7 FORMANT FREQUENCIES AND AMPLITUDES (AVERAGE OF 76 SPEAKERS)
8 Voice Acoustics: an introduction Speech science has a long history. Speech and voice acoustics are an active area of research in many labs, including our own, which studies the singing and speaking voice. This document gives an introduction and overview. This is followed by a more detailed account, sometimes using experimental data to illustrate the main points. Throughout, a number of simple experiments are suggested to the reader.Introduction and overviewThe sourceThe filterVowelsConsonantsSource-filter interactionsContrasting the voice with wind instrumentsThe Source-Filter modelSome difficultiesThe source at the larynxDifferent registers and vocal mechanismsProducing a soundWhen is the source independent of the filter?Resonances, spectral peaks, formants, phonemes and timbrePhonemesThe vocal tract as a pipe or ductResonances, frequency, pitch and hearingTimbre and singingThe origin of vocal tract resonancesTract-wave interactionsDo the ‘source’ and the ‘filter’ affect each other?Does the glottis affect the tract resonances?Do pressure waves affect the vocal fold vibration?Do singers and speakers use tract resonances and pitch in a coordinated way?Harmonic singingThe singers formantReferencesLinksVoice Acoustics: an introductionSpeech science has a long history. Speech and voice acoustics are an active area of research in many labs, including our own, which studies the singing and speaking voice. This document gives an introduction and overview. This is followed by a more detailed account, sometimes using experimental data to illustrate the main points. Throughout, a number of simple experiments are suggested to the reader.THE WEBSITE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. PROFS. WOLFE AND SMITH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES IN AUSTRALIA TEACH A COURSE SIMILAR TO THIS ONE.
14 USING VOCAL FRY TO DETERMINE FORMANTS VOCAL FRY IS A BUBBLING AIR THROUGH CLOSED VOCAL FOLDS AT A RATE SLOW ENOUGH THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IMPULSES ARE HEARD AS SEPARATE TICKS. THE RESULTANT WEAK SOUND ARTICULATES THE VARIOUS VOWELS, AND THEIR SPECTRA CAN REVEAL THE FREQUENCIES OF AT LEAST THE FIRST TWO FORMANTS./i/ /e/ /ε/ /ae/VOCAL FRY SPECTRA OF FOUR FRONT VOWELS. CURSOR ON F2 OF /ae/
15 CONSONANTSCONSONANTS INVOLVE VERY RAPID, SOMETIMES SUBTLE , CHANGES IN SOUND.CONSONANTS ARE MORE DIFFICULT TO ANALYZE AND TO DESCRIBE ACOUSTICALLYCONSONANTS MAY BE CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO THE MANNER OF ARTICULATION AS PLOSIVE, FRICATIVE, NASAL, LIQUID, AND SEMIVOWEL.PLOSIVE CONSONANTS (p, b, t, etc.) ARE PRODUCED BY BLOCKING THE FLOW OF AIR (USUALLY IN THE MOUTH) AND RELEASING THE PRESSURE RATHER SUDDENLYFRICATIVES (f, s, sh, etc.) ARE MADE BY CONSTRICTING THE FLOW TO PRODUCE TURBULENCENASALS (m, n, ng) ARE MADE BY LOWER THE SOFT PALATE TO CONNECT THE NASAL CAVITY TO THE PHARYNX AND BLOCKING THE MOUTH CAVITY SOMEWHERESEMIVOWELS (w, y) ARE PRODUCED BY KEEPING THE VOCAL TRACT BRIEFLY IN A VOWEL POSITION AND THEN CHANGING IT RAIDLY TO THE VOWEL SOUND THAT FOLLOWSIN SOUND THE LIQUIDS (r, l) THE TIP OF THE TONGUE IS RAISED AND THE ORAL CAVITY IS SOMEWHAT RESTRICTED
16 PLACE OF ARTICULATIONCONSONANTS ARE FURTHER CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO THEIR PLACE OF ARTICULATION, LKPRIMARILY THE LIPS, THE TEETH, THE GUMS, THE PALATE, AND THE GLOTTIS.TERMS USED BY SPEECH SCIENTISTSTO DENOTE PLACE OF ARTICULATIONINCLUDE LABIAL (LIPS), DENTAL (TEETH),ALVEOLAR (GUMS), PALATAL (PALATE),VELAR (SOFT PALATE), GLOTTAL (GLOTTIS),AND LABIODENTAL (LIPS AND TEETH)FINALLY, CONSONANTS ARE CLASSIFIEDAS VOICED OR UNVOICEDPLACE OF ARTICULATION OF PLOSIVES
17 VOCAL TRACT WITH SOFT PALATE LOWERED (AS FOR BREATHING)
21 VOICE QUALITYVOICE QUALITY IS A BROAD TERM THAT REFERS TO THE EXTRALINGUISTIC ASPECTS OF A SPEAKER’S VOICE WITH REGARD TO IDENTITY, PERSONALITY, HEALTH, AND EMOTIONAL STATE.VOCAL FOLD MASS, VOCAL TRACT LENGTH, TRACHEAL LENGTH, JAW AND TONGUE SIZE, AND NASAL CAVITY VOLUME MAY INDICATE INFORMATION ABOUT AGE, SEX, PHYSIQUE, AND HEALTH.
22 NORMAL, “YAWNY”, AND “TWANGY” VOICE Story, Titze, and Hoffman (2001) did a 3-dimensional study of the vocal tract using MRI to determine the shape when vowels /i/, /ae/, /α/, and /u/ were spoken with NORMAL, “YAWNY”, and “TWANGY” voice.Relative to NORMAL speech, the ORAL CAVITY is widened and the TRACT is lengthened for YAWNYY vowels. F1 and F2 moved closer together.TWANGY vowels were characterized by shortened TRACT length, widened LIP OPENING, and a slightly constricted ORAL CAVITY. F1 and F2 moved farther apart.
25 ECHOESECHOES is a quarterly newsletter of the Acoustical Society of America, edited by Thomas Rossing. It reports acoustics news, and the editor scans scientific journals for interesting articles about acoustics.ECHOES can be read online at Copies are also available from the editor.Here are a couple of recent items about speech production:A newly-discovered gene, called tospeak by its discoverers, enables us to speak by helping to keep our vocal tract limber, according to a story in Novmber 2009 issue of Science News. Researchers discovered the gene in an Australian family with a speaking disorder. Many of the women in the family have weak, husky voices, while their male relatives cannot speak above a whisper. Family members with the speaking problem have short, thick vocal folds that don’t vibrate properly. (ECHOES, Winter 2010).A 60-year old man learned to sing so he could learn to talk again, according to a story in the April 22,2008 issue of The New York Times. A stroke had paralyzed the right side of his body and brought on a condition known as aphasia. Complex verbal communication was impossible. One day the therapist asked him to sing. “How can I sing if I can’t talk,” he remembered thinking. But as soon as the therapist sang “Happy birthday” he chimed in. (ECHOES, Summer 2008)