Acoustical-Perceptual Correlates of "Whisper Pitch" in Synthetically Generated Vowels The purpose of this investigation was to clarify acoustical-perceptual relationships in identification of "pitch" during whispered vowel production. The experimenters systematically varied selected acoustic features of synthetically generated "whispered" vowels to control which formant frequencies were shifted (F1, F2, or F1&F2), the direction of formant frequency shifts (up or down), ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1999
Acoustical-Perceptual Correlates of "Whisper Pitch" in Synthetically Generated Vowels
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Masahiko Higashikawa
    Osaka Medical College Osaka, Japan
  • Fred D. Minifie
    University of Washington Seattle
  • Contact author: Masahiko Higashikawa, MD, Department of Otolaryngology, Osaka Medical College, 2–7, Daigaku-cho, Takatsuki, Osaka 569–8686, Japan.
    Contact author: Masahiko Higashikawa, MD, Department of Otolaryngology, Osaka Medical College, 2–7, Daigaku-cho, Takatsuki, Osaka 569–8686, Japan.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: masahiko@poh.osaka-med.ac.jp
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1999
Acoustical-Perceptual Correlates of "Whisper Pitch" in Synthetically Generated Vowels
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1999, Vol. 42, 583-591. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4203.583
History: Received May 19, 1998 , Accepted December 3, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1999, Vol. 42, 583-591. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4203.583
History: Received May 19, 1998; Accepted December 3, 1998

The purpose of this investigation was to clarify acoustical-perceptual relationships in identification of "pitch" during whispered vowel production. The experimenters systematically varied selected acoustic features of synthetically generated "whispered" vowels to control which formant frequencies were shifted (F1, F2, or F1&F2), the direction of formant frequency shifts (up or down), and the magnitude of formant frequency shifts (20 Hz, 40 Hz, 60 Hz). Two sets of stimuli were produced to simulate the resonance characteristics of the vowel /a/: one set for male talkers and one for female talkers. Ninety-four pairs of synthesized vowel tokens were randomly presented to 17 listeners who judged if the "pitch" of the second member of the pair was the same, higher, or lower than the "pitch" of the first member. The results showed an inverse relationship between the magnitude of formant frequency changes presented to the judges and the number of perceptual mismatches in "whisper pitch." Also, fewer mismatches in the identification of whisper pitch occurred when both F1 and F2 were changed simultaneously than when either F1 or F2 was changed individually. No differences were found between the perceptual responses to "male" and "female" vowel simulations. The primary implication of this study is that whisper pitch is more influenced by simultaneous changes in F1 and F2 than by changes in only one of the formants.

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