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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of Linguistics

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WPP, No. 105: Linguistic Voice Quality


Contrasting phonation types in languages can differ along several acoustic dimensions, depending on whether the contrast involves differences in open quotient, in glottal closing velocity, and in noise excitation/periodicity. Listeners thus potentially have multiple perceptual cues to such contrasts. Two perception experiments, classification and similarity rating, show that listeners from different language backgrounds attend to different acoustic correlates of modal and breathy voice vowels. Contrastive tones in tone languages may also vary in phonation quality.

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