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

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


Robustness of /r/-Pronunciation in Voice Disguise

Allen Hirson, Geoff Lindsey

City University, UK

Accent disguise may confound forensic analysis; investigation would be assisted by data regarding the preservation in disguised voice of speech features from the undisguised voice. Hypolingual /r/-pronunciation in British English is considered nonstandard and has traditionally been labelled "defective r". The present paper investigates the robustness of nonstandard /r/-pronunciation in an assumed accent. Subjects with a range of /r/-pronunciatons read sentences in their native accent and then in imitation of models in an American accent exhibiting lingual, nonlabial /r/. Auditory assessment and acoustic analysis suggest that /r/ will be assessed as nonstandard if its F3 is above about 2000 Hz for men and above about 2350 Hz for women. Of five subjects whose native /r/ was judged nonstandard, three were able, in the assumed accent, to produce /r/ which was assessed as standard. Further, degree of native nonstandardness in /r/ may possibly be a predictor of inability to modify it.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hirson, Allen / Lindsey, Geoff (1999): "Robustness of /r/-pronunciation in voice disguise", In ICPhS-14, 1365-1368.