The Acoustic Measurement of Vowels

Authored by: Valter Ciocca , Tara L. Whitehill

Handbook of Vowels and Vowel Disorders

Print publication date:  September  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9781848726123
eBook ISBN: 9780203103890
Adobe ISBN: 9781136246852


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The three broad approaches to describing and analyzing vowel production, namely, articulatory, acoustic, and auditory approaches, are each associated with advantages and disadvantages (Howard & Heselwood, 2002). Articulatory-instrumental techniques such as electromagnetic articulatography (EMA), x-ray, ultrasound, and electromyography provide direct or indirect information about the position and movement of the articulators (particularly the tongue) during vowel production. However, these techniques are generally expensive and require specialist training for administration and analysis. Furthermore, they provide no information regarding what the listener perceives as a result of the production.

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