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Acoustic Phonetics   

Speech sounds, like sounds in general, are transmitted through the air as small, rapid variations in air pressure that spread in longitudinal waves from the speaker's mouth and can be heard, recorded, visualized and measured. Differences between individual speech sounds are directly reflected as differences in either one or several or all of the parameters duration, pitch, loudness and quality of the belonging speech waves.

Acoustic phonetics, which deals with the study and description of the acoustical properties of individual speech sounds, prodosy and voice quality, forms not only the immediate link between articulatory phonetics and speech perception, but is also important for applications in the fields of signal processing and speech technology.

Elements of study
Suggested Reading

Elements of study

Suggested Reading

Basic concepts of acoustic phonetics [see also Speech Signal Processing]  
  • What is sound?
    • Waveforms
    • Omnidirectionality
    • Air pressure and electrical analogies
    • Sinusoids and complex signals
    • Periodicity
    • Aperiodicity (random noise, transient noise)
  • Scales and Measurements
    • Intensity
    • Duration
    • Frequency
    • Phase
  • Speech recording
    • Microphones
    • Analog and digital recordings

Acoustic theory of speech production: Fant's source-filter model 
[see also Speech Signal Processing]
  • The source component
    • Glottal wave shape models
    • Random and Iransient noises
    • Source spectrum
    • Variability and individuality
  • The filter component
    • Area functions
    • Poles and zeros
    • Formants (frequencies, amplitudes and bandwidths)
    • Variability and individuality
  • The radiation component
    • Lip radiation
    • Nose radiation
    • Interference problems and effects



Experimental methods and tools
[see also Speech Signal Processing]
  • Sound oscillograph
    • Waveforms
  • Sound spectrograph
    • Spectrum and spectrogram
    • Wide-band and narrow-band spectrogram
    • Short-term and long-term spectra
    • Filtering, rectification and smoothing
    • Gain

Acoustic properties of speech sounds
  • Vowels
    • Formant structure
    • intrinsic duration, fundamental frequency and intensity
    • Oral and nasal vowels; other vowel types
    • Vowel reduction
    • Diphthongs, triphthongs, glides
    • Duration: neutral, short, long, contextual, etc.
  • Consonants
    • Stops
    • Nasals
    • Fricatives
    • Affricates
    • Laterals
    • Approximants
    • Thrills, taps and flaps
    • Ejectives and implosives
    • Coarticulation and transitions
  • Word level prosody
    • Tone
    • Accent
    • Quantity
    • Stress
  • Sentence level prosody
    • Intonation
    • Tempo (speech rate and articulation rate)
    • Stress
    • Rhythm
    • Final lengthening
    • Juncture
    • Pausing
  • Discourse level intonation
    • Text and discourse intonation
    • Dialogue intonation
    • Speaking styles
  • Voice quality (phonetic settings)
    • Laryngeal settings (phonation types)
    • Supra-laryngeal settings

Suggested reading

Elements of Study

Borucki, H. (1989). Einführung in die Akustik. Mannheim: B.I. Wissenschaftsverlag.
Clark, J. and Yallop, C.
(1995). An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Second edition. Oxford & Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Fant, G.
(1962). Descriptive analysis of the acoustic aspects of speech. In: Logos, 5, S. 3-17
Fant, G.
(1970). Acoustic Theory of Speech Production. With Calculations based on X-Ray Studies of Russian Articulations. (2nd ed.) The Hague: Mouton.
Fant, G. (1973). Speech Sounds and Features. Cambridge, MA: MIT.
Ferrero, F., Genre, A., Bo?, L.J. and Contini, M. (1979). Nozioni di Fonetica Acustica. Torino: Omega.
Fry, D.B.
(1979). The Physics of Speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Fry, D.B. (ed.) (1976). Acoustic Phonetics. A Book of Basic Readings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
't Hart, J., Collier, R., and Cohen. A. (1990). A Perceptual Study of Intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Johnson, K. (1997). Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics. Oxford: Blackwell.
Kent, R.D. and Read, Ch
. (1992). The Acoustic Analysis of Speech. London: Whurr / San Diego: Singular.
Ladefoged, P. (1995). New Elements of Acoustic Phonetics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ladefoged, P. (1996). Elements of Acoustic Phonetics. 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Laver, J.
(1980). The Phonetic Description of Voice Quality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lehiste, I. (ed.) (1967). Readings in Acoustic Phonetics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Lehiste, I. (1970). Suprasegmentals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Lieberman, P. and Blumstein, S.E. (1988). Speech physiology, speech perception and acoustic phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Lieberman, P. (1977). Speech physiology and acoustic phonetics: An introduction.New York: Macmillan.
Lindblad, P. (1998). Talets Akustik och Perception. Compendium, Göteborgs Universitet.
Llisterri, J. (1996) "Los sonidos del habla". Elementos de Linguistica (Martin Vide, ed.). Barcelona: Octaedro universidad.
Neppert, J. and Pétursson, M. (1986/1992). Elemente einer akustischen Phonetik. Hamburg: Buske.
Perkell, J.S. and Klatt, D.H. (Eds.) (1986). Invariance and Variability in Speech Processes. Proceedings of the Symposium on Invariance and Variability of Speech Processes held at MIT in Honor of K.N. Stevens. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Pickett, J.M. (1980). The Sounds of Speech Communication. A Primer of Acoustic Phonetics and Speech Perception.Baltimore.
Quilis, A. (1981). Fonetica acustica de la lengua española. Madrid: Gredos.
Rosen, S. and Howell, P. (1991). Signals and Systems for Speech and Hearing. London: Academic Press.
Rossing, T.D. (1990). The Science of Sound. 2nd edition. Addison-Wesley.
Stevens, K.N. (1972). The quantal nature of speech: evidence from articulatory-acoustic data. In: Human Communication, a Unified View., Ed.: P.B. Denes & E.E. David.
Zwicker, E. & Zollner, M. (1984). Elektroakustik. Berlin: Springer.



Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  


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Suggested Reading


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