates about non-native species are due to disparate definitions and which represent true scientific discord; and improve communication between scientists from different research disciplines and between scientists, managers, and policy makers. For these reasons and based on examples from the literature, we devised seven key questions that fall into 4 categories: directionality, classification and measurement, ecological or socio-economic changes, and scale. These questions should help in formulating clear and practical definitions of impact to suit specific scientific, stakeholder, or legislative contexts. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. The Acoustic Properties of Vowels: A Tool for Improving Articulation and Comprehension of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCombs, Candalene J.

    2006-01-01

    Correct pronunciation is often a later step in the process of teaching English as a second language. However, a focus on the correct articulation of vowels can significantly improve listening and comprehension skills as well as articulatory skills. Vowels and consonants differ in their acoustic properties. Unlike consonants, vowel sounds are…

  10. Vowel Targeted Intervention for Children with Persisting Speech Difficulties: Impact on Intelligibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speake, Jane; Stackhouse, Joy; Pascoe, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the treatment of consonant segments, the treatment of vowels is infrequently described in the literature on children's speech difficulties. Vowel difficulties occur less frequently than those with consonants but may have significant impact on intelligibility. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of vowel targeted intervention (VTI)…

  11. High vowels in southern British English: /u/-fronting does not result in merger

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chládková, K.; Hamann, S.R.

    2011-01-01

    This study reports on the acoustic properties of the front vowel /i/ and the fronted back vowel /u/ in Standard Southern British English (SSBE). These two vowels are realized with very similar (and for some tokens overlapping) values of F2, so that F2 does not seem to be a reliable acoustic cue for

  12. Improving L2 Listeners' Perception of English Vowels: A Computer-Mediated Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Ron I.

    2012-01-01

    A high variability phonetic training technique was employed to train 26 Mandarin speakers to better perceive ten English vowels. In eight short training sessions, learners identified 200 English vowel tokens, produced in a post bilabial stop context by 20 native speakers. Learners' ability to identify English vowels significantly improved in the…

  13. Vowel Intelligibility in Children with and without Dysarthria: An Exploratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Erika S.; Leone, Dorothy; Moya-Gale, Gemma; Hsu, Sih-Chiao; Chen, Wenli; Ramig, Lorraine O.

    2016-01-01

    Children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy (CP) present with decreased vowel space area and reduced word intelligibility. Although a robust relationship exists between vowel space and word intelligibility, little is known about the intelligibility of vowels in this population. This exploratory study investigated the intelligibility of American…

  14. Textual Input Enhancement for Vowel Blindness: A Study with Arabic ESL Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsadoon, Reem; Heift, Trude

    2015-01-01

    This study explores the impact of textual input enhancement on the noticing and intake of English vowels by Arabic L2 learners of English. Arabic L1 speakers are known to experience "vowel blindness," commonly defined as a difficulty in the textual decoding and encoding of English vowels due to an insufficient decoding of the word form.…

  15. Vowel Targeted Intervention for Children with Persisting Speech Difficulties: Impact on Intelligibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speake, Jane; Stackhouse, Joy; Pascoe, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the treatment of consonant segments, the treatment of vowels is infrequently described in the literature on children's speech difficulties. Vowel difficulties occur less frequently than those with consonants but may have significant impact on intelligibility. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of vowel targeted intervention (VTI)…

  16. Vowel Harmony Is a Basic Phonetic Rule of the Turkic Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoibekova, Gaziza B.; Odanova, Sagira A.; Sultanova, Bibigul M.; Yermekova, Tynyshtyk N.

    2016-01-01

    The present study comprehensively analyzes vowel harmony as an important phonetic rule in Turkic languages. Recent changes in the vowel harmony potential of Turkic sounds caused by linguistic and extra-linguistic factors were described. Vowels in the Kazakh, Turkish, and Uzbek language were compared. The way this or that phoneme sounded in the…

  17. Vowel Intelligibility in Children with and without Dysarthria: An Exploratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Erika S.; Leone, Dorothy; Moya-Gale, Gemma; Hsu, Sih-Chiao; Chen, Wenli; Ramig, Lorraine O.

    2016-01-01

    Children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy (CP) present with decreased vowel space area and reduced word intelligibility. Although a robust relationship exists between vowel space and word intelligibility, little is known about the intelligibility of vowels in this population. This exploratory study investigated the intelligibility of American…

  18. Effects of speaking rate and vowel length on formant frequency displacement in Japanese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Yukari; Tsukada, Kimiko

    2009-01-01

    This study examined effects of phonemic vowel length and speaking rate, two factors that affect vowel duration, on the first and second formants of all vowels in Japanese. The aim was to delineate the aspects of formant displacement that are governed by the physiological proclivity of vowel production shared across languages, and the aspects that reveal language-specific phenomena. Acoustic analysis revealed that the phonemic long vowels occupied a more peripheral portion of the F1 x F2 vowel space than the phonemic short vowels (effect of vowel length), but effects of speaking rate were less clear. This was because of the significant interactions of the two effects: the formants of phonemic short vowels were more affected by speaking rates than the phonemic long vowels. Regression analyses between F2 and duration revealed that formant displacement occurs when vowels are less than 200 ms. Similarities and differences found for Japanese and English are discussed in terms of physiological proclivity of vowel production versus language-specific phonological encoding. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Vowel Formant Values in Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children: A Discriminant Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozbic, Martina; Kogovsek, Damjana

    2010-01-01

    Hearing-impaired speakers show changes in vowel production and formant pitch and variability, as well as more cases of overlapping between vowels and more restricted formant space, than hearing speakers; consequently their speech is less intelligible. The purposes of this paper were to determine the differences in vowel formant values between 32…

  20. High vowels in southern British English: /u/-fronting does not result in merger

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chládková, K.; Hamann, S.R.

    2011-01-01

    This study reports on the acoustic properties of the front vowel /i/ and the fronted back vowel /u/ in Standard Southern British English (SSBE). These two vowels are realized with very similar (and for some tokens overlapping) values of F2, so that F2 does not seem to be a reliable acoustic cue for

  1. Children's Perception of Conversational and Clear American-English Vowels in Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, Dorothy

    A handful of studies have examined children's perception of clear speech in the presence of background noise. Although accurate vowel perception is important for listeners' comprehension, no study has focused on whether vowels uttered in clear speech aid intelligibility for children listeners. In the present study, American-English (AE) speaking children repeated the AE vowels /epsilon, ae, alpha, lambda in the nonsense word /g[schwa]bVp[schwa]/ in phrases produced in conversational and clear speech by two female AE-speaking adults. The recordings of the adults' speech were presented at a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of -6 dB to 15 AE-speaking children (ages 5.0-8.5) in an examination of whether the accuracy of AE school-age children's vowel identification in noise is more accurate when utterances are produced in clear speech than in conversational speech. Effects of the particular vowel uttered and talker effects were also examined. Clear speech vowels were repeated significantly more accurately (87%) than conversational speech vowels (59%), suggesting that clear speech aids children's vowel identification. Results varied as a function of the talker and particular vowel uttered. Child listeners repeated one talker's vowels more accurately than the other's and front vowels more accurately than central and back vowels. The findings support the use of clear speech for enhancing adult-to-child communication in AE, particularly in noisy environments.

  2. The Role of Vowels in Reading Semitic Scripts: Data from Arabic and Hebrew.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Rabia, Salim

    2001-01-01

    Investigates the effect of vowels and context on reading accuracy of skilled adult native Arabic speakers in Arabic and in Hebrew, their second language. Reveals a significant effect for vowels and for context across all reading conditions in Arabic and Hebrew. Finds that the vowelized texts in Arabic and the pointed and unpointed texts in Hebrew…

  3. Toward Understanding the Problem in Severely Disabled Readers. Part I: Vowel Errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, Susan E.; Werker, Janet F.

    1989-01-01

    Compared the vowel responses of severely disabled readers with those of normal control children in reading orthographically regular nonwords. Vowel responses were compared on both age and reading level groups, and the vowel responses of two out of three reading disabled groups paralleled those of their reading level peers. (Author/DJD)

  4. NIS occurrence - Non-native species impacts on threatened and endangered salmonids

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The objectives of this project: a) Identify the distribution of non-natives in the Columbia River Basin b) Highlight the impacts of non-natives on salmonids c)...

  5. Phonological computation and missing vowels: mapping lexical involvement in reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, R

    1995-03-01

    The role of assembled versus addressed phonology in reading was investigated by examining the size of the minimal phonological unit that is recovered in the reading process. Readers named words in unpointed Hebrew that had many or few missing vowels in their printed forms. Naming latencies were monotonically related to the number of missing vowels. Missing vowels had no effects on lexical decision latencies. These results support a strong phonological model of naming and suggest that even in deep orthographies, phonology is not retrieved from the mental lexicon as a holistic lexical unit but is initially computed by applying letter-to-phoneme computation rules. The partial phonological representation is shaped and completed through top-down activation.

  6. Short vowel placements in RP past and present

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Anne

    This study addresses diachronic change in the short vowel system of RP. While TRAP lowering and backing in RP has been reported previously, the movements STRUT has undergone have proven more difficult to determine. This study identifies a TRAP/STRUT 'rotation' using acoustic measurements of the s......This study addresses diachronic change in the short vowel system of RP. While TRAP lowering and backing in RP has been reported previously, the movements STRUT has undergone have proven more difficult to determine. This study identifies a TRAP/STRUT 'rotation' using acoustic measurements...... of the short vowel space, showing variation across generations and an identifiable direction of change during the course of the 20th century....

  7. Vowel Formants and Angle Measurements in Diachronic Sociophonetic Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Anne

    2007-01-01

    This paper examines vowel formant data from a corpus of recordings of male speakers of RP born during the course of the twentieth century. It compares average formant positions in the F1/F2 plane for the short vowel FOOT in juxtaposition with LOT (for this Keyword notation see Wells [12......]). The relative positions of the two vowels are represented by a single numerical value, which is the calculated angle from LOT to FOOT relative to the vertical. Changing angle values between the early and the later part of the twentieth century reflect a diachronic process of FOOT-fronting and unrounding which...... is well documented in varieties of British English, such as Torgersen and Kerswill [10], including RP, as in Hawkins and Midgley [6]. The paper also demonstrates the versatility of an angle calculation method (Fabricius [3]), used in combination with F1/F2 plots, in producing replicable quantified...

  8. A crosslinguistic investigation of vowel formants in babbling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Boysson-Bardies, B; Halle, P; Sagart, L; Durand, C

    1989-02-01

    A cross-cultural investigation of the influence of target-language in babbling was carried out. 1047 vowels produced by twenty 10-month-old infants from Parisian French, London English, Hong Kong Cantonese and Algiers Arabic language backgrounds were recorded in the cities of origin and spectrally analysed. F1-F2 plots of these vowels were obtained for each subject and each language group. Statistical analyses provide evidence of differences between infants across language backgrounds. These differences parallel those found in adult speech in the corresponding languages. Implications of an early build-up of target-language-oriented production skills are discussed.

  9. 11. Evaluating some pronunciation rules for vowel graphemes

    OpenAIRE

    Brooks, Greg

    2016-01-01

    In this chapter I assess the reliability or otherwise of just five rules which purport to help children and others taking their first steps in reading to generate accurate pronunciations of vowel graphemes. For some rules covering the VC(C) part of CVC(C) monosyllables which could well be useful at a slightly later stage, see section A. 7 in Appendix A. 11.1 Some history There is a long tradition of teachers looking for rules for pronouncing vowel graphemes, and almost as long a tradition of ...

  10. A Useful System in Learning and Teaching English Pronunciation-IPA Cardinal Vowels System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵鹏; 柳轶群

    2014-01-01

    The paper introduces the cardinal vowels system invented by the famous English phonetician Daniel Jones. This sys-tem enables a teacher to describe to his students a foreign vowel by comparing it with the nearest vowel in his mother tongue, which makes the learning of a foreign sound much easier to his students. Two cases of teaching Chinese students English vowels are taken as an example to illustrate the point. IPA cardinal vowel system is of use in terms of teaching and learning English. Two suggestions are put forward in the end.

  11. Metrical Segmentation in Dutch: Vowel Quality or Stress?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quene, Hugo; Koster, Mariette L.

    1998-01-01

    Examines metrical segmentation strategy in Dutch. The first experiment shows that stress strongly affects Dutch listeners' ability and speed in spotting Dutch monosyllabic words in disyllabic nonwords. The second experiment finds the same stress effect when only the target words are presented without a subsequent syllable triggering segmentation.…

  12. Contextual variation in the acoustic and perceptual similarity of North German and American English vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, Winifred; Bohn, Ocke-Schwen; Nishi, Kanae; Trent, Sonja A.

    2005-09-01

    Strange et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 115, 1791-1807 (2004)] reported that North German (NG) front-rounded vowels in hVp syllables were acoustically intermediate between front and back American English (AE) vowels. However, AE listeners perceptually assimilated them as poor exemplars of back AE vowels. In this study, speaker- and context-independent cross-language discriminant analyses of NG and AE vowels produced in CVC syllables (C=labial, alveolar, velar stops) in sentences showed that NG front-rounded vowels fell within AE back-vowel distributions, due to the ``fronting'' of AE back vowels in alveolar/velar contexts. NG [smcapi, e, ɛ, openo] were located relatively ``higher'' in acoustic vowel space than their AE counterparts and varied in cross-language similarity across consonantal contexts. In a perceptual assimilation task, naive listeners classified NG vowels in terms of native AE categories and rated their goodness on a 7-point scale (very foreign to very English sounding). Both front- and back-rounded NG vowels were perceptually assimilated overwhelmingly to back AE categories and judged equally good exemplars. Perceptual assimilation patterns did not vary with context, and were not always predictable from acoustic similarity. These findings suggest that listeners adopt a context-independent strategy when judging the cross-language similarity of vowels produced and presented in continuous speech contexts.

