Deriving vowel-to-vowel transitions with the APEX articulatory model  

Christine Ericsdotter Bresin

Journal of New Music Research (in press)


Formant transitions, i.e., how formant frequencies change over time, carry much of the information conveyed in both speech and singing. As formant frequencies are controlled by the positions of the articulators in the vocal tract, formant transitions correspond to articulatory movements. The purpose of the present study was to explore the potential of an articulatory model to interpret formant frequency data of Swedish V1V2 sequences in terms of articulatory movements. The strategy was to generate articulatory pathways for 3 V1V2 pairs, V = [i] [a] [u], using the APEX articulatory model (Lindblom & Sundberg, 1971, Stark et al, 1996, 1999). The acoustic characteristics associated with these pathways were then compared with those observed in utterances produced by a Swedish speaker. The results for [ui] and [ai] suggest that the articulatory pathways between these vowels are realized via a slight tongue deactivation.

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