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

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


Perception of Underlying Vocal Tract Setting Information in the Interpretation of Vowels

Sheila M. Williams

Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA

Acoustic manifestations of utterances vary according to the physiology of the speaker and the current underlying vocal tract settings as well as the rate and style chosen by the speaker. This may result in formant patterns for any given vowel being very different from those derived from citation forms for that speaker's dialect. An examination of the acoustic signal arising from unscripted and fluent read speech shows that vowels perceived as different may result in very similar formant patterns while vowels categorized as the same may vary greatly. Experimental studies attempt to identify the acoustic and perceptual cues that enable the listener to adapt to the continuously varying underlying speaker settings manifested in fluent speech. By manipulating formant structure, we compare how listeners identify the resulting vowel sounds to distinguish those manipulations that result in a new vowel percept from those that result in a same vowel - new speaker setting percept.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Williams, Sheila M. (1999): "Perception of underlying vocal tract setting information in the interpretation of vowels", In ICPhS-14, 187-190.