  13. Acoustic comparisons of Japanese and English vowels produced by native speakers of Japanese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishi, Kanae; Akahane-Yamada, Reiko; Kubo, Rieko; Strange, Winifred

    2003-10-01

    This study explored acoustic similarities/differences between Japanese (J) and American English (AE) vowels produced by native J speakers and compared production patterns to their perceptual assimilation of AE vowels [Strange et al., J. Phonetics 26, 311-344 (1998)]. Eight male native J speakers who had served as listeners in Strange et al. produced 18 Japanese (J) vowels (5 long-short pairs, 2 double vowels, and 3 long-short palatalized pairs) and 11 American English (AE) vowels in /hVbopena/ disyllables embedded in a carrier sentence. Acoustical parameters included formant frequencies at syllable midpoint (F1/F2/F3), formant change from 25% to 75% points in syllable (formant change), and vocalic duration. Results of linear discriminant analyses showed rather poor acoustic differentiation of J vowel categories when F1/F2/F3 served as input variables (60% correct classification), which greatly improved when duration and formant change were added. In contrast, correct classification of J speakers' AE vowels using F1/F2/F3 was very poor (66%) and did not improve much when duration and dynamic information were added. J speakers used duration to differentiate long/short AE vowel contrasts except for mid-to-low back vowels; these vowels were perceptually assimilated to a single Japanese vowel, and are very difficult for Japanese listeners to identify.

  14. Acoustic properties of vowel production in prelingually deafened Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jing; Brown, Emily; Fox, Robert A; Xu, Li

    2015-11-01

    The present study examined the acoustic features of vowel production in Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants (CIs). The subjects included 14 native Mandarin-speaking, prelingually deafened children with CIs (2.9-8.3 yr old) and 60 age-matched, normal-hearing (NH) children (3.1-9.0 years old). Each subject produced a list of monosyllables containing seven Mandarin vowels: [i, a, u, y, ɤ, ʅ, ɿ]. Midpoint F1 and F2 of each vowel token were extracted and normalized to eliminate the effects of different vocal tract sizes. Results showed that the CI children produced significantly longer vowels and less compact vowel categories than the NH children did. The CI children's acoustic vowel space was reduced due to a retracted production of the vowel [i]. The vowel space area showed a strong negative correlation with age at implantation (r = -0.80). The analysis of acoustic distance showed that the CI children produced corner vowels [a, u] similarly to the NH children, but other vowels (e.g., [ʅ, ɿ]) differently from the NH children, which suggests that CI children generally follow a similar developmental path of vowel acquisition as NH children. These findings highlight the importance of early implantation and have implications in clinical aural habilitation in young children with CIs.

  15. Phonetic discrimination of Persian vowels in children with severe hearing loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiva Ebrahimian

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Hearing-impairment leads to problems in language perception which in turn results in difficulties in language production. The present study investigated hearing-impaired children's ability to discriminate Persian vowels. It aimed to describe the extent to which children have difficulty comprehending and discriminating phonetic features of vowels.Methods: To fulfill this aim, a researcher-made test, which was based on the Auditory Perception Test 2001, investigated the phonetic discrimination of vowels in Persian-speaking and hearing-impaired children aged five to eight years. The test has two sections, auditory-visual and just auditory discrimination of vowels, which included five subtests assessing discrimination of front and back vowels. Through this test, the phonetic discrimination ability of 22 hearing-impaired children was evaluated. The gathered data were analyzed using matched t-test and repeated measures ANOVA.Results: The findings showed that there is a significant difference between correct responses to the sections on front and back vowels (p<0.05. The audio-visual test showed that the /â/ vowel is easier to discriminate than other back vowels. Moreover, in the auditory test the /â/ vowel had the highest mean. The audio-visual test showed that the /i/ vowel is easier to discriminate than the other front vowels (/e/ /æ/. However, the discrimination of front vowels in the auditory test was the same.Conclusion: The results revealed that back vowels were more easily discriminated than front vowels by hearing-impaired children.

  16. Perceiving unstressed vowels in foreign-accented English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braun, B.; Lemhöfer, K.M.L.; Mani, N.

    2011-01-01

    This paper investigated how foreign-accented stress cues affect on-line speech comprehension in British speakers of English. While unstressed English vowels are usually reduced to /partial derivative/, Dutch speakers of English only slightly centralize them. Speakers of both languages differentiate

  17. Identification of Simple and Compound Vowels by First Graders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Ouida T.

    This instrument was designed to determine whether by structuring and sequencing monosyllabic English words in two different patterns--administered with the same control procedures--first-grade children would be aided in detecting, identifying, and discriminating among single vowels and their combined forms; in associating them with their specific…

  18. Effect of Audio vs. Video on Aural Discrimination of Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrocklin, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    Despite the growing use of media in the classroom, the effects of using of audio versus video in pronunciation teaching has been largely ignored. To analyze the impact of the use of audio or video training on aural discrimination of vowels, 61 participants (all students at a large American university) took a pre-test followed by two training…

  19. Distributional learning of vowel categories in infants and adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wanrooij, K.E.

    2015-01-01

    Distributional learning is learning from simple exposure to the environment, without receiving explicit instruction or feedback. This thesis examines to what extent this basic form of learning contributes to learning the vowels of a language, both in infancy, when the mother tongue must be acquired,

  20. Vowel reduction across tasks for male speakers of American English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Christina; Weismer, Gary

    2016-07-01

    This study examined acoustic variation of vowels within speakers across speech tasks. The overarching goal of the study was to understand within-speaker variation as one index of the range of normal speech motor behavior for American English vowels. Ten male speakers of American English performed four speech tasks including citation form sentence reading with a clear-speech style (clear-speech), citation form sentence reading (citation), passage reading (reading), and conversational speech (conversation). Eight monophthong vowels in a variety of consonant contexts were studied. Clear-speech was operationally defined as the reference point for describing variation. Acoustic measures associated with the conventions of vowel targets were obtained and examined. These included temporal midpoint formant frequencies for the first three formants (F1, F2, and F3) and the derived Euclidean distances in the F1-F2 and F2-F3 planes. Results indicated that reduction toward the center of the F1-F2 and F2-F3 planes increased in magnitude across the tasks in the order of clear-speech, citation, reading, and conversation. The cross-task variation was comparable for all speakers despite fine-grained individual differences. The characteristics of systematic within-speaker acoustic variation across tasks have potential implications for the understanding of the mechanisms of speech motor control and motor speech disorders.

  1. Effects of bite blocks and hearing status on vowel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Harlan; Denny, Margaret; Guenther, Frank H.; Matthies, Melanie L.; Menard, Lucie; Perkell, Joseph S.; Stockmann, Ellen; Tiede, Mark; Vick, Jennell; Zandipour, Majid

    2005-09-01

    This study explores the effects of hearing status and bite blocks on vowel production. Normal-hearing controls and postlingually deaf adults read elicitation lists of /hVd/ syllables with and without bite blocks and auditory feedback. Deaf participants' auditory feedback was provided by a cochlear prosthesis and interrupted by switching off their implant microphones. Recording sessions were held before prosthesis was provided and one month and one year after. Long-term absence of auditory feedback was associated with heightened dispersion of vowel tokens, which was inflated further by inserting bite blocks. The restoration of some hearing with prosthesis reduced dispersion. Deaf speakers' vowel spaces were reduced in size compared to controls. Insertion of bite blocks reduced them further because of the speakers' incomplete compensation. A year of prosthesis use increased vowel contrast with feedback during elicitation. These findings support the inference that models of speech production must assign a role to auditory feedback in error-based correction of feedforward commands for subsequent articulatory gestures.

  2. Vowel Representation in Written Hebrew: Phonological, Orthographic and Morphological Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiff, Rachel; Ravid, Dorit

    2004-01-01

    The study investigates adult Hebrew readers' perception of words containing the grapheme[Hebrew] in different orthographic and morphological contexts. In the first experiment, 38 third-year education students were asked to make lexical decisions regarding 24 pointed words (presented with vowel marks) in a sentential context in two conditions--with…

  3. Consonants and Vowels: Different Roles in Early Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochmann, Jean-Remy; Benavides-Varela, Silvia; Nespor, Marina; Mehler, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Language acquisition involves both acquiring a set of words (i.e. the lexicon) and learning the rules that combine them to form sentences (i.e. syntax). Here, we show that consonants are mainly involved in word processing, whereas vowels are favored for extracting and generalizing structural relations. We demonstrate that such a division of labor…

  4. Audiovisual Vowel Monitoring and the Word Superiority Effect in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Mathilde; Spinelli, Elsa; Savariaux, Christophe; Kandel, Sonia

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this study was to explore whether viewing the speaker's articulatory gestures contributes to lexical access in children (ages 5-10) and in adults. We conducted a vowel monitoring task with words and pseudo-words in audio-only (AO) and audiovisual (AV) contexts with white noise masking the acoustic signal. The results indicated that…

  5. Voice Source Variation Between Vowels in Male Opera Singers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundberg, Johan; Lã, Filipa M B; Gill, Brian P

    2016-09-01

    The theory of nonlinear source-filter interaction predicts that the glottal voice source should be affected by the frequency relationship between formants and partials. An attempt to experimentally verify this theory is presented. Glottal voice source and electrolaryngograph (ELG) signal differences between vowels were analyzed in vowel sequences, sung at four pitches with the same degree of vocal loudness by professional opera singers. In addition, the relationships between such differences and the frequency distance between the first formant (F1) and its closest partial were examined. A digital laryngograph microprocessor was used to simultaneously record audio and ELG signals. The former was inverse filtered, and voice source parameters and formant frequencies were extracted. The amplitude quotient of the derivative of the ELG signal (AQdELG) and the contact quotient were also compared. A one-way repeated-measures ANOVA revealed significant differences between vowels, for contact quotient at four pitches and for maximum flow declination rate (MFDR) at three pitches. For other voice source parameters, differences were found at one or two pitches only. No consistent correlation was found between MFDR and the distance between F1 and its closest partial. The glottal voice source tends to vary between vowels, presumably because of source-filter interaction, but the variation does not seem to be dependent on the frequency distance between F1 and its closest partial. Copyright © 2016 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. A Comprehensive Three-Dimensional Cortical Map of Vowel Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharinger, Mathias; Idsardi, William J.; Poe, Samantha

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian cortex is known to contain various kinds of spatial encoding schemes for sensory information including retinotopic, somatosensory, and tonotopic maps. Tonotopic maps are especially interesting for human speech sound processing because they encode linguistically salient acoustic properties. In this study, we mapped the entire vowel space…

  7. The Phonetic Nature of Vowels in Modern Standard Arabic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salameh, Mohammad Yahya Bani; Abu-Melhim, Abdel-Rahman

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to explore the phonetic nature of vowels in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Although Arabic is a Semitic language, the speech sound system of Arabic is very comprehensive. Data used for this study were elicited from the standard speech of nine informants who are native speakers of Arabic. The researchers used themselves as…

  8. Hemispheric Differences in the Effects of Context on Vowel Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjerps, Matthias J.; Mitterer, Holger; McQueen, James M.

    2012-01-01

    Listeners perceive speech sounds relative to context. Contextual influences might differ over hemispheres if different types of auditory processing are lateralized. Hemispheric differences in contextual influences on vowel perception were investigated by presenting speech targets and both speech and non-speech contexts to listeners' right or left…

  9. The perceptual basis of the feature vowel height

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chládková, K.; Boersma, P.; Benders, T.

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated whether listeners perceptually map phonetic information to phonological feature categories or to phonemes. The test case is a phonological feature that occurs in most of the world’s languages, namely vowel height, and its acoustic correlate, the first formant (F1). We

  10. Sparseness of vowel category structure: Evidence from English dialect comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharinger, Mathias; Idsardi, William J

    2014-02-01

    Current models of speech perception tend to emphasize either fine-grained acoustic properties or coarse-grained abstract characteristics of speech sounds. We argue for a particular kind of 'sparse' vowel representations and provide new evidence that these representations account for the successful access of the corresponding categories. In an auditory semantic priming experiment, American English listeners made lexical decisions on targets (e.g. load) preceded by semantically related primes (e.g. pack). Changes of the prime vowel that crossed a vowel-category boundary (e.g. peck) were not treated as a tolerable variation, as assessed by a lack of priming, although the phonetic categories of the two different vowels considerably overlap in American English. Compared to the outcome of the same experiment with New Zealand English listeners, where such prime variations were tolerated, our experiment supports the view that phonological representations are important in guiding the mapping process from the acoustic signal to an abstract mental representation. Our findings are discussed with regard to current models of speech perception and recent findings from brain imaging research.

  11. Fricatives, Affricates, and Vowels in Croatian Children with Cochlear Implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mildner, Vesna; Liker, Marko

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the research was to analyse the speech of children with cochlear implants over approximately a 46-month period, and compare it with the speech of hearing controls. It focused on three categories of sounds in Croatian: vowels (F1 and F2 of /i/, /e/, /a/, /o/ and /u/), fricatives /s/ and /[esh]/ (spectral differences expressed in terms of…

  12. Vowel Category Formation in Korean-English Bilingual Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sue Ann S.; Iverson, Gregory K.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: A previous investigation (Lee & Iverson, 2012) found that English and Korean stop categories were fully distinguished by Korean-English bilingual children at 10 years of age but not at 5 years of age. The present study examined vowels produced by Korean-English bilingual children of these same ages to determine whether and when bilinguals…

  13. Consonants and Vowels: Different Roles in Early Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochmann, Jean-Remy; Benavides-Varela, Silvia; Nespor, Marina; Mehler, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Language acquisition involves both acquiring a set of words (i.e. the lexicon) and learning the rules that combine them to form sentences (i.e. syntax). Here, we show that consonants are mainly involved in word processing, whereas vowels are favored for extracting and generalizing structural relations. We demonstrate that such a division of labor…

  14. Effects of bite blocks and hearing status on vowel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Harlan; Denny, Margaret; Guenther, Frank H; Matthies, Melanie L; Menard, Lucie; Perkell, Joseph S; Stockmann, Ellen; Tiede, Mark; Vic, Jennell; Zandipour, Majid

    2005-09-01

    This study explores the effects of hearing status and bite blocks on vowel production. Normal-hearing controls and postlingually deaf adults read elicitation lists of /hVd/ syllables with and without bite blocks and auditory feedback. Deaf participants' auditory feedback was provided by a cochlear prosthesis and interrupted by switching off their implant microphones. Recording sessions were held before prosthesis was provided and one month and one year after. Long-term absence of auditory feedback was associated with heightened dispersion of vowel tokens, which was inflated further by inserting bite blocks. The restoration of some hearing with prosthesis reduced dispersion. Deaf speakers' vowel spaces were reduced in size compared to controls. Insertion of bite blocks reduced them further because of the speakers' incomplete compensation. A year of prosthesis use increased vowel contrast with feedback during elicitation. These findings support the inference that models of speech production must assign a role to auditory feedback in error-based correction of feedforward commands for subsequent articulatory gestures.

