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acoustic phonetics

Nelson Roy, Rebecca A Fetrow, Ray M Merrill, Christopher Dromey
Purpose: Vocal hyperfunction, related to abnormal laryngeal muscle activity, is considered the proximal cause of primary muscle tension dysphonia (pMTD). Relative fundamental frequency (RFF) has been proposed as an objective acoustic marker of vocal hyperfunction. This study examined (a) the ability of RFF to track changes in vocal hyperfunction after treatment for pMTD and (b) the influence of dysphonia severity, among other factors, on the feasibility of RFF computation. Method: RFF calculations and dysphonia severity ratings were derived from pre- and posttreatment recordings from 111 women with pMTD and 20 healthy controls...
October 20, 2016: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
Benjamin Munson, Sarah K Schellinger, Jan Edwards
Previous research has shown that continuous rating scales can be used to assess phonetic detail in children's productions, and could potentially be used to detect covert contrasts. Two experiments examined whether continuous rating scales have the additional benefit of being less susceptible to task-related biasing than categorical phonetic transcriptions. In both experiments, judgements of children's productions of /s/ and /θ/ were interleaved with two types of rating tasks designed to induce bias: continuous judgements of a parameter whose variation is itself relatively more continuous (gender typicality of their speech) in one biasing condition, and categorical judgements of a parameter that is relatively less continuous (the vowel they produced) in the other biasing condition...
October 13, 2016: Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics
Mathias Scharinger, Ulrike Domahs, Elise Klein, Frank Domahs
Research in auditory neuroscience illustrated the importance of superior temporal sulcus (STS) for speech sound processing. However, evidence for abstract processing beyond the level of phonetics in STS has remained elusive. In this study, we follow an underspecification approach according to which the phonological representation of vowels is based on the presence vs. absence of abstract features. We hypothesized that phonological mismatch in a same/different task is governed by underspecification: A less specified vowel in second position of same/different minimal pairs (e...
September 23, 2016: Brain and Language
Wei Hu, Lin Mi, Zhen Yang, Sha Tao, Mingshuang Li, Wenjing Wang, Qi Dong, Chang Liu
Difficulties with second-language vowel perception may be related to the significant challenges in using acoustic-phonetic cues. This study investigated the effects of perception training with duration-equalized vowels on native Chinese listeners' English vowel perception and their use of acoustic-phonetic cues. Seventeen native Chinese listeners were perceptually trained with duration-equalized English vowels, and another 17 native Chinese listeners watched English videos as a control group. Both groups were tested with English vowel identification and vowel formant discrimination before training, immediately after training, and three months later...
2016: PloS One
Steven Gilbers, Christina Fuller, Dicky Gilbers, Mirjam Broersma, Martijn Goudbeek, Rolien Free, Deniz Başkent
In cochlear implants (CIs), acoustic speech cues, especially for pitch, are delivered in a degraded form. This study's aim is to assess whether due to degraded pitch cues, normal-hearing listeners and CI users employ different perceptual strategies to recognize vocal emotions, and, if so, how these differ. Voice actors were recorded pronouncing a nonce word in four different emotions: anger, sadness, joy, and relief. These recordings' pitch cues were phonetically analyzed. The recordings were used to test 20 normal-hearing listeners' and 20 CI users' emotion recognition...
October 2015: I-Perception
Christian A Kell, Maritza Darquea, Marion Behrens, Lorenzo Cordani, Christian Keller, Susanne Fuchs
Phonetic detail and lateralization of inner speech during covert sentence reading as well as overt reading in 32 right-handed healthy participants undergoing 3T fMRI were investigated. The number of voiceless and voiced consonants in the processed sentences was systematically varied. Participants listened to sentences, read them covertly, silently mouthed them while reading, and read them overtly. Condition comparisons allowed for the study of effects of externally versus self-generated auditory input and of somatosensory feedback related to or independent of voicing...
