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

5pSC15. Individual differences in the glottalization of vowel-initial syllables.

Laura Dilley

Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Speech Commun. Group, Res. Lab. of Electron., MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139

Speakers of American English often glottalize the onset of a vowel-initial syllable, and recent work has shown that this is particularly likely to occur when the syllable is located at prosodically significant locations, such as the beginning of an intonational phrase, or at a pitch accent [Pierrehumbert and Talkin Labphon II, 1992; Dilley et al., 2978 (A) (1994)]. Analysis of speech read by 4 different professional radio news announcers and 4 nonprofessional speakers shows (a) the importance of prosodic structure in determining the occurrence of glottalization holds across speakers, (b) speakers are differentially likely to glottalize overall, and (c) speakers are differentially likely to glottalize in different prosodic contexts. For example, the 4 FM radio newscasters showed overall glottalization rates of 41%, 38%, 22%, and 7%, and some speakers were more likely to glottalize reduced vowels than others were. The implications of these patterns of variation for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as for models of speech production planning, will be discussed. [Supported in part by a grant from NIDCD.]