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Vocal effort levels and underlying acoustic phonetic characteristics

Cushing, IR 2010, Vocal effort levels and underlying acoustic phonetic characteristics , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    This thesis presents empirical research which investigates diverse vocal effort levels in anechoic conditions from a large number of British English speakers. Five vocal effort labels were stipulated: hushed, normal, raised, loud and shout. New results show similar averages to previous work, but lower standard deviations which are attributed to the more descriptive vocal effort labels used in this study. Building on this data, a phonetic investigation into vocal effort was carried out, taking its inspiration from the natural segmental variation in speech which occurs at different vocal efforts. Speech was split into voiced and unvoiced components which allowed for a more phonetically motivated profile of vocal effort. In a bid to mirror analysis with the speech communication chain of talker to listener, listening tests were conducted where subjects rated the perceived vocal effort level of isolated words. Listeners also rated perceived clarity of articulation, taking the assumption that different degrees of clarity are an inherent feature of different speech levels. Multiple regression analysis revealed that listeners exploit the voiced-unvoiced distinction in their perception of vocal effort and clarity of articulation. The resulting validation equation from the multiple regression model showed that vocal effort levels can be reliably predicted.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Li, F(Supervisor)
    Additional Information:
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 14:34
    Last Modified: 17 Feb 2014 13:48
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26631

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