  15. Vowel Production and Perception: Hyperarticulation without a Hyperspace Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whalen, D. H.; Magen, Harriet S.; Pouplier, Marianne; Kang, A. Min; Iskarous, Khalil

    2004-01-01

    The ability of speakers to exaggerate speech sounds ("hyperarticulation") has led to the theory that the targets themselves must be hyperarticulated. Johnson, Flemming, and Wright (1993) found that perceptual "best exemplar" choices for vowels were more extreme than listeners' own productions. Our first experiment, using their…

  16. Vowel Production in the Speech of Western Armenian Heritage Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godson, Linda

    2004-01-01

    This study investigates whether the age at which English becomes dominant for Western Armenian bilinguals in the United States affects their vowel production in Western Armenian. Participating in the study were ten Western-Armenian bilinguals who learned English before age 8, ten bilinguals who did not learn English until adulthood, and one…

  17. Vowel harmony in two Even dialects: Production and perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aralova, N.

    2015-01-01

    This dissertation analyzes vowel systems in two dialects of Even, an endangered Northern Tungusic language spoken in Eastern Siberia. The data were collected during fieldwork in the Bystraia district of Central Kamchatka and in the village of Sebian-Küöl in Yakutia. The focus of the study is the

  18. Perceiving unstressed vowels in foreign-accented English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braun, B.; Lemhöfer, K.M.L.; Mani, N.

    2011-01-01

    This paper investigated how foreign-accented stress cues affect on-line speech comprehension in British speakers of English. While unstressed English vowels are usually reduced to /partial derivative/, Dutch speakers of English only slightly centralize them. Speakers of both languages differentiate

  19. Vowel devoicing and the perception of spoken Japanese words

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cutler, A.; Otake, T.; McQueen, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Three experiments, in which Japanese listeners detected Japanese words embedded in nonsense sequences, examined the perceptual consequences of vowel devoicing in that language. Since vowelless sequences disrupt speech segmentation [Norris et al. (1997). Cognit. Psychol. 34, 191–243], devoicing is po

  20. Short vowel placements in RP past and present

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Anne

    This study addresses diachronic change in the short vowel system of RP. While TRAP lowering and backing in RP has been reported previously, the movements STRUT has undergone have proven more difficult to determine. This study identifies a TRAP/STRUT 'rotation' using acoustic measurements of the s...

  1. Vowel variation in Southern Sotho: an acoustic investigation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Barnard, E

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available , the current study is a first step in the direction of providing such information. Measurements of the frequencies of the first two formants of the vowels represented by the orthographic symbols i e a o u are made in several contexts in order to motivate...

  2. Sparseness of vowel category structure: Evidence from English dialect comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharinger, Mathias; Idsardi, William J.

    2014-01-01

    Current models of speech perception tend to emphasize either fine-grained acoustic properties or coarse-grained abstract characteristics of speech sounds. We argue for a particular kind of 'sparse' vowel representations and provide new evidence that these representations account for the successful access of the corresponding categories. In an auditory semantic priming experiment, American English listeners made lexical decisions on targets (e.g. load) preceded by semantically related primes (e.g. pack). Changes of the prime vowel that crossed a vowel-category boundary (e.g. peck) were not treated as a tolerable variation, as assessed by a lack of priming, although the phonetic categories of the two different vowels considerably overlap in American English. Compared to the outcome of the same experiment with New Zealand English listeners, where such prime variations were tolerated, our experiment supports the view that phonological representations are important in guiding the mapping process from the acoustic signal to an abstract mental representation. Our findings are discussed with regard to current models of speech perception and recent findings from brain imaging research. PMID:24653528

  3. Initial Teacher Training Courses and Non-Native Speaker Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jason

    2016-01-01

    This article reports on a study contrasting 41 native speakers (NSs) and 38 non-native speakers (NNSs) of English from two short initial teacher training courses, the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults and the Trinity College London CertTESOL. After a brief history and literature review, I present findings on teachers'…

  4. Initial Teacher Training Courses and Non-Native Speaker Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jason

    2016-01-01

    This article reports on a study contrasting 41 native speakers (NSs) and 38 non-native speakers (NNSs) of English from two short initial teacher training courses, the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults and the Trinity College London CertTESOL. After a brief history and literature review, I present findings on teachers'…

  5. The Ceremonial Elements of Non-Native Cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwood, Bert

    1994-01-01

    Explores reasons behind the wrongful adoption of Native American ceremonies by Euro-Americans. Focuses on the need for ceremony, its relevance to environmental education, and the fact that some immigrant cultural traditions neither fit this new land nor value the earth. Suggests how non-Natives can express their connection to the land by creating…

  6. Privilege (or "Noblesse Oblige") of the Nonnative Speaker of Russian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza, Thomas J.

    This paper responds to Claire Kramsch's essay on the demise of the notion of the idealized native speaker as the model for second language learning and implications for second languages and cultures education. Focusing on the nonnative speaker of Russian and Russian language education in the United States, it asserts that both the quantity and…

  7. Non-Native University Students' Perception of Plagiarism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Ummul Khair; Mansourizadeh, Kobra; Ai, Grace Koh Ming

    2012-01-01

    Plagiarism is a complex issue especially among non-native students and it has received a lot of attention from researchers and scholars of academic writing. Some scholars attribute this problem to cultural perceptions and different attitudes toward texts. This study evaluates student perception of different aspects of plagiarism. A small group of…

  8. Native Speakers' Perception of Non-Native English Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaber, Maysa; Hussein, Riyad F.

    2011-01-01

    This study is aimed at investigating the rating and intelligibility of different non-native varieties of English, namely French English, Japanese English and Jordanian English by native English speakers and their attitudes towards these foreign accents. To achieve the goals of this study, the researchers used a web-based questionnaire which…

  9. How TESOL Educators Teach Nonnative English-Speaking Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazier, Stefan; Phillabaum, Scott

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a survey of California TESOL educators about issues related to nonnative English-speaking teachers (NNESTs). A good deal of research suggests that NNESTs are as effective, if not more so, than native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) and that their treatment in today's work world should be reconsidered; in…

  10. The effect of vibrato on the recognition of masked vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demany, L; Semal, C

    1990-11-01

    Five experiments on the identifiability of synthetic vowels masked by wideband sounds are reported. In each experiment, identification thresholds (signal/masker ratios, in decibels) were measured for two versions of four vowels: a vibrated version, in which FO varied sinusoidally around 100 Hz; and a steady version, in which F0 was fixed at 100 Hz. The first three experiments were performed on naive subjects. Experiment 1 showed that for maskers consisting of bursts of pink noise, vibrato had no effect on thresholds. In Experiment 2, where the maskers were periodic pulse trains with an F0 randomly varied between 120 and 140 Hz from trial to trial, vibrato slightly improved thresholds when the sound pressure level of the maskers was 40 dB, but had no effect for 65-dB maskers. In Experiment 3, vibrated rather than steady pulse trains were used as maskers; when these maskers were at 40 dB, the vibrated versions of the vowels were slightly less identifiable than their steady versions; but, as in Experiment 2, vibrato had no effect when the maskers were at 65 dB. Experiment 4 showed that the unmasking effect of vibrato found in Experiment 2 disappeared in subjects trained in the identification task. Finally, Experiment 5 indicated that in trained listeners, vibrato had no influence on identification performance even when the maskers and the vowels had synchronous onsets and offsets. We conclude that vibrating a vowel masked by a wideband sound can affect its identification threshold, but only for tonal maskers and in untrained listeners. This effect of vibrato should probably be considered as a Gestalt phenomenon originating from central auditory mechanisms.

  11. Stress Effects in Vowel Perception as a Function of Language-Specific Vocabulary Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Natasha; Cutler, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Evidence from spoken word recognition suggests that for English listeners, distinguishing full versus reduced vowels is important, but discerning stress differences involving the same full vowel (as in mu- from music or museum) is not. In Dutch, in contrast, the latter distinction is important. This difference arises from the relative frequency of unstressed full vowels in the two vocabularies. The goal of this paper is to determine how this difference in the lexicon influences the perception of stressed versus unstressed vowels. All possible sequences of two segments (diphones) in Dutch and in English were presented to native listeners in gated fragments. We recorded identification performance over time throughout the speech signal. The data were here analysed specifically for patterns in perception of stressed versus unstressed vowels. The data reveal significantly larger stress effects (whereby unstressed vowels are harder to identify than stressed vowels) in English than in Dutch. Both language-specific and shared patterns appear regarding which vowels show stress effects. We explain the larger stress effect in English as reflecting the processing demands caused by the difference in use of unstressed vowels in the lexicon. The larger stress effect in English is due to relative inexperience with processing unstressed full vowels. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. A modified statistical pattern recognition approach to measuring the crosslinguistic similarity of Mandarin and English vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Ron I; Nearey, Terrance M; Derwing, Tracey M

    2009-09-01

    This study describes a statistical approach to measuring crosslinguistic vowel similarity and assesses its efficacy in predicting L2 learner behavior. In the first experiment, using linear discriminant analysis, relevant acoustic variables from vowel productions of L1 Mandarin and L1 English speakers were used to train a statistical pattern recognition model that simultaneously comprised both Mandarin and English vowel categories. The resulting model was then used to determine what categories novel Mandarin and English vowel productions most resembled. The extent to which novel cases were classified as members of a competing language category provided a means for assessing the crosslinguistic similarity of Mandarin and English vowels. In a second experiment, L2 English learners imitated English vowels produced by a native speaker of English. The statistically defined similarity between Mandarin and English vowels quite accurately predicted L2 learner behavior; the English vowel elicitation stimuli deemed most similar to Mandarin vowels were more likely to elicit L2 productions that were recognized as a Mandarin category; English stimuli that were less similar to Mandarin vowels were more likely to elicit L2 productions that were recognized as new or emerging categories.

  13. The Time Course for Processing Vowels and Lexical Tones: Reading Aloud Thai Words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Chris; Schoknecht, Colin; Kim, Jeesun; Burnham, Denis

    2016-06-01

    Three naming aloud experiments and a lexical decision (LD) experiment used masked priming to index the processing of written Thai vowels and tones. Thai allows for manipulation of the mapping between orthography and phonology not possible in other orthographies, for example, the use of consonants, vowels and tone markers in both horizontal and vertical orthographic positions (HOPs and VOPs). Experiment I showed that changing a vowel between prime and target slowed down target naming but changing a tone mark did not. Experiment I used an across item-design and a different number of HOPs in the way vowels and tones were specified. Experiment 2 used a within-item design and tested vowel and tone changes for both 2-HOP and 3-HOP targets separately. The 3-HOP words showed the same tone and vowel change effect as Experiment 1, whereas 2-HOP items did not. It was speculated that the 2-HOP result was due to the variable position of the vowel affecting priming. Experiment 3 employed a more stringent control over the 2-HOP vowel and tone items and found priming for the tone changes but not for vowel changes. The final experiment retested the items from Experiment 3 with the LD task and found no priming for the tone change items, indicating that the tone effect in Experiment 3 was due to processes involved in naming aloud. In all, the results supported the view that for naming a word, the development of tone information is slower than vowel information.

  14. The development of vowel spaces in English- and Korean-learning infants' speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soyoung

    2005-04-01

    A previous study (Yang, 1996) revealed that the vowel spaces of adult speech differ between English and Korean. This study longitudinally investigated whether vowel spaces of English- and Korean-learning infants' speech demonstrated similar patterns to their ambient languages. Speech samples of English- and Korean-learning infants were collected at 12 and 24 months and transcribed by either native English- or Korean-speakers, respectively. First and second formants of each vowel were measured using LPC, spectral peak value, and spectrographic formant mid points. The vowel spaces between the two groups displayed similar patterns at 12 months although the frequency of occurrence of each vowel differed (e.g., [i] occurs more frequently in English than in Korean). However, the vowel spaces showed different patterns at 24 months. F2 values for front vowels [i, e] were higher in English-learning infants' speech than those in Korean. [a] in Korean was located at a central position of vowel space while it was located at a back position in English. These patterns were similar to the adult vowel space of Korean and English. This study suggests that infants form vowel space similar to their own languages at around 24 months.

  15. The effects of cross-generational and cross-dialectal variation on vowel identification and classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacewicz, Ewa; Fox, Robert Allen

    2012-02-01

    Cross-generational and cross-dialectal variation in vowels among speakers of American English was examined in terms of vowel identification by listeners and vowel classification using pattern recognition. Listeners from Western North Carolina and Southeastern Wisconsin identified 12 vowel categories produced by 120 speakers stratified by age (old adults, young adults, and children), gender, and dialect. The vowels /ɝ, o, ʊ, u/ were well identified by both groups of listeners. The majority of confusions were for the front /i, ɪ, e, ɛ, æ/, the low back /ɑ, ɔ/ and the monophthongal North Carolina /aɪ/. For selected vowels, generational differences in acoustic vowel characteristics were perceptually salient, suggesting listeners' responsiveness to sound change. Female exemplars and native-dialect variants produced higher identification rates. Linear discriminant analyses which examined dialect and generational classification accuracy showed that sampling the formant pattern at vowel midpoint only is insufficient to separate the vowels. Two sample points near onset and offset provided enough information for successful classification. The models trained on one dialect classified the vowels from the other dialect with much lower accuracy. The results strongly support the importance of dynamic information in accurate classification of cross-generational and cross-dialectal variations. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America

  16. Acoustic and tongue kinematic vowel space in speakers with and without dysarthria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jimin; Littlejohn, Meghan Anne; Simmons, Zachary

    2017-04-01

    The purpose is to investigate acoustic and tongue body kinematic vowel dispersion patterns and vowel space in speakers with and without dysarthria secondary to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Acoustic and tongue kinematic vowel spaces were examined at the same time sampling point using electromagnetic articulography in 11 speakers with dysarthria secondary to ALS and 11 speakers without dysarthria. Tongue kinematic data were collected from the tongue body sensor (∼25 mm posterior from the tongue apex). A number of acoustic and tongue body kinematic variables were tested. The result showed that the acoustic and tongue kinematic vowel dispersion patterns are different between the groups. Acoustic and tongue body kinematic vowel spaces are highly correlated; however, unlike acoustic vowel space, tongue body kinematic vowel space was not significantly different between the groups. Both acoustic and tongue kinematic vowel dispersion patterns are sensitive to the group difference, especially with high vowels. The tongue kinematic vowel space approach is too crude to differentiate the speakers with dysarthria secondary to ALS from speakers without dysarthria. To examine tongue range of motion in speakers with dysarthria, a more refined articulatory kinematic approach needs to be examined in the future.

