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

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


Perception of Vowel Quality in the F2/F3 Plane

Michelle R. Molis

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

The stimulus space used in this study was a (perceptually) uniformly sampled region of the vowel space generated through orthogonal variation of F2 and F3. Stimuli within this space can be identified as instances of the English vowels /ʊ/, /ɪ/, and /ɝ/. The structure of this space allows comparisons among stimuli to be made along four axes of acoustic attributes: common F2, common F3, common F3-F2 distance, and common arithmetic mean of nominal F2 and F3. Binary identification experiments within partially over-lapping subsets of these stimuli indicate that boundary locations could be described in terms of a constant F2 for the /ʊ/-/ɪ/ distinction and a roughly constant mean of nominal F2 and F3 for the /ɝ/-/ɪ/ distinction. Performance on the /ʊ/-/ɝ/ distinction was more variable - while half of the subjects placed the boundary at a constant F3-F2 distance; the other half employed a variety of strategies across the stimulus set.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Molis, Michelle R. (1999): "Perception of vowel quality in the F2/F3 plane", In ICPhS-14, 191-194.