Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

Modeling the Masking of Formant Transitions in Noise

James J. Hant, Abeer Alwan

Dept. of Electrical Engineering, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Formant transitions are critical for identifying the place ofarticulation for consonants. If these transitions are masked bybackground noise, perceptual confusions can occur. To betterunderstand the masking of formant transitions, maskingthresholds were measured for tone glides and single-formanttrajectories of varying frequency extent (0 3 ERBs), duration(10, 30 and 100 ms), and center frequency (.5, 1.5, 3.5 kHz).Results show that thresholds are independent of frequencyextent and only depend on the duration and center-frequency ofthe transition. A novel, time-frequency detection model, fit toprevious noise-in-noise masking experiments (JASA 101, 2789-802 (1997)), is proposed which can predict these data.

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Bibliographic reference.  Hant, James J. / Alwan, Abeer (1999): "Modeling the masking of formant transitions in noise", In EUROSPEECH'99, 1895-1898.