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Context Effects and Acoustic Cues for the Auditory Identification of Spanish Fricatives /f/ and //

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The auditory perception of fricatives /f/ and // in the context of /e/ and /u/ was investigated for Hypo and Hyperspeech in four conditions: 1) Fricative noise; 2) Fricative noise + 51.2 ms of the following vowel; 3) Fricative noise + whole following vowel; 4) Whole word. The results show that in condition 1, // is equally recognized in both contexts, while /f/ is significantly better recognized in the /u/ context. Adding the vowel improves recognition for every FV combination, except for /fe/, which is only acceptably recognized in the whole word condition. Those effects were the same for both forms of speech. Some acoustic characteristics of the frication noise and of the vocalic portion were investigated in relation to the listeners' responses. The results of the acoustic analysis indicate that the low frequency part of the middle fricative spectrum has some perceptual relevance for fricative distinction, although it does not provide a complete explanation of the perceptual data. The analysis of the vocalic portion reveals that there are consistent differences in F2 and/or F3 between the two fricative contexts, although the perceptual relevance of that contrast seems to depend on the vocalic context: while for vowel /u/ the F2 contrast seems to provide a reasonable explanation of the perceptual improvement in fricative identification for both forms when the vowel is added, for /e/ only the Hypo data seem to support the perceptual relevance of a F2-F3 combination. On the other hand, formant slopes do not explain that perceptual improvement.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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