  17. Imprecise vowel articulation as a potential early marker of Parkinson's disease: effect of speaking task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusz, Jan; Cmejla, Roman; Tykalova, Tereza; Ruzickova, Hana; Klempir, Jiri; Majerova, Veronika; Picmausova, Jana; Roth, Jan; Ruzicka, Evzen

    2013-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze vowel articulation across various speaking tasks in a group of 20 early Parkinson's disease (PD) individuals prior to pharmacotherapy. Vowels were extracted from sustained phonation, sentence repetition, reading passage, and monologue. Acoustic analysis was based upon measures of the first (F1) and second (F2) formant of the vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/, vowel space area (VSA), F2i/F2u and vowel articulation index (VAI). Parkinsonian speakers manifested abnormalities in vowel articulation across F2u, VSA, F2i/F2u, and VAI in all speaking tasks except sustained phonation, compared to 15 age-matched healthy control participants. Findings suggest that sustained phonation is an inappropriate task to investigate vowel articulation in early PD. In contrast, monologue was the most sensitive in differentiating between controls and PD patients, with classification accuracy up to 80%. Measurements of vowel articulation were able to capture even minor abnormalities in speech of PD patients with no perceptible dysarthria. In conclusion, impaired vowel articulation may be considered as a possible early marker of PD. A certain type of speaking task can exert significant influence on vowel articulation. Specifically, complex tasks such as monologue are more likely to elicit articulatory deficits in parkinsonian speech, compared to other speaking tasks.

  18. The effects of cross-generational and cross-dialectal variation on vowel identification and classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacewicz, Ewa; Fox, Robert Allen

    2012-01-01

    Cross-generational and cross-dialectal variation in vowels among speakers of American English was examined in terms of vowel identification by listeners and vowel classification using pattern recognition. Listeners from Western North Carolina and Southeastern Wisconsin identified 12 vowel categories produced by 120 speakers stratified by age (old adults, young adults, and children), gender, and dialect. The vowels /ɝ, o, ʊ, u/ were well identified by both groups of listeners. The majority of confusions were for the front /i, ɪ, e, ɛ, æ/, the low back /ɑ, ɔ/ and the monophthongal North Carolina /aɪ/. For selected vowels, generational differences in acoustic vowel characteristics were perceptually salient, suggesting listeners’ responsiveness to sound change. Female exemplars and native-dialect variants produced higher identification rates. Linear discriminant analyses which examined dialect and generational classification accuracy showed that sampling the formant pattern at vowel midpoint only is insufficient to separate the vowels. Two sample points near onset and offset provided enough information for successful classification. The models trained on one dialect classified the vowels from the other dialect with much lower accuracy. The results strongly support the importance of dynamic information in accurate classification of cross-generational and cross-dialectal variations. PMID:22352514

  19. Indexical properties influence time-varying amplitude and fundamental frequency contributions of vowels to sentence intelligibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogerty, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated how non-linguistic, indexical information about talker identity interacts with contributions to sentence intelligibility by the time-varying amplitude (temporal envelope) and fundamental frequency (F0). Young normal-hearing adults listened to sentences that preserved the original consonants but replaced the vowels with a single vowel production. This replacement vowel selectively preserved amplitude or F0 cues of the original vowel, but replaced cues to phonetic identity. Original vowel duration was always preserved. Three experiments investigated indexical contributions by replacing vowels with productions from the same or different talker, or by acoustically morphing the original vowel. These stimulus conditions investigated how vowel suprasegmental and indexical properties interact and contribute to intelligibility independently from phonetic information. Results demonstrated that indexical properties influence the relative contribution of suprasegmental properties to sentence intelligibility. F0 variations are particularly important in the presence of conflicting indexical information. Temporal envelope modulations significantly improve sentence intelligibility, but are enhanced when either indexical or F0 cues are available. These findings suggest that F0 and other indexical cues may facilitate perceptually grouping suprasegmental properties of vowels with the remainder of the sentence. Temporal envelope modulations of vowels may contribute to intelligibility once they are successfully integrated with the preserved signal. PMID:26543276

  20. Phonological neighborhood density and vowel production in older and younger adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Peter J.; Munson, Benjamin; Belgum, Erik H.

    2005-09-01

    Recent work has shown that neighborhood density (ND) affects vowel production in young adults (B. Munson and N. Solomon, J. Speech. Lang. Hear. Res. 47, 1048-1058 [2004]). Vowels in words with high ND were produced with larger F1/F2 acoustic vowel space; this effect was independent of word frequency and duration. This may reflect speakers' modification of vowel production to assist listeners' vowel perception. However, a post hoc analysis of Munson and Solomon's data found that the effect is strongest in the low-front vowel /æ/, suggesting that the effect may be due to the ongoing sound change in which /æ/ is progressively becoming lower and more central (Hillenbrand et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 97, 3099-3111 [1995]) occurring more often in high-density words. If so, one should see a larger effect of neighborhood density in younger adults than in older adults. To examine this, vowel production was measured in a group of ten older adults (mean age=76.1 years), and compared to ten younger adults from Munson and Solomon [2004]. The older adults produced vowels with lower-frequency formants than younger adults. Contrary to expectations, age-group differences were not disproportionately larger for /æ /than for other vowels, and both groups showed a robust effect of neighborhood density on vowel production.

  1. Articulatory distinctiveness of vowels and consonants: a data-driven approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Green, Jordan R; Samal, Ashok; Yunusova, Yana

    2013-10-01

    To quantify the articulatory distinctiveness of 8 major English vowels and 11 English consonants based on tongue and lip movement time series data using a data-driven approach. Tongue and lip movements of 8 vowels and 11 consonants from 10 healthy talkers were collected. First, classification accuracies were obtained using 2 complementary approaches: (a) Procrustes analysis and (b) a support vector machine. Procrustes distance was then used to measure the articulatory distinctiveness among vowels and consonants. Finally, the distance (distinctiveness) matrices of different vowel pairs and consonant pairs were used to derive articulatory vowel and consonant spaces using multidimensional scaling. Vowel classification accuracies of 91.67% and 89.05% and consonant classification accuracies of 91.37% and 88.94% were obtained using Procrustes analysis and a support vector machine, respectively. Articulatory vowel and consonant spaces were derived based on the pairwise Procrustes distances. The articulatory vowel space derived in this study resembled the long-standing descriptive articulatory vowel space defined by tongue height and advancement. The articulatory consonant space was consistent with feature-based classification of English consonants. The derived articulatory vowel and consonant spaces may have clinical implications, including serving as an objective measure of the severity of articulatory impairment.

  2. Student perceptions of native and non-native speaker language instructors: A comparison of ESL and Spanish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Callahan

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The question of the native vs. non-native speaker status of second and foreign language instructors has been investigated chiefly from the perspective of the teacher. Anecdotal evidence suggests that students have strong opinions on the relative qualities of instruction by native and non-native speakers. Most research focuses on students of English as a foreign or second language. This paper reports on data gathered through a questionnaire administered to 55 university students: 31 students of Spanish as FL and 24 students of English as SL. Qualitative results show what strengths students believe each type of instructor has, and quantitative results confirm that any gap students may perceive between the abilities of native and non-native instructors is not so wide as one might expect based on popular notions of the issue. ESL students showed a stronger preference for native-speaker instructors overall, and were at variance with the SFL students' ratings of native-speaker instructors' performance on a number of aspects. There was a significant correlation in both groups between having a family member who is a native speaker of the target language and student preference for and self-identification with a native speaker as instructor. (English text

  3. PRIMARY LONG VOWELS IN THE DIALECTIC OF KEMALİYE AND ITS REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatih Özek

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Long vowels are the ones that are articulated in a longer time than an average word time. Long vowels are classified as primary (fundamental and secondary long vowels in terms of their formation styles. Primary long vowels are those whose first known examples are long. Secondary long vowels, on the other hand, are those appeared as a result of various sound events. Besides secondary long vowels that can be observed in all languages, primary long vowels have been mentioned by many Turcologists as existing in Turkish since 19th century. The foundings of long vowels and their traces in Yakut Turkish firstly and then in historical dialects and other Turkish dialects such as Turkoman, Khalajand some others have increased the number of studies in this area. In those primary studies based on standard languages, it has been considered that long vowels exist in a small amount of Turkish dialects and they have been shortened in many dialects including Turkey Turkish. The recent studies on the accents of Turkey Turkish have exhibited that some of the long vowels totally shortened in Turkey Turkish have been sustained in the dialectics. This study also supports that idea. By the way, in the collection study on the dialectic of Kemaliye and its region, primary long vowel is observed in 43 words. We share the idea that this evaluation is significant in accordance with the existence of primary long vowels in the dialectics of Turkey Turkish. This study aims to give the words detected in the region in relation to their correspondents in historical and contemporary dialects since Main Turkish and by this way to mention the existence of primary long vowels in the dialectics of Oghuz Turkish except Turkoman Turkish.

  4. A modeling investigation of vowel-to-vowel movement planning in acoustic and muscle spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zandipour, Majid

    The primary objective of this research was to explore the coordinate space in which speech movements are planned. A two dimensional biomechanical model of the vocal tract (tongue, lips, jaw, and pharynx) was constructed based on anatomical and physiological data from a subject. The model transforms neural command signals into the actions of muscles. The tongue was modeled by a 221-node finite element mesh. Each of the eight tongue muscles defined within the mesh was controlled by a virtual muscle model. The other vocal-tract components were modeled as simple 2nd-order systems. The model's geometry was adapted to a speaker, using MRI scans of the speaker's vocal tract. The vocal tract model, combined with an adaptive controller that consisted of a forward model (mapping 12-dimensional motor commands to a 64-dimensional acoustic spectrum) and an inverse model (mapping acoustic trajectories to motor command trajectories), was used to simulate and explore the implications of two planning hypotheses: planning in motor space vs. acoustic space. The acoustic, kinematic, and muscle activation (EMG) patterns of vowel-to-vowel sequences generated by the model were compared to data from the speaker whose acoustic, kinematic and EMG were also recorded. The simulation results showed that: (a) modulations of the motor commands effectively accounted for the effects of speaking rate on EMG, kinematic, and acoustic outputs; (b) the movement and acoustic trajectories were influenced by vocal tract biomechanics; and (c) both planning schemes produced similar articulatory movement, EMG, muscle length, force, and acoustic trajectories, which were also comparable to the subject's data under normal speaking conditions. In addition, the effects of a bite-block on measured EMG, kinematics and formants were simulated by the model. Acoustic planning produced successful simulations but motor planning did not. The simulation results suggest that with somatosensory feedback but no auditory

  5. Sensitivity of envelope following responses to vowel polarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Easwar, Vijayalakshmi; Beamish, Laura; Aiken, Steven; Choi, Jong Min; Scollie, Susan; Purcell, David

    2015-02-01

    Envelope following responses (EFRs) elicited by stimuli of opposite polarities are often averaged due to their insensitivity to polarity when elicited by amplitude modulated tones. A recent report illustrates that individuals exhibit varying degrees of polarity-sensitive differences in EFR amplitude when elicited by vowel stimuli (Aiken and Purcell, 2013). The aims of the current study were to evaluate the incidence and degree of polarity-sensitive differences in EFRs recorded in a large group of individuals, and to examine potential factors influencing the polarity-sensitive nature of EFRs. In Experiment I of the present study, we evaluated the incidence and degree of polarity-sensitive differences in EFR amplitude in a group of 39 participants. EFRs were elicited by opposite polarities of the vowel /ε/ in a natural /hVd/ context presented at 80 dB SPL. Nearly 30% of the participants with detectable responses (n = 24) showed a difference of greater than ∼39 nV in EFR response amplitude between the two polarities, that was unexplained by variations in noise estimates. In Experiment II, we evaluated the effect of vowel, frequency of harmonics and presence of the first harmonic (h1) on the polarity sensitivity of EFRs in 20 participants with normal hearing. For vowels /u/, /a/ and /i/, EFRs were elicited by two simultaneously presented carriers representing the first formant (resolved harmonics), and the second and higher formants (unresolved harmonics). Individual but simultaneous EFRs were elicited by the formant carriers by separating the fundamental frequency in the two carriers by 8 Hz. Vowels were presented as part of a naturally produced, but modified sequence /susaʃi/, at an overall level of 65 dB SPL. To evaluate the effect of h1 on polarity sensitivity of EFRs, EFRs were elicited by the same vowels without h1 in an identical sequence. A repeated measures analysis of variance indicated a significant effect of polarity on EFR amplitudes for the

  6. Kalispel Non-Native Fish Suppression Project 2007 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wingert, Michele; Andersen, Todd [Kalispel Natural Resource Department

    2008-11-18

    Non-native salmonids are impacting native salmonid populations throughout the Pend Oreille Subbasin. Competition, hybridization, and predation by non-native fish have been identified as primary factors in the decline of some native bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) populations. In 2007, the Kalispel Natural Resource Department (KNRD) initiated the Kalispel Nonnative Fish Suppression Project. The goal of this project is to implement actions to suppress or eradicate non-native fish in areas where native populations are declining or have been extirpated. These projects have previously been identified as critical to recovering native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout (WCT). Lower Graham Creek was invaded by non-native rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) after a small dam failed in 1991. By 2003, no genetically pure WCT remained in the lower 700 m of Graham Creek. Further invasion upstream is currently precluded by a relatively short section of steep, cascade-pool stepped channel section that will likely be breached in the near future. In 2008, a fish management structure (barrier) was constructed at the mouth of Graham Creek to preclude further invasion of non-native fish into Graham Creek. The construction of the barrier was preceded by intensive electrofishing in the lower 700 m to remove and relocate all captured fish. Westslope cutthroat trout have recently been extirpated in Cee Cee Ah Creek due to displacement by brook trout. We propose treating Cee Cee Ah Creek with a piscicide to eradicate brook trout. Once eradication is complete, cutthroat trout will be translocated from nearby watersheds. In 2004, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) proposed an antimycin treatment within the subbasin; the project encountered significant public opposition and was eventually abandoned. However, over the course of planning this 2004 project, little public

  7. Vowel duration affects visual word identification: evidence that the mediating phonology is phonetically informed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukatela, Georgije; Eaton, Thomas; Sabadini, Laura; Turvey, M T

    2004-02-01

    What form is the lexical phonology that gives rise to phonological effects in visual lexical decision? The authors explored the hypothesis that beyond phonological contrasts the physical phonetic details of words are included. Three experiments using lexical decision and 1 using naming compared processing times for printed words (e.g., plead and pleat) that differ, when spoken, in vowel length and overall duration. Latencies were longer for long-vowel words than for short-vowel words in lexical decision but not in naming. Further, lexical decision on long-vowel words benefited more from identity priming than lexical decision on short-vowel words, suggesting that representations of long-vowel words achieve activation thresholds more slowly. The discussion focused on phonetically informed phonologies, particularly gestural phonology and its potential for understanding reading acquisition and performance.

