Российская академия наук


THE ALTERATION OF WHISPERED VOWEL “A”, “O”, “U” SPECTRA IN THE RELATION WITH THEIR PHONETIC IDENTIFICATION



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THE ALTERATION OF WHISPERED VOWEL “A”, “O”, “U” SPECTRA IN THE RELATION WITH THEIR PHONETIC IDENTIFICATION

Uplisova K.O.

Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, sehmet@fromru.com


The investigation of altering whispered vowels perception has been continued. It was shown earlier (Uplisova, 2011) that the spectrum of whispered sounds of the category "u" (like «cool») is characterized by the expressed amplitude region below 700 Hz, "o" («doll») in the 800-1,100 Hz, "a" («mark») – 1,100-1,700 Hz. The sound "i" spectra («cheese») are characterized by expressed spectral components in the low-frequency (below 400 Hz) and high-frequency regions (above 3,000 Hz), for "e" («man») in the 700-900 Hz and 2,000-3,000 Hz. But beyond these areas of whispered sounds spectra there are some maxima that significance for phoneme perception remains unclear. In the pilot study five categories of whispered vowels (u, o, a, i, e) pronounced by two speakers were modified (Uplisova, 2012). First of all, the removing of all peaks below 500 Hz and above 4,000 Hz (for the "u", below 400 Hz and above 4,000) did not affect phonetic perception. Further, the ranges of spectral maxima suppression have been increased. The perception of the category "o" was not affected by removal of expressed components of the spectrum below 700 Hz, "i" - below 1,000 Hz, "a" - below 1,000 Hz and above 1,500 Hz. Removal of the maxima in the 700-900 Hz for the sound "e" has downgraded its identification by 50%. On the other hand phonetic perception was completely changed if spectral maxima were suppressed below 700 Hz for the sound "u", 1,000-1,500 Hz for the "a", 1,800-2,400 for the "e", 2,500-4,000 Hz for "i." Sound’s "o" spectra were modified in the range of 700-1,100 Hz, and their identification has declined slightly.

Because the first set of modifications results were not sufficient for sounds “o” and “u” key frequencies detection the new set of modifications have been carried out. For sounds “o” the spectral components with

frequencies below 600 Hz, below 900 Hz, and above 900 Hz have been suppressed, for sounds "u" - below and above 500 Hz and for sounds “a” - below and above 1200 Hz. In comparison the two versions for each vowel modification the major effect on perception had suppression of spectral components: for the "a" sound above 1,200 Hz (falling category identification at 20%), for the "u" sound below 500 Hz (down 80%). The identification of the sound "o" has been influenced by the suppression of spectral components below 900 Hz (down 50%) and has not been influenced by suppression below 600 Hz and above 900 Hz.

Thus for the categories of "u" and "o" the frequencies witch influence the phoneme perception more effectively have been found. To identify the phoneme "o" spectrum maxima at the frequency of 600-800 Hz are sufficient. To identify the phoneme "u" the presence of spectral components at frequencies of 400-500 Hz is important, for the phoneme "a" - 1200-1300 Hz.



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