Articulation Rate as a Speaker Discriminant in British English

Erica Gold

Identifying speech parameters that have both a low level of intra-speaker variability and a high level of inter-speaker variability is key when discriminating between individuals in forensic speaker comparison cases. A substantial amount of research in the field of forensic phonetics has been devoted to identifying highly discriminant speaker parameters. To this end, the vast majority of the existing literature has focused solely on vowels and constants. However, the discriminant power of speaking tempo has yet to be examined, despite its broad use in practice and it having been recognized. This paper examines, for the first time, the discriminant power of articulation rate (AR) in British English. Approximately 3000 local ARs were measured in this study for 100 Southern Standard British English male speakers. In order to assess the evidential value of AR, likelihood ratios were calculated. The results suggest that AR performs well for same speaker comparisons. However, for different speaker comparisons, the system is performing just worse than chance. Overall, it appears that AR may not be the best speaker discriminant, although it is important to still consider AR in forensic speaker comparisons as there may be some individuals for which AR is highly idiosyncratic.

 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1384

Cite as: Gold, E. (2018) Articulation Rate as a Speaker Discriminant in British English. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 1828-1832, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1384.

  author={Erica Gold},
  title={Articulation Rate as a Speaker Discriminant in British English},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},