14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

The Relationship Between Perceptual and Physical Space of Fricatives

Won Choo

Seijo University, Tokyo, Japan

This study investigates the correlations between perceptual and other process is involved, for example; the distance metric may be physical spaces of voiceless English fricatives /f θ s ʃ h/, using Multidimensional scaling (MDS) technique. The spatial representations were constructed from perceptual similarity judgments and various spectral distance measures [1]. The results show that physical configuration based on Euclidean distance metric produces best prediction of the perceptual data. In both spaces, 2-dimensional solutions adequately accounted for the data and fricatives in the map were clearly organised in terms of their ‘place’ and ‘sibilance’ properties. The two dimensions were also closely correlated to the frequency of the main spectral peak and the ‘peakiness’ of spectra in their acoustic characterisation. The close correlation between linguistic characterisations of fricatives and their perceptual and physical configurations supports a model of speech perception based mainly on the general physical characteristics of speech.


  1. Assmann, P. F. & Summerfield, Q. (1989) Modelling the perception of concurrent vowels: Vowels with the same fundamental frequency. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 85. 327-338.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Choo, Won (1999): "The relationship between perceptual and physical space of fricatives", In ICPhS-14, 163-166.