  8. From Reduction to Apocope: Final Poststressed Vowel Devoicing in Brazilian Portuguese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneses, Francisco; Albano, Eleonora

    2015-01-01

    This is a study of final poststressed vowel devoicing following /s/ in Brazilian Portuguese. We contradict the literature describing it as deletion by arguing, first, that the vowel is not deleted, but overlapped and devoiced by the /s/, and, second, that gradient reduction with devoicing may lead to apocope diachronically. The following results support our view: (1) partially devoiced vowels are centralized; (2) centralization is inversely proportional to duration; (3) total devoicing is accompanied by lowering of the /s/ centroid; (4) the /s/ noise seems to be lengthened when the vowel is totally devoiced; (5) aerodynamic tests reveal that lengthened /s/ has a final vowel-like portion, too short to be voiced; (6) lengthened /s/ favors vowel recovery in perceptual tests. This seems to be a likely path from reduction to devoicing to listener-based apocope.

  9. Perceptual parsing of acoustic consequences of velum lowering from information for vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, C A; Brown, J M

    2000-01-01

    Three experiments were designed to investigate how listeners to coarticulated speech use the acoustic speech signal during a vowel to extract information about a forthcoming oral or nasal consonant. A first experiment showed that listeners use evidence of nasalization in a vowel as information for a forthcoming nasal consonant. A second and third experiment attempted to distinguish two accounts of their ability to do so. According to one account, listeners hear nasalization in the vowel as such and use it to predict that a forthcoming nasal consonant is nasal. According to a second, they perceive speech gestures and hear nasalization in the acoustic domain of a vowel as the onset of a nasal consonant. Therefore, they parse nasal information from a vowel and hear the vowel as oral. In Experiment 2, evidence in favor of the parsing hypothesis was found. Experiment 3 showed, however, that parsing is incomplete.

  10. Interaural Place-Mismatch Estimation With Two-Formant Vowels in Unilateral Cochlear- Implant Users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guérit, François; Santurette, Sébastien; Chalupper, Josef

    procedures such as interaural pitch-matching are rather tedious and time-consuming. Here, an alternative method using two-formant vowels was developed and tested. Methods Eight normal-hearing (NH) listeners were presented synthesized two-formant vowels embedded between consonants /t/ and /k/, with first......-choice task which of 6 vowels they perceived for different [F1, F2] combinations. Ten CI users (5 bimodal and 5 single-sided deaf) performed the same task for F1 presented acoustically to the non-CI ear and F2 presented either acoustically to the same ear or electrically to the CI ear. Results After some...... training, all NH listeners were able to fuse the unaltered F1 and vocoded F2 into a single vowel percept, and vowel distributions could be reliably derived in 7 listeners. Vocoder simulations of reduced CI insertion depth led to clear vowel-distribution shifts in these listeners. However, these shifts were...

  11. Cross-linguistic studies of children’s and adults’ vowel spacesa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Hyunju; Kong, Eun Jong; Edwards, Jan; Weismer, Gary; Fourakis, Marios; Hwang, Youngdeok

    2012-01-01

    This study examines cross-linguistic variation in the location of shared vowels in the vowel space across five languages (Cantonese, American English, Greek, Japanese, and Korean) and three age groups (2-year-olds, 5-year-olds, and adults). The vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/ were elicited in familiar words using a word repetition task. The productions of target words were recorded and transcribed by native speakers of each language. For correctly produced vowels, first and second formant frequencies were measured. In order to remove the effect of vocal tract size on these measurements, a normalization approach that calculates distance and angular displacement from the speaker centroid was adopted. Language-specific differences in the location of shared vowels in the formant values as well as the shape of the vowel spaces were observed for both adults and children. PMID:22280606

  12. Vowel production of Mandarin-speaking hearing aid users with different types of hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Yu-Chen; Lee, Ya-Jung; Tsai, Li-Chiun

    2017-01-01

    In contrast with previous research focusing on cochlear implants, this study examined the speech performance of hearing aid users with conductive (n = 11), mixed (n = 10), and sensorineural hearing loss (n = 7) and compared it with the speech of hearing control. Speech intelligibility was evaluated by computing the vowel space area defined by the Mandarin Chinese corner vowels /a, u, i/. The acoustic differences between the vowels were assessed using the Euclidean distance. The results revealed that both the conductive and mixed hearing loss groups exhibited a reduced vowel working space, but no significant difference was found between the sensorineural hearing loss and normal hearing groups. An analysis using the Euclidean distance further showed that the compression of vowel space area in conductive hearing loss can be attributed to the substantial lowering of the second formant of /i/. The differences in vowel production between groups are discussed in terms of the occlusion effect and the signal transmission media of various hearing devices.

  13. Dissociation in the neural basis underlying Chinese tone and vowel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Li; Peng, Danling; Ding, Guosheng; Jin, Zhen; Zhang, Lei; Li, Ke; Chen, Chuansheng

    2006-01-15

    Neuropsychologists have debated over whether the processing of segmental and suprasegmental units involves different neural mechanisms. Focusing on the production of Chinese lexical tones (suprasegmental units) and vowels (segmental units), this study used the adaptation paradigm to investigate a possible neural dissociation for tone and vowel production. Ten native Chinese speakers were asked to name Chinese characters and pinyin (Romanized phonetic system for Chinese language) that varied in terms of tones and vowels. fMRI results showed significant differences in the right inferior frontal gyrus between tone and vowel production (more activation for tones than for vowels). Brain asymmetry analysis further showed that tone production was less left-lateralized than vowel production, although both showed left-hemisphere dominance.

  14. Persistence and extirpation in invaded landscapes: patch characteristics and connectivity determine effects of non-native predatory fish on native salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert S.; Maxell, Bryce A.

    2012-01-01

    Studies have demonstrated negative effects of non-native, predatory fishes on native amphibians, yet it is still unclear why some amphibian populations persist, while others are extirpated, following fish invasion. We examined this question by developing habitat-based occupancy models for the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and nonnative fish using survey data from 1,749 water bodies across 470 catchments in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. We first modeled the habitat associations of salamanders at 468 fishless water bodies in 154 catchments where non-native fish were historically, and are currently, absent from the entire catchment. Wethen applied this habitat model to the complete data set to predict the probability of salamander occupancy in each water body, removing any effect of fish presence. Finally, we compared field-observed occurrences of salamanders and fish to modeled probability of salamander occupancy. Suitability models indicated that fish and salamanders had similar habitat preferences, possibly resulting in extirpations of salamander populations from entire catchments where suitable habitats were limiting. Salamanders coexisted with non-native fish in some catchments by using marginal quality, isolated (no inlet or outlet) habitats that remained fishless. They rarely coexisted with fish within individual water bodies and only where habitat quality was highest. Connectivity of water bodies via streams resulted in increased probability of fish invasion and consequently reduced probability of salamander occupancy.These results could be used to identify and prioritize catchments and water bodies where control measures would be most effective at restoring amphibian populations. Our approach could be useful as a framework for improved investigations into questions of persistence and extirpation of native species when non-native species have already become established.

  15. Determination of velum opening for French nasal vowels by magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demolin, Didier; Delvaux, Véronique; Metens, Thierry; Soquet, Alain

    2003-12-01

    MRI techniques have been used to describe velum opening of French vowels. Data based on 18 joined axial slices of 4 mm thickness were recorded with four subjects. Differences in velum opening are calculated from areas measured in the tract between the lowered velum and the back pharynx wall. Results show that for all subjects, the back vowel [symbol: see text] has the smallest opening, while some variations are observed for the other vowels.

  16. Articulatory Changes in Vowel Production following STN DBS and Levodopa Intake in Parkinson’s Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Vincent Martel Sauvageau; Johanna-Pascale Roy; Léo Cantin; Michel Prud’Homme; Mélanie Langlois; Joël Macoir

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate the impact of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN DBS) and levodopa intake on vowel articulation in dysarthric speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods. Vowel articulation was assessed in seven Quebec French speakers diagnosed with idiopathic PD who underwent STN DBS. Assessments were conducted on- and off-medication, first prior to surgery and then 1 year later. All recordings were made on-stimulation. Vowel articulation was measured using ac...

  17. A Signal Detection Theorem Analysis of Native Japanese Production of American English Vowels

    OpenAIRE

    Lambacher, Stephen G.

    2010-01-01

    The purpouse of this paper was to investigate the effects of identification training on the ability of native Japanese to pronounce the five American English (AE) vowels /æ/,/α/,/ʌ/,/ɔ/,/ɝ/. A production task, performed both before and after a six-week vowel identification training program, included an experimental group and a control group who produced words containing each of the five target vowels within a varied consonantal context. In a separate task, a group of native speakers of Englis...

  18. The effect of semantic predictability on vowel production with pure word deafness

    OpenAIRE

    Chang, Charles B; Fischer-Baum, S

    2015-01-01

    Vowels tend to be reduced in words that are semantically predictable from context, an effect amenable to talker- or listener-oriented accounts of speech production. This study explored the role of perception in these accounts by testing for effects of semantic predictability on vowel production in the face of impaired speech perception (but otherwise normal hearing) -- namely, in a patient with pure word deafness. Analysis of the patient’s English vowels in read speech showed no effect of sem...

  19. Vowel production of Mandarin-speaking hearing aid users with different types of hearing loss

    OpenAIRE

    Hung, Yu-Chen; Lee, Ya-Jung; Tsai, Li-Chiun

    2017-01-01

    In contrast with previous research focusing on cochlear implants, this study examined the speech performance of hearing aid users with conductive (n = 11), mixed (n = 10), and sensorineural hearing loss (n = 7) and compared it with the speech of hearing control. Speech intelligibility was evaluated by computing the vowel space area defined by the Mandarin Chinese corner vowels /a, u, i/. The acoustic differences between the vowels were assessed using the Euclidean distance. The results reveal...

  20. The phonetic manifestation of French /s#∫/ and /∫#s/ sequences in different vowel contexts: on the occurrence and the domain of sibilant assimilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niebuhr, Oliver; Meunier, Christine

    2011-01-01

    While assimilation was initially regarded as a categorical replacement of phonemes or phonological features, subsequent detailed phonetic analyses showed that assimilation actually generates a wide spectrum of intermediate forms in terms of speech timing and spectrum. However, the focus of these analyses predominantly remained on the assimilated speech sound. In the present study we go one step ahead in two ways. First, we look at acoustic phonetic detail that differs in the French vowels /i, a, u/ preceding single /s/ and /∫/ sibilants as well as /s#∫/ and /∫#s/ sibilant sequences. Second, our vowel measurements include not only F1 and F2 frequencies, but also traditional prosodic parameters like duration, intensity and voice quality. The vowels and sibilants were recorded as the central part of CVC#CVC pseudo-names in a contextualized read-speech paradigm. In the single-sibilant conditions we found that the vowels preceding /∫/ were longer, breathier, less intense, and had more cardinal F2 values than before /s/. For the /s#∫/ and /∫#s/ conditions we found regressive and progressive /s/-to-[∫] assimilation that was complete in terms of spectral centre-of-gravity measurements, although French is said to have only voice assimilation. Moreover, the vowels preceding the /s#∫/ sequences still bear an imprint of /s/ despite the assimilation towards [ ∫∫]. We discuss the implications of these findings for the time window and the completeness of assimilation as well as for the basic units in speech communication.

  1. Adaptive Multi-rate Compression Effects on Vowel Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eIreland

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Signal processing on digitally sampled vowel sounds for the detection of pathological voices has been firmly established. This work examines compression artefacts on vowel speech samples that have been compressed using the adaptive multi-rate codec at various bit-rates. Whereas previous work has used the sensitivity of machine learning algorithm to test for accuracy, this work examines the changes in the extracted speech features themselves and thus report new findings on the usefulness of a particular feature. We believe this work will have potential impact for future research on remote monitoring as the identification and exclusion of a ill-defined speech feature that has been hitherto used, will ultimately increase the robustness of the system.

  2. Adaptive Multi-Rate Compression Effects on Vowel Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ireland, David; Knuepffer, Christina; McBride, Simon J

    2015-01-01

    Signal processing on digitally sampled vowel sounds for the detection of pathological voices has been firmly established. This work examines compression artifacts on vowel speech samples that have been compressed using the adaptive multi-rate codec at various bit-rates. Whereas previous work has used the sensitivity of machine learning algorithm to test for accuracy, this work examines the changes in the extracted speech features themselves and thus report new findings on the usefulness of a particular feature. We believe this work will have potential impact for future research on remote monitoring as the identification and exclusion of an ill-defined speech feature that has been hitherto used, will ultimately increase the robustness of the system.

  3. Positive Effects of Nonnative Invasive Phragmites australis on Larval Bullfrogs

    OpenAIRE

    Mary Alta Rogalski; David Kiernan Skelly

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Nonnative Phragmites australis (common reed) is one of the most intensively researched and managed invasive plant species in the United States, yet as with many invasive species, our ability to predict, control or understand the consequences of invasions is limited. Rapid spread of dense Phragmites monocultures has prompted efforts to limit its expansion and remove existing stands. Motivation for large-scale Phragmites eradication programs includes purported negative impacts on na...

