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Acoustic articulatory evidence for quantal vowel categories : the features [low] and [back]

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dc.contributor.advisor Kenneth N. Stevens. en_US Jung, Youngsook, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.contributor.other Harvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. en_US 2010-04-28T17:12:06Z 2010-04-28T17:12:06Z 2009 en_US 2009 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, 2009. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-142). en_US
dc.description.abstract In recent years, research in human speech communication suggested that the inventory of sound units that are observed in vowels across languages is strongly influenced by the acoustic properties of the human subglottal system. That is, there is a discrete set of possible vowel features that are constrained by the interaction of the acoustic/articulatory properties of the vowels and a small set of attributes that are observed in the subglottal region. This thesis tests the hypothesis that subglottal resonances govern vowel feature boundaries for three populations: adult speakers of English; adult speakers of Korean; and children learning English. First, we explored the relations among F1 of vowels, the first subglottal resonances (SubF1) and the feature [low] in English. For the diphthong [??], F1 peaks for vowels showed an acoustic irregularity near the speaker' s SubF1. For monophthongs, analysis of F1 frequency distributions shows a boundary between [+low] and [-low] vowels at the speakers' SubF1. Second, we studied the relations among F2 of Korean vowels, SubF2 and the feature [back], to test whether the relation between subglottal resonances and the feature boundary, demonstrated earlier for English, also can be applied to other languages. Results show that the F2 boundary between [back] and [front] vowels was placed near SubF2 in Korean, as in English. Third, we explored the development of vowel formants in relation to subglottal resonances for 10 children in the age range of 2;6-3;9 years using the database of Imbrie (2005). Results show that at the earlier ages, formant values deviated from the expected relations, but during the six month period in which the measurements were made, there was considerable movement toward the expected values. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.)The transition to the expected relations appeared to occur by the age of 3 years for most of these children, in a developmental pattern that was inconsistent with an account in terms of simple anatomical increase. These three sets of observations provide evidence that subglottal resonances play a role in defining vowel feature boundaries, as predicted by Stevens' (1972) hypothesis that contrastive phonological features in human languages have arisen from quantal discontinuities in articulatory-acoustic space. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Youngsook Jung. en_US
dc.format.extent 142 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 Harvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. en_US
dc.title Acoustic articulatory evidence for quantal vowel categories : the features [low] and [back] en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Harvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 601947486 en_US

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