8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

Correlation between VOT and F0 in the Perception of Korean Stops and Affricates

Midam Kim

Department of Linguistics, Seoul National University, Korea

This research examines the trading correlation between VOT and F0 in the production and perception of the three-way distinction of Korean stops and affricates, namely, lenis, aspirated, and fortis, in the word-initial position. For this research, I conducted production and perception tests. For the production test, two female and two male native speakers of Seoul Korean recorded a monosyllabic word list including /ka, kha, k*a, pa, pha, p*a, ta, tha, t*a, ca, cha, c*a/ 15 times in random order. On VOT-F0 plains, the results showed that lenis, aspirated and fortis were discriminated with the two cues of VOT and F0, without overlapping. The results of a MANOVA test showed that there is a significant difference in lenis, aspirated, and fortis with correlation between VOT and F0 (p<0.001). In the perception test, the stimuli were made by manipulating the sound files recorded in the production test in such a way that F0 values were heightened or lowered at 10 Hz intervals, fixing VOT values. 14 subjects (seven females and seven males) participated in the perception test. The results showed that more than 94% of all fortis stimuli were not influenced by F0 changes, and that VOT and F0 values at the lenis-aspirated boundary showed strong negative correlation (r=<-0.923). From these results, I concluded that: 1) Lenis, aspirated, and fortis of Korean word-initial consonants are distinguished with the correlation of VOT and F0; 2) F0 does not function as an acoustic cue in the perception of Korean fortis; and 3) There is a phonetic trade-off between VOT and F0 in the distinction of Korean lenis and aspirated stops and affricates.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kim, Midam (2004): "Correlation between VOT and F0 in the perception of Korean stops and affricates", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 49-52.