Acoustic and Electroglottographic Study of Breathy and Modal Vowels as Produced by Heritage and Native Gujarati Speakers

Kiranpreet Nara


While all languages of the world use modal phonation, many also rely on other phonation types such as breathy or creaky voice. For example, Gujarati, an Indo-Aryan language, makes a distinction between breathy and modal phonation among consonants and vowels: /bɦaɾ/ ‘burden’, /baɾ/ ‘twelve’, and /ba̤ɾ/ ‘outside’ [1, 2]. This study, which is a replication and an extension of Khan [3], aims to determine the acoustic and articulatory parameters that distinguish breathy and modal vowels. The participants of this study are heritage and native Gujarati speakers.

The materials consisted of 40 target words with the modal and breathy pairs of the three vowel qualities: /a/ vs /a̤/, /e/ vs /e̤/, and /o/ vs /o̤/. The participants uttered the words in the context of a sentence. Acoustic measurements such as H1-H2, H1-A1, harmonic-to-noise ratio and articulatory measurements such as contact quotient were calculated throughout the vowel duration.

The results of the Smoothing Spline ANOVA analyses indicated that measures such as H1-A1, harmonic to noise ratio, and contact quotient distinguished modal and breathy vowels for native speakers. Heritage speakers also had a contrast between breathy and modal vowels, however the contrast is not as robust as that of native speakers.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1774

Cite as: Nara, K. (2017) Acoustic and Electroglottographic Study of Breathy and Modal Vowels as Produced by Heritage and Native Gujarati Speakers. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 1054-1058, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1774.


@inproceedings{Nara2017,
  author={Kiranpreet Nara},
  title={Acoustic and Electroglottographic Study of Breathy and Modal Vowels as Produced by Heritage and Native Gujarati Speakers},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={1054--1058},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1774},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1774}
}