ISCA Archive Interspeech 2013
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2013

The bulgarian stressed and unstressed vowel system. a corpus study

Bistra Andreeva, William Barry, Jacques Koreman

The reduction of the six Bulgarian vowels (i, E, a, 3, O, u) to a four- or (in some dialects) three-vowel subsystem (i, (3), 3, u) in unstressed syllables is generally accepted. But a number of studies disagree on the exact nature of the reduction process. Claims differ as to whether or not /a/ merges phonetically with /3/, and /O/ with /u/, or whether the assumed neutralized oppositions take a phonetically intermediate quality ([5] and [o]). Previous acoustic analyses have been based on very few, and almost exclusively male speakers. The present study uses all the men's and women¬Āfs vowels from the Babel contemporary standard Bulgarian (CSB) read speech corpus. Mid-vowel F1 and F2 values were normalized to remove inter-speaker differences and statistical comparisons of stressed and unstressed vowel productions performed. Results confirm the raising of unstressed /a/ and /O/ reported previously, but raising is found to affect all vowels when unstressed except /i/. Unstressed /a/ and /O/ are raised to the quality of stressed /3/ and /u/ respectively (effectively neutralizing the opposition), but remain distinct from unstressed /3/ and /u/, which are raised from their stressed vowel positions. The mechanism underlying the reduction process is discussed.


doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2013-97

Cite as: Andreeva, B., Barry, W., Koreman, J. (2013) The bulgarian stressed and unstressed vowel system. a corpus study. Proc. Interspeech 2013, 345-348, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2013-97

@inproceedings{andreeva13_interspeech,
  author={Bistra Andreeva and William Barry and Jacques Koreman},
  title={{The bulgarian stressed and unstressed vowel system. a corpus study}},
  year=2013,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2013},
  pages={345--348},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2013-97}
}