Mark K. Tiede
ATR Human Information Processing Res. Labs., 2-2 Hikaridai, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto 619-02 Japan
While cineradiography has been a staple of phonetics research for many years, making use of the results has relied on laborious and error-prone hand tracing of individual movie frames. The transfer of a representative selection of high-quality radiographic movies to laserdisc (a collaborative project of ATR and Queen's University, Canada) has now made the application of standard video processing techniques to such data feasible on inexpensive microcomputers. The present research explores some of the possibilities inherent in this new look at old data: software capable of automatically reducing noise, detecting air-tissue boundaries, and tracking articulatory displacements (e.g., jaw, lips, tongue have been developed and will be demonstrated ) the results have been used to resynthesize close approximations to original vowel acoustics. The goal is to characterize tongue dynamics in terms of changes over time to a normalized parametrization of the tract surface profile, which this software permits one to derive automatically. This information will complement other modes for investigating speech production for which either dynamics or surface profiles are unavailable (MRI, magnetometer).