Comparison of magnetic resonance imaging-based vocal tract area functions obtained from the same speaker in 1994 and 2002

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A new set of area functions for vowels has been obtained with magnetic resonance imaging from the same speaker as that previously reported in 1996 [Story, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 100, 537-554 (1996)]. The new area functions were derived from image data collected in 2002, whereas the previously reported area functions were based on magnetic resonance images obtained in 1994. When compared, the new area function sets indicated a tendency toward a constricted pharyngeal region and expanded oral cavity relative to the previous set. Based on calculated formant frequencies and sensitivity functions, these morphological differences were shown to have the primary acoustic effect of systematically shifting the second formant (F2) downward in frequency. Multiple instances of target vocal tract shapes from a specific speaker provide additional sampling of the possible area functions that may be produced during speech production. This may be of benefit for understanding intraspeaker variability in vowel production and for further development of speech synthesizers and speech models that utilize area function information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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