Advanced Search

Acoustic characterization of the glides /j/ and /w/ in American English

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Kenneth N. Stevens. en_US Hunt, Elisabeth Hon en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US 2010-03-24T20:38:33Z 2010-03-24T20:38:33Z 2009 en_US 2009 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2009. en_US
dc.description This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from student submitted PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 141-145). en_US
dc.description.abstract Acoustic analyses were conducted to identify the characteristics that differentiate the glides /j,w/ from adjacent vowels. These analyses were performed on a recorded database of intervocalic glides, produced naturally by two male and two female speakers in controlled vocalic and prosodic contexts. Glides were found to differ significantly from adjacent vowels through RMS amplitude reduction, first formant frequency reduction, open quotient increase, harmonics-to-noise ratio reduction, and fundamental frequency reduction. The acoustic data suggest that glides differ from their cognate high vowels /i,u/ in that the glides are produced with a greater degree of constriction in the vocal tract. The narrower constriction causes an increase in oral pressure, which produces aerodynamic effects on the glottal voicing source. This interaction between the vocal tract filter and its excitation source results in skewing of the glottal waveform, increasing its open quotient and decreasing the amplitude of voicing. A listening experiment with synthetic tokens was performed to isolate and compare the perceptual salience of acoustic cues to the glottal source effects of glides and to the vocal tract configuration itself. Voicing amplitude (representing source effects) and first formant frequency (representing filter configuration) were manipulated in cooperating and conflicting patterns to create percepts of /V#V/ or /V#GV/ sequences, where Vs were high vowels and Gs were their cognate glides. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) In the responses of ten naïve subjects, voicing amplitude had a greater effect on the detection of glides than first formant frequency, suggesting that glottal source effects are more important to the distinction between glides and high vowels. The results of the acoustic and perceptual studies provide evidence for an articulatory-acoustic mapping defining the glide category. It is suggested that glides are differentiated from high vowels and fricatives by articulatory-acoustic boundaries related to the aerodynamic consequences of different degrees of vocal tract constriction. The supraglottal constriction target for glides is sufficiently narrow to produce a non-vocalic oral pressure drop, but not sufficiently narrow to produce a significant frication noise source. This mapping is consistent with the theory that articulator-free features are defined by aero-mechanical interactions. Implications for phonological classification systems and speech technology applications are discussed. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Elisabeth Hon Hunt. en_US
dc.format.extent 145 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US
dc.title Acoustic characterization of the glides /j/ and /w/ in American English en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 547382338 en_US

Files in this item

Name Size Format Description
547382338-MIT.pdf 3.378Mb PDF Full printable version

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record