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

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


Synthesizing Systematic Variation at Boundaries between Vowels and Obstruents

Sebastian Heid, Sarah Hawkins

Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

This work assesses whether natural-sounding excitation near segment boundaries enhances the intelligibility of formant synthesis. Excitation type at fricative-vowel (FV) and vowelfricative (VF) boundaries and durations of voicing in voiced stop closures are described for one male speaker of British English. Most VF boundaries have mixed aperiodic and periodic excitation, whereas most FV boundaries change abruptly from aperiodic to periodic excitation. Syllable stress, vowel height, and final/non-final position within the phrase influenced the incidence and duration of mixed excitation. Voicing in stop closures varied in well-understood ways. Synthesized phrases proved more intelligible in noise when excitation at fricative boundaries and in voiced stop closures was structurally appropriate. Implications for formant synthesis are discussed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Heid, Sebastian / Hawkins, Sarah (1999): "Synthesizing systematic variation at boundaries between vowels and obstruents", In ICPhS-14, 511-514.