Extending automatic vowel formant extraction to New Englishes
A comparison of different methods
While different automated procedures for vowel formant prediction have recently been proposed, it is unclear how reliably these methods perform in the phonetic study of vowels in New Englishes and how such approaches could be applied to specific varieties. This paper compares different automatic methods for vowel formant prediction in New Englishes, using manual measurements of Trinidadian English as a baseline. The results show that all methods perform significantly better than default formant parameters often used in speech analysis packages, and that a Bayesian formant tracker calibrated with American (US-FAVE) and Trinidadian English (TRINI-FAVE) generally provides better results than an automatic procedure that optimizes formant ceilings on a vowel- and speaker-specific level. TRINI-FAVE measures vowels characteristic of Trinidadian English most accurately. Phonetic studies of vowels in New Englishes can benefit from these methods.
Keywords: automatic formant prediction, FAVE, Trinidadian English, vowels, New Englishes, formant ceiling optimization, automated acoustic analysis
Published online: 27 January 2021
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