5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Strong Interaction Between Factors Influencing Consonant Duration

Rob J. J. H. van Son (1), Jan P. H. van Santen (2)

(1) Institute for Phonetic Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2) Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, NJ, USA

Interactions between factors affecting consonant duration are well known. It has proved difficult to quantify these interactions. The difficulty lies in the enormous amount of speech necessary to resolve all factor combinations and their uneven distribution in speech, i.e., factor confounding. Assuming piecewise independence of factor combinations and an additive duration model, it is possible to reconstruct "balanced" mean durations from unbalanced data. Analysis of a corpus of read speech from two speakers allowed us to model the interaction between syllable stress, position in the word, and consonant identity. The strong interactions could be attributed to a "floor" in the shortest durations and irregular behavior of Coronal consonants. The distribution of durations of Coronal consonants is linked to a shift to ballistic articulation, i.e., flaps, in reducing circumstances.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Son, Rob J. J. H. van / Santen, Jan P. H. van (1997): "Strong interaction between factors influencing consonant duration", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 319-322.