Acoustic Characteristics of Stop Consonants: A Controlled Study
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LINCOLN LAB
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The first part of this report is directed toward development of a highly interactive computer facility where controlled studies of the acoustic characteristics of selected consonants, consonant clusters, and vowels in a prescribed phonetic environment can be carried out. In conjunction with development of the data-base facility, a large corpus of acoustic data was collected. The format of the data is a nonsense hschwaCVC utterance embedded in a carrier sentence Say-again, where the consonants and vowels are systematically varied. Fifteen vowels and diphthongs were used to form the syllable nuclei and 51 word-initial consonants and consonant clusters were included. The second half of the report utilizes the collected data and the developed facility to study the acoustic characteristics of English stops, both in singleton and in clusters. The data included 1728 utterances spoken by 3 male speakers. Various aspects of the temporal and spectral characteristics of these stops were quantified and discussed in detail. The findings in general suggest the presence of context independent acoustic properties for these stops. The exact nature of the acoustic invariance, however, still remains a topic of further investigation.