Vowel discrimination at high fundamental frequencies in real speech

Daniel Friedrichs, Dieter Maurer, Heidy Suter, Volker Dellwo
2014 Journal of the Acoustical Society of America  
The question of vowel intelligibility as a function of F 0 is still a matter of debate. Above all concerning vowel sounds produced at F 0 s exceeding vowelrelated statistical F 1 in citation-form words ('oversinging' F 1 ), it is unclear whether vowel category perception inevitably shifts towards the neighboring category with a higher F 1 or can be maintained in such cases. In this study, we tested listeners' perception of the long German vowels /i-y-e-ø-ε-a-o/ produced by a trained female
more » ... trained female speaker in the context of minimal pair words (/l-V-gen/) at nine F 0 -levels between 220 and 880 Hz. Results showed that vowel identification was maintained > 80% up to F 0 =740 Hz for /e-ø-ε/ and up to F 0 =880 Hz for /i-y-a-o/. Thus, vowel identification could be maintained in cases of F 0 significantly exceeding F 1 . The role of neighboring vowels, vowel duration, and other productional and acoustical aspects relevant for vowel perception at different F 0 s is discussed.
doi:10.1121/1.4878045 fatcat:3zrxordbb5c2jbt4dfposoenii