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Can phonation types be reliably measured from sound spectra? Some data from Wa and Burmese

Watkins, Justin (1997) 'Can phonation types be reliably measured from sound spectra? Some data from Wa and Burmese.' SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics and Phonetics, 7. pp. 321-339.

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This paper assesses the value of measuring aspects of an unmodified acoustic recordings of speech in the two language Burmese (Tibeto-Burman) and Wa (Mon_Khmer) in relation to the glottal source, or phonation type. This method faces the problem of how to ensure that what is measured is indeed attributable to the glottal source andnot to supralaryngeal acoustic shaping, or vowel quality. The methods adopted include: analysis of the relative prominence of the H1 and H2, formant amplitude and spectral tilt. The findings are that in Wa H2, F1 and F2 are all more energetic than H1 to a greater degree in creaky phonation than in breathy, though this is due in part to the significantly dominant H1 in breathy phonation. For Burmese, the methods in this study are too crude to tell these two phonation types apart, but they are sufficient to identify the cruder three-way categorisation of phonation types (modal, creaky and breathy), which, it has been suggested, is sufficient to give a satisfactory account of phonologically contrastive phonation type for most purposes. The findings suggest further that the relationship between the higher frequency region of the spectrum and phonation type merits further investigation.

Item Type: Articles
Additional Information: An earlier version of this paper was prepared for the 30th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, August 1997
Keywords: phonetics, phonation type, Wa, Burmese, sound spectra, formant, harmonic
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Depositing User: Justin Watkins
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2004
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/48


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