ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

3pSP9. Strident-feature extraction in English fricatives.

Nabil N. Bitar

Armen Y. Balian

Vinay Chandra

Elec. Comput. and Systems Eng. Dept., Boston Univ., Boston, MA 02215

An automatic method was developed to classify fricatives as strident/nonstrident. The method is based on relative energy measures in the frequency bands (2--4 kHz, 4--6 kHz, and 6--8 kHz). Preliminary results based on 1176 fricative sounds extracted from sentences in the TIMIT database showed that most of the fricatives /(ess with hacek) z s z/ were classified as strident and most of the fricatives /f v (theta) (edh)/ were classified as nonstrident. An analysis of the remaining fricatives showed that their acoustic realizations differed substantially from their canonical form. The typically strident fricatives did appear to be ``weak'' and the typically nonstrident fricatives did appear to be ``strong.'' Factors influencing the change in the manifestation of these fricatives are phonetic context and stress. A detailed analysis of the observed variability will be presented.