Unmasking the acoustic effects of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation: A statistical modeling approach

Jennifer Cole, Gary Linebaugh, Cheyenne Munson, Bob McMurray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coarticulation is a source of acoustic variability for vowels, but how large is this effect relative to other sources of variance? We investigate acoustic effects of anticipatory V-to-V coarticulation relative to variation due to the following C and individual speaker. We examine F1 and F2 from V1 in 48 V1-C#V2 contexts produced by 10 speakers of American English. ANOVA reveals significant effects of both V2 and C on F1 and F2 measures of V1. The influence of V2 and C on acoustic variability relative to that of speaker and target vowel identity is evaluated using hierarchical linear regression. Speaker and target vowel account for roughly 80% of the total variance in F1 and F2, but when this variance is partialed out C and V2 account for another 18% (F1) and 63% (F2) of the remaining target vowel variability. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) models are constructed to test the power of target vowel F1 and F2 for predicting C and V2 of the upcoming context. Prediction accuracy is 58% for C-Place, 76% for C-Voicing and 54% for V2, but only when variance due to other sources is factored out. MLR is discussed as a model of the parsing mechanism in speech perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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