Solution for October 2006

labeled spectrogram
<A href=="../wav/wav0610.wav"> "Mushrooms are an edible fungus."

Or maybe that's "mushrooms are inedible fungus", now that I look at it again. Discuss.

Lower-case M
[m], IPA 114
Wow, more that 150msec of nice flat nasal. Okay, so rom about 50 msec to about 200 msec there's a nice sonorant (i.e. nice, striated voicing bar, and resonances all the way up). Almost definitely a nasal, because of a) the zeroes at about 800, 1800, and 3000, b) the flat formant structure, and c) the sharp discontinuities with the following vowel (clearly a vowel, since it's also obviously sonorant, and of higher overall amplitude, no zeroes, and transitiony-looking transitions). So anyway, if it's a nasal, it must be [m], since the pole (formant) is at 1000-1100 Hz, which is typical of my bilabila nasals. The transitions in the following vowel are also consistent with that, but are so short it's hard to tell.

Turned A
[ɐ], IPA 324
You maybe be wondering what happened to everybody's favo(u)rite vowel, [ʌ]. Well, I've been thinking about my commitment to the IPA, and this has been bugging me. The IPA defines [ʌ] as a lower-mid, unround, back vowel, Cardinal 14, the unround counterpart to [ɔ]. This vowel (as in 'hut', 'tuck', and especially STRUT, if you're into Well's lexical sets. It and [ʊ] are reflexes are ME short /u/ (and short(ened long) /o/). But enough of the history lesson. It's not round. In general North American English, it's not amazingly back, and in Western American and Canadian English, it's downright frontish. Not as front as front [æ], so let's split the difference and call it central. Which is not controversial. But the symbol for a lowish/lower-mid central vowel is turned-a, [ɐ], not turned-v, [ʌ]. So are we transcribing phonetically, using the IPA, or aren't we. I've decided we are. So here it is. Now, that said, this vowel looks like an [ɑ] or even an [ɒ], but it's outrageously short. Which I suppose makes it look back again. So maybe I'm still a hypocrite.

[ʃ], IPA 134
That falling peak between 300-400 msec (falling from 2500 to 1500 Hz) is a bit worrisome, but it'll turn out all right. So ignore it's movement. We've got something that looks like a voiceless fricative, quite strong and sibilant, but with a peak in the lower frequencies (in the F2-F3 range) rather than a lone peak way the heck off the top of the spectrogram. So this is probably post-alveolar. Following that, there's a sharp drop-off in amplitude below 1000 Hz, which is more typical of postalveolar than alveolar sibilants. The sloping peak is probably indicating some kind of transition....

Turned R + Under-ring
[ɹ̥], IPA 151 + 402
Well, the loss of high-frequency and high-amplitude energy (i.e. sibilance) suggests that this is osmethign else. The F1 is invisible, since it's still coarticulating with the zero (or whatever it is) that zaps the low frequencies of the fricative. F2 and F3 are clearly visible in the noise (and contiguous with the F2/F3 of the vowel, an low and behold look at what that peak in the fricative seems to be--something that follows the resonances from about 2500 Hz (what you might call the neutral frequency of F3, or near enough), d own to about 1600 Hz, which looks like the frequency of the F3. Which is plenty low enough for an [ɹ]. But voiceless.

Barred U
[ʉ], IPA 318
I know this is round because I remember it being round at the time I recorded it and I spent time workng out why--I think the tendency of [ʃ] and [ɹ] to labialize, and the following bilabial (I don't want to get ahead of myself, but there I go), I think this vowel just tends to get rounded. A little. But while This vowel is round, the F2 isn't really that low, compared to the F1. So again, let's split the difference and call it roundish, but not back, or backish, but not round, or just throw up our hands and say central. So that's what I did. F1 is a little high for something I think of as a high vowel, making this look more mid, but hey, I pick my moments of IPA precision. I guess.

Lower-case M
[m], IPA 114
Shorter, and with considerably less energy than the earlier nasal, this still looks like a nasal. But, well, shorter, and with considerably less energy. But the transitions are consistent with bilabial, and to the degree that we can see any energy at all in the resonances, there might be a pole at about 1000-1100 Hz.

Lower-case Z
[z], IPA 133
Well, so this is a sibilant, with that high-frequency, high-amplitude peak. And it's the only peak, so we're looking at an alveolar rather than a postalveolar. And I thought it was voiced when I did the figure but I'm not not sure that couple of pulses at the beginning should count. But maybe it does. And it's shorter than a voiceless sibilant probably would be, and weaker, sort of, both of which correlate with an 'underlying' voiced fricative. Okay, I'm just a complete hypocrite. But I really think we should be using turned-a for the STRUT vowel.

Script A
[ɑ], IPA 305
The harmonics are getting in the way of this vowel, but I take the F1 to be the sort of peakish thing at about 900 Hz (as opposed to the one at 500 Hz) to be the F1, and the F2 would be the one at about 1200 Hz. Ignore the diving F3 for the moment. So we've got a very, very low vowel with a mostly back tongue position. Unless we have a mid vowel, but I don't think we do.

Turned R
[ɹ], IPA 151
And here's what we do with the diving F3. Moving on.

Barred I
[ɨ], IPA 317
On the other hand, there's a transition after the F3 minimum that is a little long to be just a transition. So I've shoved in an unstressed vowel. Moving on.

