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Re: Variability of natural speech production



Dear Dr. Schmitt,

It is well established that the acoustic information used by a
listener to identify a consonant or a vowel is overlapping and
distributed acoustically across a considerable span of time. To
slightly paraphrase Alvin Libermann, "Acoustically, speech sounds (phones) do
not come along like beads on a string." For example, the acoustic
information used to identify a /d/ may start sometime in a preceding
vocalic portion of the signal and may extend well into a following
vocalic portion of the signal. Even though some have tried to identify
the acoustic locations of consonants and vowels in running speech, they
are, for the most part, misguided in that attempt. Even the simple idea
that vowels are associated with a "steady-state" portion of the
acoustic signal or with the "middle of the vocalic portion," are very often incorrect. Unfortunately, one has to study the dynamic
acoustic characteristics of speech over a considerable time span and
understand how perception is related to those dynamics. We are only
beginning to know how to do that. Until that time, I fear that you will
have to narrow your question to restrict it to an answerable one.


  James D. Miller

James D. Miller, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist
Communication Disorders Technology, Inc.
Indiana University Research Park
501 N. Morton Street Suite 215
Bloomington, IN 47404
Business Phone: (812)336-1766
Cingular Cell Phone: (812)360-0612
Quoting Nicola Schmitt <nicola.schmitt@xxxxxx>:

Dear List,

We would like to know more about the acoustic properties of natural speech?

Especialy we are interested in the distribution of spectral levels of
single phonemes, especially /f/, /s/, /sh/, /t/, /d/ /k/, /g/, /p/,
/b/ on two dimensions: voice effort (whispering .. talking ..
shouting) and speaker "clarity" (barely understandable ... clearly
understandable). Long-term spectra are not helping us.

Is any one working on either of this topics? Or knows topic related
literature?

Thanks for your answer in advance

Best Regards
Nicola Schmitt

Research Audiologist


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