Solution for September 2004

"I tried to fix the window."

Script A + Small Capital I
[ɑɪ], IPA 305 + 319
This utterance might start properly with a glottal stop. This wo uld explain the funny pulsing in the beginning. For some reason, I decided that this wasn't a glottal stop at the beginning. As I recall, I was really trying to do a soft attack without it being breathy, and obviously I failed. Abstracting away from the raggedness of the pulsing, we can see that F2 starts very high (800-900 Hz) and transitions downward (so this vowel starts very low and transitions upward), and that the F2 starts very low (down around 1100-1200 Hz) and transitions upward. So we've got something that starts lowish and backish and moves frontish and highish. In other words, a diphthong with a front off-glide, presumably therefore either /aj/ or /oj/. I'll have to make an /oj/ sometime to contrast the two, but since this is an English declarative, I think it's likely to start with "I".

Lower-Case T + Right Superscript H
[tʰ], IPA 103 + 404
Well, this is as gappy as my gaps ever get. So this is undoubtedly (or indubitably) a plosive. And look at that release. Very sharp and instantaneous (I'm looking right at 300 msec), followed by some very high energy noise concetranted in the high frequencies (i.e. sibiliant /s/-shaped). The VOT continues for a while, in fact close to 100 msec after the release, which clearly indicates aspiration. The shape of the first 20-30 msec of [s]-shaped noise suggests coronal. Voiceless, of course.

Turned R + Under-Ring
[ɹ̥], IPA 151 + 402
Well, the F3 is sort of obscured, as are, frankly, the F1 and F2, by the aspiraiton n oise. But juding from the transitions, the F2 starts high, the F2 starts low, and the F3 looks like it starts very low and rapidly transisiotns upward to almost neutral. Which for me is about 2400-2500 Hz. I'm loking at that curved bit of energy just surrounding the first few glottal pulses around 400 msec, which start about 1750 Hz and rise sharply from there. Such a low F3 can only be an /r/ in English. Marked as voiceless, due to the aspiration.

Script A + Small Capital I
[ɑɪ], IPA 305 + 319
So, ignoring the F3, we've got basically the same formant patterns as before,e xcept the F2 transition seems to be displaced slightly to the right, i.e. the F2 'steady state' is actually a steady state, probably lasting about 25 msec into the voicing, where in the previous vowel, the F2 seems to start slightly higher and to be already moving when voicing clicks in. This may be a function of lengthening preceding a voiced coda (wink wink), but I'm working on a hypothesis about 'transition points', i.e moments where you go from steady-state to transition, that I'm working on... Which I mention only because it's interesting that the result of the longer duration of this vowel, is not that the transitions are slower, but that the steady states are longer. Nuff sed.

Lower-case D
[d], IPA 102
Well, here's another gap, this one mor obviously voiced. But it's very long to be a voiced stop, so, it may be two stops. Considering the first (voiced) bit, the voicing clearly persists into the closure, further suggesting undelrying voicing (as opposed to simply perseverative voicing). As for place, well, the transitions from the preceding vowel don't really look velar, nor do they look bilabial. So coronal is probably a good bet. That and 'tried' is a better word after "I" than either 'trige' or 'tribe'. Sometimes your top-down look-ahead really is your best advantage.

Lower-Case T + Right Superscript H
[tʰ], IPA 103 + 404
Well, here we ar again. The release has many of the same characteristics as the previous release like this, and the transitions out (when not obscured by the aspiration) are more likely to be coronal than anything else.

Barred I
[ɨ], IPA 317
Somewhere around 650 msec there's some voicing starting that lasts, well, about 75 msec. WHich is quite short for a vowel. And it doesn't really get very resonant. There's some F2 harmonic energy, but above that it' smostly noise. Noise that's mostly constant from the release of the /t/. So this is a really short vowel, mostly being hidden by the voicelessness and/or frication around it. So pick a reduced vowel symbol (as always I follow Keating et al (1994) in choosing barred-i if the F2 is closer to the F3 than the F1) and get on with things

Lower-Case F
[f], IPA 128
Well, if I didnt' know better, I'd swear this is some kind of weak Esh. It has that obvious zero below 1500 Hz, and the energy above that is contiguous with F2/F3 supported energy. With broad band. But if it were an Esh, and this long< I'd *really* want to see more amplitude. I mean come on. So probably not Esh. Obviously not [s], so we're running out of voicelss fricatives. /h/ doesn't usually go that voicelss or that long between vowels. WHich leaves [f] and Theta. And there's not a lot to tell us which. (I think this was in response to someone's question about the 'dental' fricatives in English, an dhow to tell them apart. The asnwer was, well, if there isn't transitional information, you pretty much can't. At least not consistently. At least in a way generalizable within and across speakers. As far as I know. Hmm. If I had my dissertation to do over again, maybe I'd concentrate on fricative noise. Hmm.)

Small Capital I
[ɪ], IPA 319
Well, this is another short vowle, but since it at least looks like a real vowel, I decided to treat is as such. Lowish F1 (the harmonics around 500 Hz seem stronger than immediately below, but that little thing can't be aformant--too narrow band, so I take it to be the top edge of the F1), very high (but not outlandishly high) F2. So high and front. And short. Pretty much leaves [I].

