5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Modelling Tongue Configuration in German Vowel Production

Philip Hoole

Phonetics Institute, Munich University, Germany

The PARAFAC method of factor analysis was used to investigate patterns of tongue shaping in a corpus of 15 German vowels spoken in 3 consonant contexts by 7 speakers at 2 speech rates, using data from electromagnetic articulography. A two-factor model was extracted, giving a succinct, speaker-independent characterization of the German vowel space and of some important coarticulatory effects on vowel articulation. Moreover, the factors appeared to have a plausible physiological substrate. The PARAFAC model places strong constraints on the form that speaker-specific effects can take, since speaker differences must be captured in a single multiplicative weight per speaker and factor. While these constraints appeared acceptable for modelling vocalic aspects of articulation, more consonantally-related aspects, such as coarticulatory behaviour of the tongue-tip, appeared much more difficult to capture in the PARAFAC framework.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hoole, Philip (1998): "Modelling tongue configuration in German vowel production", In ICSLP-1998, paper 1096.