  4. When AA is long but A is not short: speakers who distinguish short and long vowels in production do not necessarily encode a short-long contrast in their phonological lexicon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kateřina eChládková

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In some languages (such as Dutch, speakers produce duration differences between vowels, but it is unclear whether they also encode short versus long speech sounds into different phonological categories. To examine whether they have abstract representations for ‘short’ versus ‘long’ contrasts, we assessed Dutch listeners’ perceptual sensitivity to duration in two vowel qualities: [a] and [ɑ], as in the words maan ‘moon’ and man ‘man’, which are realized with long and short duration respectively. If Dutch represents this phonetic durational difference as a ‘short’-‘long’ contrast in its phonology, duration changes in [a] and [ɑ] should elicit similar neural responses (specifically, the mismatch negativity, MMN. However, we found that duration changes evoked larger MMN amplitude for [a] than for [ɑ]. This finding indicates that duration is phonemically relevant for the maan-vowel that is represented as ‘long’, while it is not phonemically specified for the man-vowel. We argue that speakers who in speech production distinguish a given vowel pair on the basis of duration may not necessarily encode this durational distinction as a binary ‘short’-‘long’ contrast in their phonological lexicon.

  5. A Comparative Analysis of Chinese and Shona Vowels

    OpenAIRE

    Herbert Mushangwe

    2013-01-01

    This paper is a comparative analysis between Chinese and Shona vowel system. The research is biased towards helping Chinese language learners whose mother tongue is Shona however it is expected to benefit other researchers interested in comparative researches. The main focus of this research is on the major differences that exist between these two languages, with an aim to predict and combat the possible pronunciation errors that may result from native language transfer. The research findings...

  6. The representation of Vowel Duration in Civili Dictionaries

    OpenAIRE

    Hugues Steve Ndinga-Koumba-Binza; Justus C. Roux

    2009-01-01

    Abstract: Civili is a developing language spoken in Gabon and in a few neighbouring countries. This article focuses on the representation of vowel duration in Civili dictionaries. The representation in these dictionaries is inconsistent. In the article, it is argued that this inconsistency stems from a twofold phonetic-phonological issue, which has implications for the word writing system of the language. The article provides an assessment of the existing orthography proposals for Ci...

  7. Visual speaker gender affects vowel identification in Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Charlotte; Tøndering, John

    2013-01-01

    The experiment examined the effect of visual speaker gender on the vowel perception of 20 native Danish-speaking subjects. Auditory stimuli consisting of a continuum between /muːlə/ ‘muzzle’ and /moːlə/ ‘pier’ generated using TANDEM-STRAIGHT matched with video clips of a female and a male speaker...... were used to determine whether visual speaker gender affected Danish listeners similarly to American English-speaking listeners tested in a similar way....

  8. Cross-language acoustic similarity predicts perceptual assimilation of Canadian English and Canadian French vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, Paola; Vasiliev, Polina

    2011-11-01

    Monolingual Peruvian Spanish listeners identified natural tokens of the Canadian French (CF) and Canadian English (CE) /ɛ/ and /æ/, produced in five consonantal contexts. The results demonstrate that while the CF vowels were mapped to two different native vowels, /e/ and /a/, in all consonantal contexts, the CE contrast was mapped to the single native vowel /a/ in four out of five contexts. Linear discriminant analysis revealed that acoustic similarity between native and target language vowels was a very good predictor of context-specific perceptual mappings. Predictions are made for Spanish learners of the /ɛ/-/æ/ contrast in CF and CE.

  9. Vowel perception in listeners with normal hearing and in listeners with hearing loss: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedrick, Mark; Charles, Lauren; Street, Nicole Drakopoulos

    2015-03-01

    To determine the influence of hearing loss on perception of vowel slices. Fourteen listeners aged 20-27 participated; ten (6 males) had hearing within normal limits and four (3 males) had moderate-severe sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Stimuli were six naturally-produced words consisting of the vowels /i a u æ ɛ ʌ/ in a /b V b/ context. Each word was presented as a whole and in eight slices: the initial transition, one half and one fourth of initial transition, full central vowel, one-half central vowel, ending transition, one half and one fourth of ending transition. Each of the 54 stimuli was presented 10 times at 70 dB SPL (sound press level); listeners were asked to identify the word. Stimuli were shaped using signal processing software for the listeners with SNHL to mimic gain provided by an appropriately-fitting hearing aid. Listeners with SNHL had a steeper rate of decreasing vowel identification with decreasing slice duration as compared to listeners with normal hearing, and the listeners with SNHL showed different patterns of vowel identification across vowels when compared to listeners with normal hearing. Abnormal temporal integration is likely affecting vowel identification for listeners with SNHL, which in turn affects vowel internal representation at different levels of the auditory system.

  10. Changes in Oral Vowel Sounds and Hyoid Bone Movement After Thyroidectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Ki Hwan; Yang, Woo Seok; Park, Min Ju; Oh, Jong Seok; Han, Baek Hwa

    2017-06-01

    Voice and speech alterations after total thyroidectomy may be associated with other extralaryngeal factors, such as neck muscle dysfunction and neck scar contracture. We evaluated the acoustic characteristics of oral vowel sounds and changes in hyoid bone movement before and after thyroidectomy. Twenty-nine female patients undergoing total thyroidectomy were included. Fundamental frequencies (Fo), formants and vowel space areas were evaluated before surgery and 7 days and 3 months after surgery to acoustically analyze the oral vowel sounds. Videofluoroscopic images were taken at the same times to evaluate hyoid bone movement. The Fo levels of seven vowels decreased significantly after surgery. The vowel formant changes the F1 of vowel /[e]/ decreased significantly from baseline at 3 months postoperatively, and the F3 of vowel /[i]/ decreased significantly from baseline 7 days postoperatively. The change in the vowel space area was not observed. The Y coordinate of the vowels /[i]/ and /[e]/ decreased significantly from baseline 7 days postoperatively due to changes in hyoid movement. The damage to the neck muscles after thyroidectomy changes in Fo, formant and hyoid bone position. These quantitative results could be used as basic data for voice management in patients who undergo thyroidectomy.

  11. Impact of the LSVT on vowel articulation and coarticulation in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauvageau, Vincent Martel; Roy, Johanna-Pascale; Langlois, Mélanie; Macoir, Joël

    2015-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®) on vowel articulation and consonant-vowel (C-V) coarticulation in dysarthric speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD). Nine Quebec French speakers diagnosed with idiopathic PD underwent the LSVT®. Speech characteristics were compared before and after treatment. Vowel articulation was measured using acoustic vowel space and calculated with the first (F1) and second formant (F2) of the vowels /i/, /u/ and /a/. C-V coarticulation was measured using locus equations, an acoustic metric based on the F2 transitions within vowels in relation to the preceding consonant. The relationship between these variables, speech loudness and vowel duration was also analysed. Results showed that vowel contrast increased in F1/F2 acoustic space after administration of the LSVT®. This improvement was associated with the gain in speech loudness and longer vowel duration. C-V coarticulation patterns between consonant contexts showed greater distinctiveness after the treatment. This improvement was associated with the gain in speech loudness only. These results support the conclusions of previous studies investigating the relationship between the LSVT®, speech loudness and articulation in PD. These results expand clinical understanding of the treatment and indicate that loud speech changes C-V coarticulation patterns. Clinical applications and theoretical considerations are discussed.

  12. Data-glove-driven vocal tract configuration methods for vowel synthesis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ogata, Kohichi; Matsumura, Kohei; Matsuda, Yusuke

    2015-01-01

    .... It was revealed that although both methods were capable of producing the resulting formant frequencies with reasonable accuracy for steady vowel production, the method with three fingers enabled...

  13. Acquisition of vowel articulation in childhood investigated by acoustic-to-articulatory inversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oohashi, Hiroki; Watanabe, Hama; Taga, Gentaro

    2017-02-01

    While the acoustical features of speech sounds in children have been extensively studied, limited information is available as to their articulation during speech production. Instead of directly measuring articulatory movements, this study used an acoustic-to-articulatory inversion model with scalable vocal tract size to estimate developmental changes in articulatory state during vowel production. Using a pseudo-inverse Jacobian matrix of a model mapping seven articulatory parameters to acoustic ones, the formant frequencies of each vowel produced by three Japanese children over time at ages between 6 and 60 months were transformed into articulatory parameters. We conducted the discriminant analysis to reveal differences in articulatory states for production of each vowel. The analysis suggested that development of vowel production went through gradual functionalization of articulatory parameters. At 6-9 months, the coordination of position of tongue body and lip aperture forms three vowels: front, back, and central. At 10-17 months, recruitments of jaw and tongue apex enable differentiation of these three vowels into five. At 18 months and older, recruitment of tongue shape produces more distinct vowels specific to Japanese. These results suggest that the jaw and tongue apex contributed to speech production by young children regardless of kinds of vowel. Moreover, initial articulatory states for each vowel could be distinguished by the manner of coordination between lip and tongue, and these initial states are differentiated and refined into articulations adjusted to the native language over the course of development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The intelligibility of Lombard speech for non-native listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Martin; Lecumberri, Maria Luisa García

    2012-08-01

    Speech produced in the presence of noise--Lombard speech--is more intelligible in noise than speech produced in quiet, but the origin of this advantage is poorly understood. Some of the benefit appears to arise from auditory factors such as energetic masking release, but a role for linguistic enhancements similar to those exhibited in clear speech is possible. The current study examined the effect of Lombard speech in noise and in quiet for Spanish learners of English. Non-native listeners showed a substantial benefit of Lombard speech in noise, although not quite as large as that displayed by native listeners tested on the same task in an earlier study [Lu and Cooke (2008), J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 124, 3261-3275]. The difference between the two groups is unlikely to be due to energetic masking. However, Lombard speech was less intelligible in quiet for non-native listeners than normal speech. The relatively small difference in Lombard benefit in noise for native and non-native listeners, along with the absence of Lombard benefit in quiet, suggests that any contribution of linguistic enhancements in the Lombard benefit for natives is small.

  15. Drivers of Non-Native Aquatic Species Invasions across the ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Mapping the geographic distribution of non-native aquatic species is a critically important precursor to understanding the anthropogenic and environmental factors that drive freshwater biological invasions. Such efforts are often limited to local scales and/or to a single taxa, missing the opportunity to observe and understand the drivers of macroscale invasion patterns at sub-continental or continental scales. Here we map the distribution of exotic freshwater species richness across the continental United States using publicly accessible species occurrence data (e.g GBIF) and investigate the role of human activity in driving macroscale patterns of aquatic invasion. Using a dasymetric model of human population density and a spatially explicit model of recreational freshwater fishing demand, we analyzed the effect of these metrics of human influence on non-native aquatic species richness at the watershed scale, while controlling for spatial and sampling bias. We also assessed the effects that a temporal mismatch between occurrence data (collected since 1815) and cross-sectional predictors (developed using 2010 data) may have on model fit. Results/Conclusions Our results indicated that non-native aquatic species richness exhibits a highly patchy distribution, with hotspots in the Northeast, Great Lakes, Florida, and human population centers on the Pacific coast. These richness patterns are correlated with population density, but are m

  16. Perception of speaker size and sex of vowel sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David R. R.; Patterson, Roy D.

    2005-04-01

    Glottal-pulse rate (GPR) and vocal-tract length (VTL) are both related to speaker size and sex-however, it is unclear how they interact to determine our perception of speaker size and sex. Experiments were designed to measure the relative contribution of GPR and VTL to judgements of speaker size and sex. Vowels were scaled to represent people with different GPRs and VTLs, including many well beyond the normal population values. In a single interval, two response rating paradigm, listeners judged the size (using a 7-point scale) and sex/age of the speaker (man, woman, boy, or girl) of these scaled vowels. Results from the size-rating experiments show that VTL has a much greater influence upon judgements of speaker size than GPR. Results from the sex-categorization experiments show that judgements of speaker sex are influenced about equally by GPR and VTL for vowels with normal GPR and VTL values. For abnormal combinations of GPR and VTL, where low GPRs are combined with short VTLs, VTL has more influence than GPR in sex judgements. [Work supported by the UK MRC (G9901257) and the German Volkswagen Foundation (VWF 1/79 783).

  17. Glottal Waves via Inverse Filtering of Vowel Sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Huiqun; Ward, Rabab; Beddoes, Michael

    2005-01-01

    This paper shows how to obtain accurate glottal waves via inverse filtering of vowel sounds and how to determine if these glottal waves contain any significant resonance of vocal tracts. We obtain vocal-tract filter (VTF) estimates for the inverse filtering from sustained vowel sounds over closed glottal phases using a new method, which minimizes the effects of glottal waves on the VTF estimates. It is common that VTF estimates contain the effects of incomplete glottal closures, and the glottal waves obtained via inverse filtering contain residual vocal-tract resonance. Our simulations show that the residual resonance appears as stationary ripples superimposed on the derivatives of the original glottal waves over the duration of a glottal cycle. The VTF estimates and the glottal waves obtained from sustained vowel sounds /a/ produced by male and female subjects are presented. The derivatives of the obtained glottal waves exhibit transient positive peaks during vocal-fold collision and negative levels in the earlier stage of vocal-fold parting.

  18. Predicting midsagittal pharynx shape from tongue position during vowel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whalen, D H; Kang, A M; Magen, H S; Fulbright, R K; Gore, J C

    1999-06-01

    The shape of the pharynx has a large effect on the acoustics of vowels, but direct measurement of this part of the vocal tract is difficult. The present study examines the efficacy of inferring midsagittal pharynx shape from the position of the tongue, which is much more amenable to measurement. Midsagittal magnetic resonance (MR) images were obtained for multiple repetitions of 11 static English vowels spoken by two subjects (one male and one female). From these, midsagittal widths were measured at approximately 3-mm intervals along the entire vocal tract. A regression analysis was then used to assess whether the pharyngeal widths could be predicted from the locations and width measurements for four positions on the tongue, namely, those likely to be the locations of a receiver coil for an electromagnetometer system. Predictability was quite high throughout the vocal tract (multiple r> 0.9), except for the extreme ends (i.e., larynx and lips) and small decreases for the male subject in the uvula region. The residuals from this analysis showed that the accuracy of predictions was generally quite high, with 89.2% of errors being less than 2 mm. The extremes of the vocal tract, where the resolution of the MRI was poorer, accounted for much of the error. For languages like English, which do not use advanced tongue root (ATR) distinctively, the midsagittal pharynx shape of static vowels can be predicted with high accuracy.

