ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

5pSC12. Acoustic analysis of Italian [r] and [l].

Francesca Argiolas

Federico Macri

Maria-Gabriella Di Benedetto

Dept. INFOCOM, Universita degli Studi di Roma `La Sapienza', via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy

Acoustic analysis of Italian [r] and [l] was carried out. Speech materials consisting of prestressed VCV syllables produced by 3 male and 3 female native speakers of Italian formed the basis of the present study. Each syllable was repeated 3 times by each speaker. The vowel in the syllable was [i,a,u] and the consonant was [r] or [l] in geminated and nongeminated form, leading to 216 syllables. Confirming the results of a previous study on Italian stop consonants [R. Rossetti, 2874 (1994)] results of the present analysis showed that the first vowel duration was systematically shortened in the geminated consonants. The data also showed that in the present case the duration of the consonant as well as, in most cases, of the VC and CV transitions were lengthened in the geminated form. Spectral analysis showed that there is little or no effect on the spectral properties of the consonants due to the presence of gemination. However, [r] in geminated form is in a few cases devoiced. Informal perceptual tests indicate that [r] can be automatically generated from [l] by introducing a silent portion within the stationary portion of [l].