Time dependence of vocal tract modes during production of vowels and vowel sequences

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11 Scopus citations


Vocal tract shaping patterns based on articulatory fleshpoint data from four speakers in the University of Wisconsin x-ray microbeam (XRMB) database [J. Westbury, UW-Madison, (1994)] were determined with a principal component analysis (PCA). Midsagittal cross-distance functions representative of approximately the front 6 cm of the oral cavity for each of 11 vowels and vowel-vowel (VV) sequences were obtained from the pellet positions and the hard palate profile for the four speakers. A PCA was independently performed on each speaker's set of cross-distance functions representing static vowels only, and again with time-dependent cross-distance functions representing vowels and VV sequences. In all cases, results indicated that the first two orthogonal components (referred to as modes) accounted for more than 97% of the variance in each speaker's set of cross-distance functions. In addition, the shape of each mode was shown to be similar across the speakers suggesting that the modes represent common patterns of vocal tract deformation. Plots of the resulting time-dependent coefficient records showed that the four speakers activated each mode similarly during production of the vowel sequences. Finally, a procedure was described for using the time-dependent mode coefficients obtained from the XRMB data as input for an area function model of the vocal tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3770-3789
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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