Acoustic Correlates of Phonation Type in Chichimec

Anneliese Kelterer, Barbara Schuppler


Chichimec is an Oto-Manguean language of Mexico with a phonological contrast between modal, breathy and creaky vowels. This study is the first acoustic investigation of this contrast in Chichimec, based on spectral tilt and Cepstral Peak Prominence (CPP) measures. We consider the change of these measures over the course of the vowel and include a high vowel, which was omitted in most phonation studies of other languages. The present study not only contributes to the description of Chichimec with respect to the different portions of the vowel, but also explores the adequacy of the acoustic measures of phonation type for low and high vowels.

Our results show that phonation changes in the course of the vowel, and that this change is a relevant factor for phonation types in Chichimec. We find that CPP is the best measure to characterize Chichimec phonation contrasts in all vowels. For the vowel /a/, spectral tilt measures are better indicators of phonation type for women than for men. The results for /i/ indicate that spectral tilt distinguishes breathy from modal vowels for men, but that these measures might generally not be appropriate to describe phonation contrasts in women’s high vowels.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2066

Cite as: Kelterer, A., Schuppler, B. (2019) Acoustic Correlates of Phonation Type in Chichimec. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 1981-1985, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2066.


@inproceedings{Kelterer2019,
  author={Anneliese Kelterer and Barbara Schuppler},
  title={{Acoustic Correlates of Phonation Type in Chichimec}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={1981--1985},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2066},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2066}
}