SPH399- The Acoustics Of Speech

SPH399- The Acoustics Of Speech



1. Give an account of the source-filter theory of speech production, with a particular focus on the affiliation between formants and cavities. Match the spectrograms provided to the words ___ and ___ (identify which is which), and explain how the formant structures correspond to the different configurations of the vocal tract.

2. A researcher reports that a male/female speaker produces a token of [_] with an F0 of ___ Hz and an F1 of ___ Hz. Discuss why this value of F1 is unlikely, why the researcher could have made such an error and how such a problem could be addressed.

3. Using the waveforms and spectrograms provided to illustrate your answer, discuss the differences between the acoustic characteristics of periodic and aperiodic sound sources in speech.

4. The spectrograms provided represent the same word ___ produced by an adult male, an adult female and a child. Use your knowledge of speech acoustics to identify the spectrogram that belongs to each speaker and explain the differences between the three particularly with respect to the source and the filter characteristics.


5. Provide an account of how and why the acoustic characteristics of vowels in context may differ from vowels in citation form. Use the spectrograms provided to illustrate your answer.   Speech sounds contain acoustic cues that reflect activity of the laryngeal and supralaryngeal structures. Explain the interaction between laryngeal and supralaryngeal cues and why their relative timing in the acoustic stream is important in speech particularly for stop consonants.

7. The consonants in the words ___, ___ and ___ differ in place and/or manner. Match the spectrograms below to these three words (identify which is which) and discuss the acoustic cues that allow you to identify consonant place and/or manner of articulation.

8. The acoustic cues for specific consonants can show extreme variability in continuous speech. Explore the reasons for this variability and give examples of how such variability manifests acoustically.

9. The voicing of consonants is signaled by a constellation of acoustic cues. Discuss the disparate cues to consonant voicing that occur according to manner of articulation and phonetic context. Use examples to illustrate your answer.

10. Discuss the value of acoustic measures in the examination of second language acquisition, sound change, sociophonetics or language development.


11. Use the spectrograms provided to illustrate your understanding of how acoustic analysis can be used in the examination of coarticulation.

12. Use the spectrograms provided as source material to illustrate your understanding of the differences between anticipatory and carry-over coarticulation.

13. Discuss the acoustic characteristics of modal, breathy, and creaky voice. Match the waveforms, spectrograms, and spectral slices provided to each phonation type, and use them to illustrate your answer.

14. What is intonation? Describe the main prosodic elements used to demarcate intonational structure, and the acoustic properties associated with these elements.

15. What are the main acoustic dimensions used to encode prosody? Given an example of a prosodic contrast in Australian English, and describe the acoustic properties typically associated with the contrasting forms.

SPH399- The Acoustics Of Speech

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