EUROSPEECH 2001 Scandinavia
7th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Aalborg, Denmark
September 3-7, 2001


Perceptual Categorization of Maximal Vowel Spaces from Birth to Adulthood Simulated by an Articulatory Model

Lucie Ménard, Louis-Jean Boë

Université Stendhal, Grenoble, France

This paper reports on an experiment aiming at determining the perceptual effects of non uniform vocal tract growth. An articulatory model was used to synthesize 342 stimuli, covering the maximal vowel space in the F1/F2 and F2/F3 dimensions, for 5 growth stages: a newborn, a 4-year-old, a 10-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 21-year-old male speakers. Results of a categorization test of the stimuli by 40 French adult subjects reveal that for each vocal tract length, French phonological categories can be perceived. Furthermore, perceived front vowels cover a broader range in the acoustic F1/F2 space for very small vocal tracts, compared to adults. Data are interpreted in the light of the articulatory-to-acoustic mapping from a developmental point of view, and can shed light on the existence of perceptual constraints during vocal tract growth.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ménard, Lucie / Boë, Louis-Jean (2001): "Perceptual categorization of maximal vowel spaces from birth to adulthood simulated by an articulatory model", In EUROSPEECH-2001, 167-170.