A comparison of normalized formant trajectories of English vowels produced by American men and women*

Byunggon Yang
2019 Phonetics and Speech Sciences  
Formant trajectories reflect the continuous variation of speakers' articulatory movements over time. This study examined formant trajectories of English vowels produced by ninety-three American men and women; the values were normalized using the scale function in R and compared using generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs). Praat was used to read the sound data of Hillenbrand et al. (1995) . A formant analysis script was prepared, and six formant values at the corresponding time points within
more » ... time points within each vowel segment were collected. The results indicate that women yielded proportionately higher formant values than men. The standard deviations of each group showed similar patterns at the first formant (F1) and the second formant (F2) axes and at the measurement points. R was used to scale the first two formant data sets of men and women separately. GAMMs of all the scaled formant data produced various patterns of deviation along the measurement points. Generally, more group difference exists in F1 than in F2. Also, women's trajectories appear more dynamic along the vertical and horizontal axes than those of men. The trajectories are related acoustically to F1 and F2 and anatomically to jaw opening and tongue position. We conclude that scaling and nonlinear testing are useful tools for pinpointing differences between speaker group's formant trajectories. This research could be useful as a foundation for future studies comparing curvilinear data sets.
doi:10.13064/ksss.2019.11.1.001 fatcat:l5n4ngrcevcnrdsfh2de65ecym