Acoustic analysis of trill sounds

N Dhananjaya, B Yegnanarayana, Peri Bhaskararao
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 2012, 131 (4): 3141-52
In this paper, the acoustic-phonetic characteristics of steady apical trills--trill sounds produced by the periodic vibration of the apex of the tongue--are studied. Signal processing methods, namely, zero-frequency filtering and zero-time liftering of speech signals, are used to analyze the excitation source and the resonance characteristics of the vocal tract system, respectively. Although it is natural to expect the effect of trilling on the resonances of the vocal tract system, it is interesting to note that trilling influences the glottal source of excitation as well. The excitation characteristics derived using zero-frequency filtering of speech signals are glottal epochs, strength of impulses at the glottal epochs, and instantaneous fundamental frequency of the glottal vibration. Analysis based on zero-time liftering of speech signals is used to study the dynamic resonance characteristics of vocal tract system during the production of trill sounds. Qualitative analysis of trill sounds in different vowel contexts, and the acoustic cues that may help spotting trills in continuous speech are discussed.

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