A psychoacoustic method for studying the necessary and sufficient perceptual cues of American English fricative consonants in noise

Feipeng Li, Andrea Trevino, Anjali Menon, Jont B. Allen

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In a previous study on plosives, the 3-Dimensional Deep Search (3DDS) method for the exploration of the necessary and sufficient cues for speech perception was introduced (Li et al.,(2010). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127(4), 2599-2610). Here, this method is used to isolate the spectral cue regions for perception of the American English fricatives /∫,3, s, z, f, v, θ, / in time, frequency, and intensity. The fricatives are analyzed in the context of consonant-vowel utterances, using the vowel /α/. The necessary cues were found to be contained in the frication noise for /∫,3, s, z, f, v/. 3DDS analysis isolated the cue regions of /s, z/ between 3.6 and 8 [kHz] and /s, z/ between 1.4 and 4.2 [kHz]. Some utterances were found to contain acoustic components that were unnecessary for correct perception, but caused listeners to hear non-target consonants when the primary cue region was removed; such acoustic components are labeled "conflicting cue regions." The amplitude modulation of the high-frequency frication region by the fundamental F0 was found to be a sufficient cue for voicing. Overall, the 3DDS method allows one to analyze the effects of natural speech components without initial assumptions about where perceptual cues lie in time-frequency space or which elements of production they correspond to.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2663-2675
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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