Front vowels can be synthesized on the basis of series of harmonics equal in amplitude, with frequencies only above 1 kHz. In these cases, spectral energy usually attributed to the first formant frequency is lacking. The present paper reports results of an experiment in which sound synthesis was performed on the basis of harmonic series covering higher frequency ranges above 1 kHz, combined with a single lower harmonic < 1 kHz, all harmonics equal in amplitude. Thereby, two or three sounds were synthesized for which the higher frequency range and the frequency of the lower harmonic is identical, but the frequency distance of the higher harmonics differs resulting in different perceived pitches of the sounds. Vowel recognition of all sounds was investigated by means of a listening test in which five phonetic expert listeners were asked to assign the synthesized sounds to Standard German vowel qualities. The results of the experiment reveal that the perceived vowel quality of such types of sound pairs or sound triples differs, confirming earlier indications of the spectral envelope being ambiguous with regard to vowel quality. Implications for the acoustics and perception of vowels are discussed.
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Vowel synthesis related to equal-amplitude harmonic series in frequency ranges > 1 kHz combined with single harmonics < 1 kHz, and including variation of fundamental frequency
Dieter Maurer, Heidy Suter; Vowel synthesis related to equal-amplitude harmonic series in frequency ranges > 1 kHz combined with single harmonics < 1 kHz, and including variation of fundamental frequency. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 May 2017; 141 (5_Supplement): 3469. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4987210
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