5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

The Effect of Modifying Formant Amplitudes on the Perception of French Vowels Generated by Copy Synthesis

Anne Bonneau, Yves Laprie


With synthetic stimuli copied from natural vowels and including up to five formants, we investigated some transformations of the perceived identity of vowels by means of modifications of formant amplitude levels. Synthetic stimuli were generated by means of a new method of copy synthesis. With stimuli copied from /u/ we found that, despite the presence of F2, it is possible to transform the timbre of /u/ into that of a front vowel only by raising the amplitude level of F3 and higher formants. We also analysed how the timbre of the vowels /i/ and /y/ changed as a function of the level of F2, F3 and F4, and showed how sensitive was the timbre of the vowel /i/ to the decrease of the level of F3 and F4. Such transformations, realized with stimuli very close to natural vowels, reinforce the importance of formant amplitude levels in some vocalic distinctions.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bonneau, Anne / Laprie, Yves (1998): "The effect of modifying formant amplitudes on the perception of French vowels generated by copy synthesis", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0260.