September 13, 2016: Human Brain Mapping
Joanne Cleland, James M Scobbie, Cornelia Heyde, Zoe Roxburgh, Alan A Wrench
Acoustic and articulatory studies demonstrate covert contrast in perceptually neutralised phonemic contrasts in both typical children and children with speech disorders. These covert contrasts are thought to be relatively common and symptomatic of phonetic speech disorders. However, clinicians in the speech therapy clinic have had no easy way of identifying this covertness. This study uses ultrasound tongue imaging to compare tongue contours for /t/and /k/in seven children with persistent velar fronting. We present a method of overlaying tongue contours to identify covert contrast at the articulatory level...
September 9, 2016: Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics
David W Gow, Bruna B Olson
Sentential context influences the way that listeners identify phonetically ambiguous or perceptual degraded speech sounds. Unfortunately, inherent inferential limitations on the interpretation of behavioral or BOLD imaging results make it unclear whether context influences perceptual processing directly, or acts at a post-perceptual decision stage. In this paper, we use Kalman-filter enabled Granger causation analysis of MR-constrained MEG/EEG data to distinguish between these possibilities. Using a retrospective probe verification task, we found that sentential context strongly affected the interpretation of words with ambiguous initial voicing (e...
2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Robert J Summers, Peter J Bailey, Brian Roberts
The role of source properties in across-formant integration was explored using three-formant (F1+F2+F3) analogues of natural sentences (targets). In experiment 1, F1+F3 were harmonic analogues (H1+H3) generated using a monotonous buzz source and second-order resonators; in experiment 2, F1+F3 were tonal analogues (T1+T3). F2 could take either form (H2 or T2). Target formants were always presented monaurally; the receiving ear was assigned randomly on each trial. In some conditions, only the target was present; in others, a competitor for F2 (F2C) was presented contralaterally...
August 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Ben Barsties, Youri Maryn
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore the influence of voice sample lengths (VSLs) on the perceived degree of severity of overall voice quality. To increase a valid judgment in voice quality, a consistent rating is essential to estimate the presence and degree of severity of a voice. METHODS: Three VSLs were defined by varying only the length of continuous speech followed by constant duration of 3 seconds of the mid-vowel portion sustained vowel [a:]...
August 15, 2016: Journal of Voice: Official Journal of the Voice Foundation
Fangfang Li, Benjamin Munson
PURPOSE: The aims of the present study are (a) to quantify the developmental sequence of fricative mastery in Putonghua-speaking children and discuss the observed pattern in relation to existing theoretical positions, and (b) to describe the acquisition of the fine-articulatory/acoustic details of fricatives in the multidimensional acoustic space. METHOD: Twenty adults and 97 children participated in a speech-production experiment, repeating a list of fricative-initial words...
August 1, 2016: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
Jaydene Elvin, Daniel Williams, Paola Escudero
This study provides a thorough acoustic analysis of the 18 Australian English monophthongs and diphthongs produced in a variety of phonetic contexts by young adult speakers from Western Sydney. The 18 vowels are well separated by duration and dynamic formant trajectory information. Vowel durations and formant trajectories were affected by the consonantal context in which the vowels were produced, particularly those produced in the /hVd/ context. Finally, the results indicate that capturing aspects of vowel inherent spectral change may be useful in future cross-dialectal and cross-linguistic studies...
July 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Sandra Kotzor, Benjamin J Molineaux, Elanor Banks, Aditi Lahiri
In languages with an underlying consonantal length contrast, the most salient acoustic cue differentiating singletons and geminates is duration of closure. When concatenation of identical phonemes through affixation or compounding produces "fake" geminates, these may or may not be realized phonetically as true geminates. English and German no longer have a productive length contrast in consonants, but do allow sequences of identical consonants in certain morphological contexts, e.g., suffixation (green-ness; zahl-los "countless") or compounding (pine nut; Schul-leiter "headmaster")...
