Third International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 94)

Yokohama, Japan
September 18-22, 1994

An MRI Study of Fricative Consonants

Shrikanth Narayanan (1), Abeer Alwan (1), Katherine Haker (2)

(1) Electrical Engineering Department, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
(2) Dept. of Radiology and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Magnetic resonance images of the vocal tract during sustained production of the fricatives /s, ?, f, ?, z, ?, v, ?/ by four subjects are analyzed. Measurements of vocal tract lengths and area functions and analysis of the tongue shapes for different sounds are presented. Inter-speaker differences in area functions are found to be greater in the pharyngeal cavity than in the buccal cavity with the nonstrident fricatives exhibiting greater differences than the strident ones. The concave tongue shapes of /s/ and /z/ result in a more abrupt area function behind the constriction when compared to that of /?/ and /?/, Voiced fricatives show larger pharyngeal volumes than the unvoiced fricatives due to tongue-root retraction.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Narayanan, Shrikanth / Alwan, Abeer / Haker, Katherine (1994): "An MRI study of fricative consonants", In ICSLP-1994, 627-630.