14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

A Preliminary Spectral Analysis of Palatal and Velar Stop Bursts in Pitjantjatjara

Marija Tabain (1), Richard Beare (2), Andrew Butcher (3)

(1) La Trobe University, Australia
(2) Monash University, Australia
(3) Flinders University, Australia

This study examines the contrast between (alveo-)palatal stop bursts and velar stop bursts (/c/ vs. /k/), with particular focus on how the contrast between the two is enhanced in Word-initial vs. Word-medial position. Data are presented from nine speakers of Pitjantjatjara, a language of Central Australia. Analyses show that although there are formant differences between palatal and velar stop bursts, the formant contrast is not enhanced in Word-initial position, with the exception of a lower F3 for /k/ preceding the vowel /a/. By contrast, spectral tilt and the 3rd spectral moment (skewness) are particularly effective at enhancing the contrast between /c/ and /k/ preceding the vowels /a/ and /i/ (with /c/ having less steep tilt values and lower skewness values than /k/); and the 4th spectral moment (kurtosis) is particularly effective at enhancing the same contrast preceding the vowel /u/ (with /c/ having higher kurtosis values than /k/). These results suggest that Word-initial position in this language is marked not only by pitch movement and extra duration, but also by spectral properties of the stop burst.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tabain, Marija / Beare, Richard / Butcher, Andrew (2013): "A preliminary spectral analysis of palatal and velar stop bursts in pitjantjatjara", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 291-295.