This paper examines and contrasts the labial configuration and formant frequencies of Korean and English high vowels. Korean has three high vowels, /i, i, u/, and English has four,/i, ɪ, ᴜ, u/. The lip gestures and formant frequencies were compared within each language and across language to determine whether the idea of maximal dispersion [Liljencrants and Lindblom, 1972] can account for the formant frequencies and also be extended to account for the labial configurations. Three male speakers of each language produced each vowel in four different contexts with five repetitions. The production of each word was videotaped and the sound wave simultaneously recorded. The lip configurations were assessed using measurements similar to those in Linker [UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 56 (1982)]. Formant frequencies were measured using an LPC formant tracker. Preliminary results suggest that Korean high vowels can be grouped into two categories, /i, i/ vs /u/, on the basis of measurements of lip position. The English vowels similarly can be grouped into three categories, /i, ɪ/ vs /ᴜ/ vs /u/. For the vowel /u/, Korean and English used different degrees of lip protrusion and, for the vowel /i/, they differed in the relationship between the horizontal width and the vertical opening. The acoustic spaces of Korean and English high vowels both support the dispersion theory in covering the same amount of the vowel space, although Korean high vowels all had lower F2 values.

This content is only available via PDF.