  19. Vowel devoicing and the perception of spoken Japanese words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, Anne; Otake, Takashi; McQueen, James M

    2009-03-01

    Three experiments, in which Japanese listeners detected Japanese words embedded in nonsense sequences, examined the perceptual consequences of vowel devoicing in that language. Since vowelless sequences disrupt speech segmentation [Norris et al. (1997). Cognit. Psychol. 34, 191-243], devoicing is potentially problematic for perception. Words in initial position in nonsense sequences were detected more easily when followed by a sequence containing a vowel than by a vowelless segment (with or without further context), and vowelless segments that were potential devoicing environments were no easier than those not allowing devoicing. Thus asa, "morning," was easier in asau or asazu than in all of asap, asapdo, asaf, or asafte, despite the fact that the /f/ in the latter two is a possible realization of fu, with devoiced [u]. Japanese listeners thus do not treat devoicing contexts as if they always contain vowels. Words in final position in nonsense sequences, however, produced a different pattern: here, preceding vowelless contexts allowing devoicing impeded word detection less strongly (so, sake was detected less accurately, but not less rapidly, in nyaksake-possibly arising from nyakusake-than in nyagusake). This is consistent with listeners treating consonant sequences as potential realizations of parts of existing lexical candidates wherever possible.

  20. Hindi vowel classification using QCN-MFCC features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shipra Mishra

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In presence of environmental noise, speakers tend to emphasize their vocal effort to improve the audibility of voice. This involuntary adjustment is known as Lombard effect (LE. Due to LE the signal to noise ratio of speech increases, but at the same time the loudness, pitch and duration of phonemes changes. Hence, accuracy of automatic speech recognition systems degrades. In this paper, the effect of unsupervised equalization of Lombard effect is investigated for Hindi vowel classification task using Hindi database designed at TIFR Mumbai, India. Proposed Quantile-based Dynamic Cepstral Normalization MFCC (QCN-MFCC along with baseline MFCC features have been used for vowel classification. Hidden Markov Model (HMM is used as classifier. It is observed that QCN-MFCC features have given a maximum improvement of 5.97% and 5% over MFCC features for context-dependent and context-independent cases respectively. It is also observed that QCN-MFCC features have given improvement of 13% and 11.5% over MFCC features for context-dependent and context-independent classification of mid vowels.

  1. Free classification of American English dialects by native and non-native listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopper, Cynthia G; Bradlow, Ann R

    2009-10-01

    Most second language acquisition research focuses on linguistic structures, and less research has examined the acquisition of sociolinguistic patterns. The current study explored the perceptual classification of regional dialects of American English by native and non-native listeners using a free classification task. Results revealed similar classification strategies for the native and non-native listeners. However, the native listeners were more accurate overall than the non-native listeners. In addition, the non-native listeners were less able to make use of constellations of cues to accurately classify the talkers by dialect. However, the non-native listeners were able to attend to cues that were either phonologically or sociolinguistically relevant in their native language. These results suggest that non-native listeners can use information in the speech signal to classify talkers by regional dialect, but that their lack of signal-independent cultural knowledge about variation in the second language leads to less accurate classification performance.

  2. Impacts of fire on non-native plant recruitment in black spruce forests of interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Alexandra J.; Jean, Mélanie

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the extent and severity of wildfires throughout the boreal forest. Historically, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) forests in interior Alaska have been relatively free of non-native species, but the compounding effects of climate change and an altered fire regime could facilitate the expansion of non-native plants. We tested the effects of wildfire on non-native plant colonization by conducting a seeding experiment of non-native plants on different substrate types in a burned black spruce forest, and surveying for non-native plants in recently burned and mature black spruce forests. We found few non-native plants in burned or mature forests, despite their high roadside presence, although invasion of some burned sites by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) indicated the potential for non-native plants to move into burned forest. Experimental germination rates were significantly higher on mineral soil compared to organic soil, indicating that severe fires that combust much of the organic layer could increase the potential for non-native plant colonization. We conclude that fire disturbances that remove the organic layer could facilitate the invasion of non-native plants providing there is a viable seed source and dispersal vector. PMID:28158284

  3. Using the Speech Transmission Index to predict the intelligibility of non-native speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijngaarden, Sander J.; Steeneken, Herman J. M.; Houtgast, Tammo; Bronkhorst, Adelbert W.

    2002-05-01

    The calibration of the Speech Transmission Index (STI) is based on native speech, presented to native listeners. This means that the STI predicts speech intelligibility under the implicit assumption of fully native communication. In order to assess effects of both non-native production and non-native perception of speech, the intelligibility of short sentences was measured in various non-native scenarios, as a function of speech-to-noise ratio. Since each speech-to-noise ratio is associated with a unique STI value, this establishes the relation between sentence intelligibility and STI. The difference between native and non-native intelligibility as a function of STI was used to calculate a correction function for the STI for each separate non-native scenario. This correction function was applied to the STI ranges corresponding to certain intelligibility categories (bad-excellent). Depending on the proficiency of non-native talkers and listeners, the category boundaries were found to differ from the standard (native) boundaries by STI values up to 0.30 (on the standard 0-1 scale). The corrections needed for non-native listeners are greater than for non-native talkers with a similar level of proficiency. For some categories of non-native communicators, the qualification excellent requires an STI higher than 1.00, and therefore cannot be reached.

  4. [Dynamics of duration and frequency characteristics the vowels over the first seven years of life of children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    On Russian material we traced dynamics of the acoustic characteristics of vowels and vowel sounds of the words 115 children aged 3 months to 7 years. There was a significant reduction in the duration and frequency values of the pitch vowels to 7 years of age children. We are the first to show that to 7 years relevant forms for Russian language sign the stressed vowel--long duration of the stressed vowel compared to unstressed vowel. Articulation of vowels is not fully formed. Data presented in this paper on the dynamics of the duration and frequency characteristics of vowels, on the one hand confirm the general laws of formation acoustic aspects of speech in ontogenesis. On the other--are original, as they reflect the assimilation of child articulations implemented in the Russian language.

  5. Perception of English vowels by bilingual Chinese-English and corresponding monolingual listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jing; Fox, Robert A

    2014-06-01

    This study compares the underlying perceptual structure of vowel perception in monolingual Chinese, monolingual English and bilingual Chinese-English listeners. Of particular interest is how listeners' spatial organization of vowels is affected either by their L1 or their experience with L2. Thirteen English vowels, /i, I, e, epsilon, ae, u, omega, o, (see symbol), alpha, (see symbol)I, alphaI, alphaomega/, embedded in /hVd/ syllable produced by an Ohio male speaker were presented in pairs to three groups of listeners. Each listener rated 312 vowel pairs on a nine-point dissimilarity scale. The responses from each group were analyzed using a multidimensional scaling program (ALSCAL). Results demonstrated that all three groups of listeners used high/low and front/back distinctions as the two most important dimensions to perceive English vowels. However, the vowels were distributed in clusters in the perceptual space of Chinese monolinguals, while they were appropriately separated and located in that of bilinguals and English monolinguals. Besides the two common perceptual dimensions, each group of listeners utilized a different third dimension to perceive these English vowels. English monolinguals used high-front offset. Bilinguals used a dimension mainly correlated to the distinction of monophthong/diphthong. Chinese monolinguals separated two high vowels, /i/ and /u/, from the rest of vowels in the third dimension. The difference between English monolinguals and Chinese monolinguals evidenced the effect of listeners' native language on the vowel perception. The difference between Chinese monolinguals and bilingual listeners as well as the approximation of bilingual listeners' perceptual space to that of English monolinguals demonstrated the effect of L2 experience on listeners' perception of L2 vowels.

  6. The vowel systems of Quichua-Spanish bilinguals. Age of acquisition effects on the mutual influence of the first and second languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guion, Susan G

    2003-01-01

    This study investigates vowel productions of 20 Quichua-Spanish bilinguals, differing in age of Spanish acquisition, and 5 monolingual Spanish speakers. While the vowel systems of simultaneous, early, and some mid bilinguals all showed significant plasticity, there were important differences in the kind, as well as the extent, of this adaptability. Simultaneous bilinguals differed from early bilinguals in that they were able to partition the vowel space in a more fine-grained way to accommodate the vowels of their two languages. Early and some mid bilinguals acquired Spanish vowels, whereas late bilinguals did not. It was also found that acquiring Spanish vowels could affect the production of native Quichua vowels. The Quichua vowels were produced higher by bilinguals who had acquired Spanish vowels than those who had not. It is proposed that this vowel reorganization serves to enhance the perceptual distinctiveness between the vowels of the combined first- and second-language system.

  7. Native and Non-native English Teachers' Perceptions of their Professional Identity: Convergent or Divergent?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zia Tajeddin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available There is still a preference for native speaker teachers in the language teaching profession, which is supposed to influence the self-perceptions of native and nonnative teachers. However, the status of English as a globalized language is changing the legitimacy of native/nonnative teacher dichotomy. This study sought to investigate native and nonnative English-speaking teachers’ perceptions about native and nonnative teachers’ status and the advantages and disadvantages of being a native or nonnative teacher. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. A total of 200 native and nonnative teachers of English from the UK and the US, i.e. the inner circle, and Turkey and Iran, the expanding circle, participated in this study. A significant majority of nonnative teachers believed that native speaker teachers have better speaking proficiency, better pronunciation, and greater self-confidence. The findings also showed nonnative teachers’ lack of self-confidence and awareness of their role and status compared with native-speaker teachers, which could be the result of existing inequities between native and nonnative English-speaking teachers in ELT. The findings also revealed that native teachers disagreed more strongly with the concept of native teachers’ superiority over nonnative teachers. Native teachers argued that nonnative teachers have a good understanding of teaching methodology whereas native teachers are more competent in correct language. It can be concluded that teacher education programs in the expanding-circle countries should include materials for teachers to raise their awareness of their own professional status and role and to remove their misconception about native speaker fallacy.

  8. A Note on the French Vowel System. Cahiers Linguistiques d'Ottawa (Ottawa Papers on Linguistics), Vol. 4, No. 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Douglas C.

    This note examines motivations and consequences of a widely held generative phonological analysis of the Modern French vowel system. This analysis claims that only three degrees of vowel height are distinctive in Modern French. It is argued that the analysis would be improved by adding an additional degree of vowel height, creating a system which…

  9. Pre-attentive sensitivity to vowel duration reveals native phonology and predicts learning of second-language sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chládková, K.; Escudero, P.; Lipski, S.C.

    2013-01-01

    In some languages (e.g. Czech), changes in vowel duration affect word meaning, while in others (e.g. Spanish) they do not. Yet for other languages (e.g. Dutch), the linguistic role of vowel duration remains unclear. To reveal whether Dutch represents vowel length in its phonology, we compared audito

  10. Point Vowel Duration in Children with Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants at 4 and 5 Years of Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandam, Mark; Ide-Helvie, Dana; Moeller, Mary Pat

    2011-01-01

    This work investigates the developmental aspects of the duration of point vowels in children with normal hearing compared with those with hearing aids and cochlear implants at 4 and 5 years of age. Younger children produced longer vowels than older children, and children with hearing loss (HL) produced longer and more variable vowels than their…

  11. Pre-attentive sensitivity to vowel duration reveals native phonology and predicts learning of second-language sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chládková, K.; Escudero, P.; Lipski, S.C.

    2013-01-01

    In some languages (e.g. Czech), changes in vowel duration affect word meaning, while in others (e.g. Spanish) they do not. Yet for other languages (e.g. Dutch), the linguistic role of vowel duration remains unclear. To reveal whether Dutch represents vowel length in its phonology, we compared

  12. Point Vowel Duration in Children with Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants at 4 and 5 Years of Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandam, Mark; Ide-Helvie, Dana; Moeller, Mary Pat

    2011-01-01

    This work investigates the developmental aspects of the duration of point vowels in children with normal hearing compared with those with hearing aids and cochlear implants at 4 and 5 years of age. Younger children produced longer vowels than older children, and children with hearing loss (HL) produced longer and more variable vowels than their…

  13. The effect of reduced vowel working space on speech intelligibility in Mandarin-speaking young adults with cerebral palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huei-Mei; Tsao, Feng-Ming; Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2005-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of reduced vowel working space on dysarthric talkers' speech intelligibility using both acoustic and perceptual approaches. In experiment 1, the acoustic-perceptual relationship between vowel working space area and speech intelligibility was examined in Mandarin-speaking young adults with cerebral palsy. Subjects read aloud 18 bisyllabic words containing the vowels /eye/, /aye/, and /you/ using their normal speaking rate. Each talker's words were identified by three normal listeners. The percentage of correct vowel and word identification were calculated as vowel intelligibility and word intelligibility, respectively. Results revealed that talkers with cerebral palsy exhibited smaller vowel working space areas compared to ten age-matched controls. The vowel working space area was significantly correlated with vowel intelligibility (r=0.632, p<0.005) and with word intelligibility (r=0.684, p<0.005). Experiment 2 examined whether tokens of expanded vowel working spaces were perceived as better vowel exemplars and represented with greater perceptual spaces than tokens of reduced vowel working spaces. The results of the perceptual experiment support this prediction. The distorted vowels of talkers with cerebral palsy compose a smaller acoustic space that results in shrunken intervowel perceptual distances for listeners. .

  14. The effect of vowel height on Voice Onset Time in stop consonants in CV sequences in spontaneous Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Johannes; Tøndering, John

    2013-01-01

    Voice onset time has been reported to vary with the height of vowels following the stop consonant. This paper investigates the effects of vowel height on VOT in Danish CV sequences with stop consonants in Danish spontaneous speech. A significant effect of vowel height on VOT was found...

  15. Acoustic Analysis of the Production of Unstressed English Vowels by Early and Late Korean and Japanese Bilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Borim; Guion, Susan G.; Harada, Tetsuo

    2006-01-01

    The production of unstressed vowels in English by early and late Korean- and Japanese-English bilinguals was investigated. All groups were nativelike in having a lower fundamental frequency for unstressed as opposed to stressed vowels. Both Korean groups made less of an intensity difference between unstressed and stressed vowels than the native…

  16. Rediscovering the Co-occurrence Principles of Vowel Inventories: A Complex Network Approach

    CERN Document Server

    Mukherjee, A; Choudhury, M; Ganguly, N; RoyChowdhury, S; Basu, Anupam; Choudhury, Monojit; Chowdhury, Shamik Roy; Ganguly, Niloy; Mukherjee, Animesh

    2007-01-01

    In this work, we attempt to capture patterns of co-occurrence across vowel systems and at the same time figure out the nature of the force leading to the emergence of such patterns. For this purpose we define a weighted network where the vowels are the nodes and an edge between two nodes (read vowels) signify their co-occurrence likelihood over the vowel inventories. Through this network we identify communities of vowels, which essentially reflect their patterns of co-occurrence across languages. We observe that in the assortative vowel communities the constituent nodes (read vowels) are largely uncorrelated in terms of their features and show that they are formed based on the principle of maximal perceptual contrast. However, in the rest of the communities, strong correlations are reflected among the constituent vowels with respect to their features indicating that it is the principle of feature economy that binds them together. We validate the above observations by proposing a quantitative measure of percep...

