Do formant frequencies correlate with Japanese accent?

Yukiko Sugiyama, Tsuyoshi Moriyama

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Formant frequencies were examined as a possible acoustic correlate to Japanese accent. A perception study conducted by the first author of the present study used synthetic speech stimuli in which the harmonic structure of each spectrum (F0) was removed from speech produced in a normal manner and replaced by white noise. The stimuli created this way ensured that the only property altered from the normal speech would be the presence or absence of the F0. The result found that Japanese listeners reliably identified minimal pairs of words that differed only by accent, indicating that F0 is not the only acoustic cue to Japanese accent. Since previous studies on whispered speech report a positive correlation between the pitch height intended by speakers and formant frequencies, formant frequencies were measured as a possible correlate to accent. However, the analysis did not find any correlation between the F0 movements observed in the original normal speech and the formant frequencies measured in the synthetic speech. This result suggests that acoustic properties other than the F0 are also affected in whispered speech and claims made about the positive correlation between the intended pitch and formant frequencies in whispered speech do not hold in normal speech.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060196
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 2013 Jun 22013 Jun 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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