ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

4pSP21. Transients at stop-consonant releases.

Noel S. Massey

Res. Lab. of Electron. and Dept. of Elec. Eng. and Comput. Sci., Rm. 36-595, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139

The acoustic properties and perceptual significance of transients at the release of stop consonants and affricates was studied. The theory of transient production is based on a model in which pressure is built up in a closed tube and the radiated sound is calculated following an abrupt release of the pressure. Acoustic analysis of the amplitude and frequency content of transients in utterances from ten speakers was used as a guide in setting the parameters of the model. A speech synthesizer was modified to allow the generation of transients with frequency content similar to that observed in natural speech. Utterances consisting of a stop consonant or affricate followed by the vowel /a/, with various amplitudes of an initial transient, were synthesized, and listeners were asked to judge the naturalness of the stimuli. Listeners tended to prefer the presence of a transient with an amplitude approximating the measured amplitude in natural speech, although there was some variability in the responses. [Work supported in part by a grant from NIDCD.]