Acoustic invariance in speech production: Evidence from measurements of the spectral characteristics of stop consonants. Blumstein, S. E and Stevens, K. N The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 66(4):1001-1017.
Acoustic invariance in speech production: Evidence from measurements of the spectral characteristics of stop consonants [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
On the basis of theoretical considerations and the results of experiments with synthetic consonant‐vowel syllables, it has been hypothesized that the short‐time spectrum sampled at the onset of a stop consonant should exhibit gross properties that uniquely specify the consonantal place of articulation independent of the following vowel. The aim of this paper is to test this hypothesis by measuring the spectrum sampled at the onsets and offsets of a large number of consonant--vowel (CV) and vowel--consonant (VC) syllables containing both voiced and voiceless stops produced by several speakers. Templates were devised in an attempt to capture three classes of spectral shapes: diffuse‐rising, diffuse‐falling, and compact, corresponding to alveolar, labial, and velar consonants, respectively. Spectra were derived from the utterances by sampling at the consonantal release of CV syllables and at the implosion and burst release of VC syllables, and these spectra (smoothed by a linear prediction algorithm) were matched against the templates. It was found that about 85% of the spectra at initial consonant release and at final burst release were correctly classified by the templates, although there was some variability across vowel contexts. The spectra sampled at the implosion were not consistently classified. A preliminary examination of spectra sampled at the release of nasal consonants in CV syllables showed a somewhat lower accuracy of classification by the same templates. Overall, the results support an hypothesis that, in natural speech, the acoustic characteristics of stop consonants, specified in terms of the gross spectral shape sampled at the discontinuity in the acoustic signal, show invariant properties independent of the adjacent vowel or of the voicing characteristics of the consonant. The implication is that the auditory system is endowed with detectors that are sensitive to these kinds of gross spectral shapes, and that the existence of these detectors helps the infant to organize the sounds of speech into their natural classes.
@article{blumstein_acoustic_1979,
	Author = {Blumstein, Sheila E and Stevens, Kenneth N},
	Date = {1979},
	Date-Modified = {2017-04-19 08:04:06 +0000},
	Doi = {10.1121/1.383319},
	Issn = {00014966},
	Journal = {The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America},
	Keywords = {acoustic phonetics, consonants, phonetics, segmental, stops},
	Number = {4},
	Pages = {1001-1017},
	Title = {Acoustic invariance in speech production: Evidence from measurements of the spectral characteristics of stop consonants},
	Url = {http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/66/4/10.1121/1.383319},
	Volume = {66},
	Abstract = {On the basis of theoretical considerations and the results of experiments with synthetic consonant‐vowel syllables, it has been hypothesized that the short‐time spectrum sampled at the onset of a stop consonant should exhibit gross properties that uniquely specify the consonantal place of articulation independent of the following vowel. The aim of this paper is to test this hypothesis by measuring the spectrum sampled at the onsets and offsets of a large number of consonant--vowel (CV) and vowel--consonant (VC) syllables containing both voiced and voiceless stops produced by several speakers. Templates were devised in an attempt to capture three classes of spectral shapes: diffuse‐rising, diffuse‐falling, and compact, corresponding to alveolar, labial, and velar consonants, respectively. Spectra were derived from the utterances by sampling at the consonantal release of CV syllables and at the implosion and burst release of VC syllables, and these spectra (smoothed by a linear prediction algorithm) were matched against the templates. It was found that about 85\% of the spectra at initial consonant release and at final burst release were correctly classified by the templates, although there was some variability across vowel contexts. The spectra sampled at the implosion were not consistently classified. A preliminary examination of spectra sampled at the release of nasal consonants in CV syllables showed a somewhat lower accuracy of classification by the same templates. Overall, the results support an hypothesis that, in natural speech, the acoustic characteristics of stop consonants, specified in terms of the gross spectral shape sampled at the discontinuity in the acoustic signal, show invariant properties independent of the adjacent vowel or of the voicing characteristics of the consonant. The implication is that the auditory system is endowed with detectors that are sensitive to these kinds of gross spectral shapes, and that the existence of these detectors helps the infant to organize the sounds of speech into their natural classes.},
	Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/66/4/10.1121/1.383319},
	Bdsk-Url-2 = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.383319}}
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