July 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Sophie Meekings, Samuel Evans, Nadine Lavan, Dana Boebinger, Katya Krieger-Redwood, Martin Cooke, Sophie K Scott
When talkers speak in masking sounds, their speech undergoes a variety of acoustic and phonetic changes. These changes are known collectively as the Lombard effect. Most behavioural research and neuroimaging research in this area has concentrated on the effect of energetic maskers such as white noise on Lombard speech. Previous fMRI studies have argued that neural responses to speaking in noise are driven by the quality of auditory feedback-that is, the audibility of the speaker's voice over the masker. However, we also frequently produce speech in the presence of informational maskers such as another talker...
July 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Matthew B Winn, Jong Ho Won, Il Joon Moon
OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to measure auditory perception by cochlear implant users in the spectral and temporal domains, using tests of either categorization (using speech-based cues) or discrimination (using conventional psychoacoustic tests). The authors hypothesized that traditional nonlinguistic tests assessing spectral and temporal auditory resolution would correspond to speech-based measures assessing specific aspects of phonetic categorization assumed to depend on spectral and temporal auditory resolution...
July 19, 2016: Ear and Hearing
Lu-Feng Shi, Laura L Koenig
PURPOSE: Nonnative listeners have difficulty recognizing English words due to underdeveloped acoustic-phonetic and/or lexical skills. The present study used Boothroyd and Nittrouer's (1988)j factor to tease apart these two components of word recognition. METHOD: Participants included 15 native English and 29 native Russian listeners. Fourteen and 15 of the Russian listeners reported English (ED) and Russian (RD) to be their dominant language, respectively. Listeners were presented 119 consonant-vowel-consonant real and nonsense words in speech-spectrum noise at +6 dB SNR...
September 1, 2016: American Journal of Audiology
Shannon E MacLean, Lawrence M Ward
We used passive and active oddball conditions with two types of acoustic contrasts, between speech syllables that cross phonetic boundaries (across-category, AC) and between those that do not cross them (within-category, WC), to explore the effects of meaningful speech contrasts on the dynamics of the neural network underlying the mismatch negativity (MMN) to the speech deviants. We found that easily detected AC deviants evoked a MMN response that lateralized to the left hemisphere, but the very difficult to detect WC deviants did not elicit a MMN response at all...
August 2016: Neuropsychologia
Anthony Shook, Viorica Marian
When listening to speech in a second language, bilinguals' perception of acoustic-phonetic properties is often influenced by the features that are important in the native language of the bilingual. Furthermore, changes in the perception of segmental contrasts due to L1 experience can influence L2 lexical access during comprehension. The present study investigates whether the effect of L1 experience on L2 processing seen at the segmental level extends to suprasegmental processing. In an eye-tracking task, Mandarin-English bilinguals heard an auditorily presented English word and selected which of two visually presented Chinese characters represented the correct Mandarin translation...
June 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Youngja Nam, Linda Polka
Previous research revealing universal biases in infant vowel perception forms the basis of the Natural Referent Vowel (NRV) framework (Polka & Bohn, 2011). To explore the feasibility of extending this framework to consonant manner perception, we investigated perception of the stop vs. fricative consonant contrast /b/-/v/ to test the hypothesis that young infants will display a perceptual bias grounded in the acoustic-phonetic properties of these sounds. We examined perception of stop-initial /bas/ and fricative-initial /vas/ syllables in English-learning and French-learning 5- to 6-month-olds...
October 2016: Cognition
Bastien Intartaglia, Travis White-Schwoch, Christine Meunier, Stéphane Roman, Nina Kraus, Daniele Schön
The development of the phoneme inventory is driven by the acoustic-phonetic properties of one's native language. Neural representation of speech is known to be shaped by language experience, as indexed by cortical responses, and recent studies suggest that subcortical processing also exhibits this attunement to native language. However, most work to date has focused on the differences between tonal and non-tonal languages that use pitch variations to convey phonemic categories. The aim of this cross-language study is to determine whether subcortical encoding of speech sounds is sensitive to language experience by comparing native speakers of two non-tonal languages (French and English)...
August 2016: Neuropsychologia
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