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

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


A Perceptual Experiment on Vowel Length in Thai

Rungpat Roengpitya

University of California at Berkeley, USA

In Thai, short and long vowels are contrastive e.g. the words /pan/ ‘to share’ and /paan/ ‘a birthmark’ carry different meanings. The cues to differentiate short and long vowels in Thai are duration and other features such as pitch movement or vowel quality. In this paper, a perceptual experiment was conducted to study the effects of duration on vowel length in Thai. Eight pairs of Thai words containing short and a long vowels in connected speech were recorded, digitally lengthened and shortened respectively at 20ms steps, digitally resynthesized, and randomized. Thai native speakers listened to these tokens and judged whether each was a word with a short or long vowel. The results showed that although duration is the major cue for vowel length in Thai, other cues also play a role.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Roengpitya, Rungpat (1999): "A perceptual experiment on vowel length in Thai", In ICPhS-14, 1827-1830.