  17. Stress effects in vowel perception as a function of language-specific vocabulary patterns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Warner, N.L.; Cutler, A.

    2017-01-01

    Background/Aims: Evidence from spoken word recognition suggests that for English listeners, distinguishing full versus reduced vowels is important, but discerning stress differences involving the same full vowel (as in mu- from music or museum) is not. In Dutch, in contrast, the latter distinction i

  18. Influence of Consonantal Context on the Reading of Vowels: Evidence from Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, Rebecca; Kessler, Brett; Zevin, Jason D.; Bick, Suzzane; Davis, Melissa

    2006-01-01

    When college students pronounce nonwords, their vowel pronunciations may be affected not only by the consonant that follows the vowel, the coda, but also by the preceding consonant, the onset. We presented the nonwords used by Treiman and colleagues in their 2003 study to a total of 94 first graders, third graders, fifth graders, and high school…

  19. Orthographic and Phonological Parafoveal Processing of Consonants, Vowels, and Tones when Reading Thai

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winskel, Heather

    2011-01-01

    Four eye movement experiments investigated whether readers use parafoveal input to gain information about the phonological or orthographic forms of consonants, vowels, and tones in word recognition when reading Thai silently. Target words were presented in sentences preceded by parafoveal previews in which consonant, vowel, or tone information was…

  20. Orthographic Context Sensitivity in Vowel Decoding by Portuguese Monolingual and Portuguese-English Bilingual Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vale, Ana Paula

    2011-01-01

    This study examines the pronunciation of the first vowel in decoding disyllabic pseudowords derived from Portuguese words. Participants were 96 Portuguese monolinguals and 52 Portuguese-English bilinguals of equivalent Portuguese reading levels. The results indicate that sensitivity to vowel context emerges early, both in monolinguals and in…

  1. The Acquisition of Phonetic Details: Evidence from the Production of English Reduced Vowels by Korean Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jeong-Im; Hwang, Jong-Bai; Choi, Tae-Hwan

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the acquisition of non-contrastive phonetic details of a second language. Reduced vowels in English are realized as a schwa or barred- i depending on their phonological contexts, but Korean has no reduced vowels. Two groups of Korean learners of English who differed according to the experience of residence…

  2. Vowel Representations in the Invented Spellings of Spanish-English Bilingual Kindergartners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raynolds, Laura B.; Uhry, Joanna K.; Brunner, Jessica

    2013-01-01

    The study compared the invented spelling of vowels in kindergarten native Spanish speaking children with that of English monolinguals. It examined whether, after receiving phonics instruction for short vowels, the spelling of native Spanish-speaking kindergartners would contain phonological errors that were influenced by their first language.…

  3. Phonology, Decoding, and Lexical Compensation in Vowel Spelling Errors Made by Children with Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Stuart E.

    2009-01-01

    A descriptive study of vowel spelling errors made by children first diagnosed with dyslexia (n = 79) revealed that phonological errors, such as "bet" for "bat", outnumbered orthographic errors, such as "bate" for "bait". These errors were more frequent in nonwords than words, suggesting that lexical context helps with vowel spelling. In a second…

  4. A cross-dialect comparison of Peninsula- and Peruvian-Spanish vowels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morrison, G.S.; Escudero, P.; Trouvain, J.; Barry, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    A comparison was made of the acoustic properties of Spanish vowels produced by monolingual Spanish speakers from Spain and Peru. Monophthongs were produced in sentence final position. Peninsula speakers’ vowels were shorter, had lower fundamental frequency, and were more likely to be produced with

  5. Acoustic Typology of Vowel Inventories and Dispersion Theory: Insights from a Large Cross-Linguistic Corpus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker-Kristal, Roy

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation examines the relationship between the structural, phonemic properties of vowel inventories and their acoustic phonetic realization, with particular focus on the adequacy of Dispersion Theory, which maintains that inventories are structured so as to maximize perceptual contrast between their component vowels. In order to assess…

  6. The Influence of Reduced Audible Bandwidth on Asynchronous Double-Vowel Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, Susie; Lentz, Jennifer J.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors sought to determine whether reduced audible bandwidth associated with hearing loss contributes to difficulty benefiting from an onset asynchrony between sounds. Method: Synthetic double-vowel identification was measured for normal-hearing listeners and listeners with hearing loss. One vowel (Target 2) was 250 ms…

  7. Neuromagnetic correlates of voice pitch, vowel type, and speaker size in auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andermann, Martin; Patterson, Roy D; Vogt, Carolin; Winterstetter, Lisa; Rupp, André

    2017-09-01

    Vowel recognition is largely immune to differences in speaker size despite the waveform differences associated with variation in speaker size. This has led to the suggestion that voice pitch and mean formant frequency (MFF) are extracted early in the hierarchy of hearing/speech processing and used to normalize the internal representation of vowel sounds. This paper presents a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) experiment designed to locate and compare neuromagnetic activity associated with voice pitch, MFF and vowel type in human auditory cortex. Sequences of six sustained vowels were used to contrast changes in the three components of vowel perception, and MEG responses to the changes were recorded from 25 participants. A staged procedure was employed to fit the MEG data with a source model having one bilateral pair of dipoles for each component of vowel perception. This dipole model showed that the activity associated with the three perceptual changes was functionally separable; the pitch source was located in Heschl's gyrus (bilaterally), while the vowel-type and formant-frequency sources were located (bilaterally) just behind Heschl's gyrus in planum temporale. The results confirm that vowel normalization begins in auditory cortex at an early point in the hierarchy of speech processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Vowel Confusion Patterns in Adults during Initial 4 Years of Implant Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaalimaa, Taina T.; Sorri, Martti J.; Laitakari, Jaakko; Sivonen, Ville; Muhli, Arto

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated adult cochlear implant users' (n == 39) vowel recognition and confusions by an open-set syllable test during 4 years of implant use, in a prospective repeated-measures design. Subjects' responses were coded for phoneme errors and estimated by the generalized mixed model. Improvement in overall vowel recognition was highest…

  9. Vowel space characteristics of speech directed to children with and without hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieland, Elizabeth A; Burnham, Evamarie B; Kondaurova, Maria; Bergeson, Tonya R; Dilley, Laura C

    2015-04-01

    This study examined vowel characteristics in adult-directed (AD) and infant-directed (ID) speech to children with hearing impairment who received cochlear implants or hearing aids compared with speech to children with normal hearing. Mothers' AD and ID speech to children with cochlear implants (Study 1, n=20) or hearing aids (Study 2, n=11) was compared with mothers' speech to controls matched on age and hearing experience. The first and second formants of vowels /i/, /ɑ/, and /u/ were measured, and vowel space area and dispersion were calculated. In both studies, vowel space was modified in ID compared with AD speech to children with and without hearing loss. Study 1 showed larger vowel space area and dispersion in ID compared with AD speech regardless of infant hearing status. The pattern of effects of ID and AD speech on vowel space characteristics in Study 2 was similar to that in Study 1, but depended partly on children's hearing status. Given previously demonstrated associations between expanded vowel space in ID compared with AD speech and enhanced speech perception skills, this research supports a focus on vowel pronunciation in developing intervention strategies for improving speech-language skills in children with hearing impairment.

  10. The Prosodic Licensing of Coda Consonants in Early Speech: Interactions with Vowel Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Kelly; Yuen, Ivan; Cox, Felicity; Demuth, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    English has a word-minimality requirement that all open-class lexical items must contain at least two moras of structure, forming a bimoraic foot (Hayes, 1995).Thus, a word with either a long vowel, or a short vowel and a coda consonant, satisfies this requirement. This raises the question of when and how young children might learn this…

  11. Regional Dialect Variation in the Vowel Systems of Typically Developing Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacewicz, Ewa; Fox, Robert Allen; Salmons, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate regional dialect variation in the vowel systems of typically developing 8- to 12-year-old children. Method: Thirteen vowels in isolated "h_d" words were produced by 94 children and 93 adults (males and females). All participants spoke American English and were born and raised in 1 of 3 distinct dialect regions in…

  12. Rate and onset cues can improve cochlear implant synthetic vowel recognition in noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mc Laughlin, Myles; Reilly, Richard B; Zeng, Fan-Gang

    2013-03-01

    Understanding speech-in-noise is difficult for most cochlear implant (CI) users. Speech-in-noise segregation cues are well understood for acoustic hearing but not for electric hearing. This study investigated the effects of stimulation rate and onset delay on synthetic vowel-in-noise recognition in CI subjects. In experiment I, synthetic vowels were presented at 50, 145, or 795 pulse/s and noise at the same three rates, yielding nine combinations. Recognition improved significantly if the noise had a lower rate than the vowel, suggesting that listeners can use temporal gaps in the noise to detect a synthetic vowel. This hypothesis is supported by accurate prediction of synthetic vowel recognition using a temporal integration window model. Using lower rates a similar trend was observed in normal hearing subjects. Experiment II found that for CI subjects, a vowel onset delay improved performance if the noise had a lower or higher rate than the synthetic vowel. These results show that differing rates or onset times can improve synthetic vowel-in-noise recognition, indicating a need to develop speech processing strategies that encode or emphasize these cues.

  13. Investigating the relationship between average speaker fundamental frequency and acoustic vowel space size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weirich, Melanie; Simpson, Adrian

    2013-10-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential relationship between speaking fundamental frequency and acoustic vowel space size, thus testing a possible perceptual source of sex-specific differences in acoustic vowel space size based on the greater inter-harmonic spacing and a poorer definition of the spectral envelope of higher pitched voices. Average fundamental frequencies and acoustic vowel spaces of 56 female German speakers are analyzed. Several parameters are used to quantify the size and shape of the vowel space defined by /iː ε aː [symbol: see text] uː/ such as the area of the polygon spanned by the five vowels, the absolute difference in F1 or F2 between /iː/ and /uː/ or /aː/, and the Euclidian distance between /iː/ and /aː/. In addition, the potential impact of nasality on the vowel space size is examined. Results reveal no significant correlation between fundamental frequency and vowel space size suggesting other factors must be responsible for the larger female acoustic vowel space.

  14. Quantitative and Descriptive Comparison of Four Acoustic Analysis Systems: Vowel Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burris, Carlyn; Vorperian, Houri K.; Fourakis, Marios; Kent, Ray D.; Bolt, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This study examines accuracy and comparability of 4 trademarked acoustic analysis software packages (AASPs): Praat, WaveSurfer, TF32, and CSL by using synthesized and natural vowels. Features of AASPs are also described. Method: Synthesized and natural vowels were analyzed using each of the AASP's default settings to secure 9…

  15. Asynchronous Vowel-Pair Identification across the Adult Life Span for Monaural and Dichotic Presentations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogerty, Daniel; Kewley-Port, Diane; Humes, Larry E.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Temporal order abilities decrease with age. Declining temporal processing abilities may influence the identification of rapid vowel sequences. Identification patterns for asynchronous vowel pairs were explored across the life span. Method: Young, middle-aged, and older listeners completed temporal order tasks for pairs of 70-ms and 40-ms…

  16. On Distributional Properties of Non-Syllabic Vowels in Italian Words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salza, Pier Luigi

    1986-01-01

    Analysis of the distributional properties of non-syllabic vowels within word boundaries in Italian demonstrates: the role of phonological constraints on the distribution of non-syllabic words; the syllabification possibilities within each type of sequence by setting up a structural model; and the phonemic occurrences in vowel sequences collected…

  17. Vowel Acoustic Space Development in Children: A Synthesis of Acoustic and Anatomic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorperian, Houri K.; Kent, Ray D.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: This article integrates published acoustic data on the development of vowel production. Age specific data on formant frequencies are considered in the light of information on the development of the vocal tract (VT) to create an anatomic-acoustic description of the maturation of the vowel acoustic space for English. Method: Literature…

  18. Acoustic study in Mandarin-speaking children: developmental changes in vowel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Chi; Lin, Keh-chung; Wu, Ching-Yi; Chen, Chia-Ling; Chen, Chia-Hui; Chen, Hsieh-Ching; Hong, Wei-Hsien; Wong, Alice May-Kuen

    2008-01-01

    Acoustic analysis had been well incorporated into clinical evaluation and management of children with speech disorders for many years. The aim of this study is to investigate developmental changes in vowel production in Mandarin-speaking children using acoustic study analysis. A total of 22 children from 5-12 years old were analyzed in this study. Each child read a list of speech materials consisting of 6 dissyllabic words in Mandarin phonemes and the speech samples were recorded. The digitized acoustic recordings were submitted for acoustic analysis. The acoustic parameters in this study include the first and second formant frequencies (F1 and F2) of /a/, /i/ and /u/ and the vowel space. We used the Wilcoxon rank sum test and Spearman's rho correlation test for statistical analysis. The F1 values of the vowel /i/ were significantly lower in boys than those in girls (p = 0.013) by Wilcoxon ranksum test. The F1 value of the vowel /i/ was negatively correlated with children's age (rho = -0.601, p = 0.003) and their body height (rho = 0.478 p = 0.045). The F1 values of the other two vowels (/u/ and /a/), the F2 values of all three vowels and the vowel space had no association with age and gender. F1 acoustic parameters have developmental and gender changes in vowel production in Mandarin-speaking children. The data in this study provide references for acoustic assessment of Mandarin-speaking children.

  19. Perception and Production of Five English Front Vowels by College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ching-Ying

    2014-01-01

    This study was to explore whether college students could perceive and produce five English front vowels well or not. It also examined the relationship between English speaking and listening. To be more specific, the study attempted to probe which vowels that learners could be confused easily in speaking and listening. The results revealed that…

  20. A Longitudinal Study of Very Young Children's Vowel Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Rebecca W.; McGowan, Richard S.; Denny, Margaret; Nittrouer, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Ecologically realistic, spontaneous, adult-directed, longitudinal speech data of young children were described by acoustic analyses. Method: The first 2 formant frequencies of vowels produced by 6 children from different American English dialect regions were analyzed from ages 18 to 48 months. The vowels were from largely conversational…