Lower-Case K
[k], IPA 109
ANd the preceding vowel very nicely provides us with some very velar-pinch-y looking transitions. This coupled with that nice low double-burst on the other side can only lead to 'velar' asa conclusion. And voicelss, of course.

Lower-Case S
[s], IPA 132
Well, if the other one couldn't be an Esh, I *raelly* don't see how this could be an [s], but there it is. The noise *does* have that weird zero (although it's not really obvious that it has anything to do with the F2 being above it), and the noise, such as it is is *really* broad band. The only giveaway that this *might* be an [s] is that the noise gets a *little* stronger and a *little* more organized in the very high frequencies. So maybe it's adevoiced /z/, except that it's way too long. So frankly I'd guess whatever I guessed for the other one. And I'd be wrong. Hey, I never said I knew any more about this stuff than you do.

Eth + Raising Sign
[ð̝], IPA 131 + 429
Well, okay. Ome day I'll produce a real, honest-to-goodness *fricative* dental. This one clearly isn't. Even though it's fully voiced, there's no way to get that, well, *release* thing at 1100 msec without building up some fairly serions pressure behind the closure. Which fricatives do, but not like that. So the answer to how you tell the difference between Eth and [v], which no one asked, but here you go, is that the Eth is more likely to present like a stop, an dth e[v] is more likley to present as an approximant. So there. Anyway, the very strong and even voicing (and no VOT) tell us this is voicd, and there's not really any transitional information to tell us anything, and the burst is sort of misleading but looks more coronal than anything else. So I might guess /d/ again. ANd having made it that far, I could top-down to Eth once I'd worked out what the rest of the sentence looked like.

The spectrograms are getting *hard*.

[ə], IPA 322
Well, here's ahortish vowel that's mostly transition. Judging from its starint frequencies, it looks highish and central-to-ever-so-slightly-back (but that might just be the influence of the transition). F3 is slighlty raised, which is alarming. F4 is not helping, since it's very obviously transitioning into the follwoign deal. So I don' tknow. I called it a schwa, and even if it isn't, it's not going to be overwhelmingly informative.

Lower Case W
[w], IPA 170
Well, look at that F1. Indicates a fairly high articulation. The dip in amplitude just after 1200 msec tells us that there's very minute change toward closure (thoug of cousre it never reaches closure), so even without the transitions, there's a consonant-like moment here between what would otherwise be just a sequence of vowels. The F2, a that moment, is low low low. So, oddly enough is the F4. So at least for this utterance, the Maeda model that coupled the F4 to the F2 looks like it was right after all. The F3, on the other hand, is damn flat throughout. So, this has got to be [w].

Small Capital I
[ɪ], IPA 319
AH, and here's naother shortish vowel that I'd be inclined to ignore, except that I know what the answer is. Abstracting away from the [w] transition, it looks fronter than the previuus schwa thing, for what that's worth. But high. But short, in spite of being high. So on the balance, I called it [I[, but it doesn't really ever get nearly front enough to warrant it.

Lower-Case N
[n], IPA 116
Voicing, longish, but not fully resonant like a vowel. But clearly sonorant. With a nize little zero around 1000 Hz. Must be a nasal, and must be an [n], in that with those transtiions into and out of it it can't possilby be an Eng, and my [m]s have a *resonance* aroudn 1000 Hz, with the zero lower (or higher, depending on how you think of what the zero is doing).

Lower-Case D
[c], IPA 104
But then there's that momentary (like one glottal pulse) worth of dipped energy, and the followign thing that looks like an (oral) release transient. Which is how voiced stops following homorganic nasals tend to look in my voice.

Lower-Case O + Upsilon
[oʊ], IPA 307 + 321
Well, this is a vowel. With transitions, so it's probably some kind of diphthong. In another life I'd have analyzed this as two separate segments, but now I"m not so sure. Ennyhoo, starting that he beginning, we've got a mid-looking F1 which is transitioning upward, meanign this vowel is going from mid to low. Or something like that. The F2 starts, well, central, or front of central, and transitions rapidly downward, indicating increased backness or rounding. F3 is just sittingthere, F4 is basically mirroring F2. Good strong voicingfor a looong time, when it sort of peters out of the higher frequenices until , by the time you get about 300 msecs in, you've just got a voicing bar. But the amplitude changes is very even. The clunk in the F3/F4 range at about 1575 msecs doesn't lik eup with anyting else. The moment the F1/F2 finally give up to the noise doesn't really line up well with anything else. So this is very smooth. No specific consonant moment here.

So we've got somethig mid going to low, and something central going to back. WHich just can't happen in my dialect. [əɑ] is just *not* a vowel where I come from. Especially not in an open syllable. But I don't know what else to say. Maybe it's an artifact of the analsyis. Some weird interaction between the bandwidth windowing and the fundamental frequency. I don't know. SO once again, go for the top down.

I tried tuhshuhksduhwunduhn

I tried to shucks dawinda

I tried to shucks the winda

Shucks the window? Fix the window. I tried to f*x the window.

Yeah, that'll work.