Laura SPINU, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York

3 avril à 11h30

Exploring Fricatives Through Cepstral Coefficients and HMM-Defined Temporal Regions: Data From Three Languages

We used Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) to divide fricatives from three languages (Romanian, Russian, and Greek) into internally uniform regions with respect to their acoustic properties, expressed as the first six coefficients of the Bark cepstrum. These were then used to classify the fricatives by place of articulation, voicing, gender, and palatalization status. Our method yielded higher correct classification rates compared to previous studies employing different measures. Furthermore, we uncovered novel information regarding the relationship between phonetic and phonological contrasts in each of these languages. For Romanian, we found asymmetries in the realization of secondary palatalization at different places of articulation, deviating from typological, markedness-based predictions. In Russian, we examined a rare cross-linguistic contrast involving four sibilant fricatives and found that a process of neutralization, more strongly produced by males compared to females, may be in progress. Finally, our correct classification rates for front (labiodental and interdental) fricatives in Greek were above 90%, much higher than previously reported results with English front fricatives (66% in Jongman et al. 2000). Greek fricatives may be characterized by stronger cues compared to English due to their phonological status, as predicted by theories of adaptive dispersion or contrast enhancement.

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