A parametric model of the vocal tract area function for vowel and consonant simulation

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101 Scopus citations


A model of the vocal-tract area function is described that consists of four tiers. The first tier is a vowel substrate defined by a system of spatial eigenmodes and a neutral area function determined from MRI-based vocal-tract data. The input parameters to the first tier are coefficient values that, when multiplied by the appropriate eigenmode and added to the neutral area function, construct a desired vowel. The second tier consists of a consonant shaping function defined along the length of the vocal tract that can be used to modify the vowel substrate such that a constriction is formed. Input parameters consist of the location, area, and range of the constriction. Location and area roughly correspond to the standard phonetic specifications of place and degree of constriction, whereas the range defines the amount of vocal-tract length over which the constriction will influence the tract shape. The third tier allows length modifications for articulatory maneuvers such as lip rounding/spreading and larynx lowering/raising. Finally, the fourth tier provides control of the level of acoustic coupling of the vocal tract to the nasal tract. All parameters can be specified either as static or time varying, which allows for multiple levels of coarticulation or coproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3231-3254
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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