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

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


The Acoustics and Kinematics of Regularly Timed Speech: A Database and Method for the Study of the P-Center Problem

Aniruddh D. Patel (1), Anders Löfqvist (2), Walter Naito (3)

(1) The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, CA, USA
(2)Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT, USA
(3) University of Tokyo Medical School, Japan

The physical cues underlying the perception of temporal intervals in speech have yet to be firmly established. It has long been known that when speakers are asked to produce "evenly-timed" sequences of alternating syllables (e.g. ba-la-ba-la...) they introduce systematic deviations from onset-to-onset isochrony, showing that the perception of temporal intervals in speech is based on some cue other than syllable onsets. Identification of this cue would aid in measuring speech timing in a perceptually meaningful manner, benefiting both psycholinguistic and synthesis research. This study gathered a diverse set of regularly-timed syllable sequences from six speakers, and tested four acoustic and kinematic candidates for temporal iscohrony using a simple statistical method. While none of the cues showed isochrony, the database of speech and kinematic data (available from http://www.nsi.edu/users/patel) and method of analysis can be used by other researchers to evaluate proposed candidates for timing cues ("P-centers") in speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Patel, Aniruddh D. / Löfqvist, Anders / Naito, Walter (1999): "The acoustics and kinematics of regularly timed speech: a database and method for the study of the p-center problem", In ICPhS-14, 405-408.