Lower-case N
[n], IPA 116
Well, there's something going on here. Fully voiced, but too weak to support any higher resonances. But too strong in the voicing bar to be an obstruent. So some kind of unknown sonorant. Probably nasal, judging by the sudden loss of energy from the preceding vowel. It just looks like an edge, of the kind nasals have but oral sonorants don't. The F3 transition (into it) is hard to read, since it starts so low it has no place to go but up. But assuming it's going up, the F2 isn't really pinching into it, nor is it obviously dropping bilabial-wise. So maybe this is an alveolar nasal. It would be nice if we could se some resonance around 1500 (or anywhere 1300-1500) Hz, but you can't have everything....

Glottal Stop
[ʔ], IPA 113
Well, not so much a stop, as a creakiness at the end of the nasal and into the following vowel, but that's as close as we usually see in my voice.

[ɛ], IPA 303
So the vowel looks like it's short and transitional, mostly in F2, but there's shorter coming, and it's unlikely they're both completely stressless. So if we have to choose, let's look. THe F1 is basically mid, although it's moving from slightly higher to slightly lower, so it's moving from lower to higher in the mid-range. The F2 is also in the central range, but moving frontish (slightly) to backish (slightly). F3 is just neutral. So this is a middish, possibly lower-mid-ish vowel, moving from frontish to centralish. Which is about all you can say.

Lower-case D
[d], IPA 102
Well, clearly voiced. Not really resonant, except for some mush in the upper formants. Could be a flappy type thing, but is a little long, or a shortish stop. I went back and forth and decided on the stop. No pinch, no serious labial transitions, so probably alveolar.

[ə], IPA 322
Short little vowel, the F2 clearly all transition. Moving on.

Lower-case B
[b], IPA 102
Again, a voiced stop, this one even plosive-y-er than the othe rone, and sufficiently long to not really be a question. As to place, thre's not a lot of information. The F2 transition could be labial (it couldn't be much else, but it's also consistent with just a vowel-to-vowel transition (check the formants of the following vowel). So who knows. Not velar. Probably not alveolar. But that's a guess.

Tilde L (Dark L) + Syllabicity Mark
[ɫ̩], IPA 209 + 431
Well, I looked, and couldn't convince myself there was a separate vowel in here. The F1 is mid-looking, the F2 is absurldy low, and the F3 is raised. The apparent zero between the F2 and F3 is probably just realitive weakness in the harmonics with nothing resonant to support htem, rather tahn a real zero. If this were a nasal, I'd expect a) a weaker voicing bar, b) no F1, and c) no higher resonances, given the range of the apparent zero. So this must be an oral approximant, and the raised F3 suggests a lateral. It's length and the absence of anything you'd want to call a vowel on either side suggests syllabic.

Lower-case F
[f], IPA 128
A a non-sibilant fricative. Voiceless, and with no formant-like shaping. So this has to be labiodental or dental. Hard to tell, but the trnasitions in the following vowel are more labial-looking than anythinge else. I guess.

Turned A
[ɐ], IPA 324
Ick. Okay, for the record, we're looking ath the sort of fuzzy-formanted thing that's mostly stransition, from about 1450 msec to where the F2 (or whatever it is) leaves off at about 1525 msec. F1 (not to be confused with the strong harmonic over the voicing bar, is that t hing that starts at about 600 and rises, sort of to about 1000 Hz, maybe. The F2 starts really low as well, let's say 900 Hz, and rises to about 1500 or so. F3 is lower than it was, and more or less flat, but it gets fuzzier as it progresses. Okay, so the weakness in F1 and the increasing fuzziness in F1 (and the increasing weakness of the inter-formant energy, and ultimately the formatns as well) suggests increasing nasality. Just something to file away for another segment. F1 is mid-to-high, so we're dealing with a lower-mid-ish kind of vowel. This one sort of back as well, but I'm sticking to my guns on thins one, at least or this spectrogram. Lowish central-to-backish vowel.

[ŋ], IPA 119
Backing perhaps helped along by coarticulation with a following velar, which is waht this is. It's a nasal, and the only real reasonacnes is sort of in F3. But more important than that, there's a bit of a gap, with definitely velar transitions following, and English nasal-place-assimilation being what it is, I'd say this was a velar nasal.

Lower-case G
[ɡ], IPA 110
That's assuming I can convince myself that there really is a gap here. Homorganic stops following nasals tend to be very short, in terms of their apparenty oral-plosive component, so I'd take this little bit of low-energy voicing around 1600 msec to be sufficient evidence of a plosive. And as I said, the transitions in the vowel can only be velar.

[ə], IPA 322
WHich leads us to the velar, which if it ain't a 'real' vowel, it hsould be transcribed as a barred-i, following Keating et al (1994) as I do. But if it isn't a reduced vowel, what is it? Well, it's definitely mid. And definitely central or front of central. And the F3 is a little low, but that again may just be coarticulation with the velar (transitional). So soemthing schwa-like or epsilon-like, or somewhere in there....

Lower-case S
[s], IPA 132
Oooh, this is weak for a sibilant, but it definitely has that centered-off-the-top, broad band 'shape' of a sibilant spectrum. Final weakening lives, I guess. Even though it seems to have that postalveolar low zero, it doesn't have the lower (F2-F3) peak. So this has to be [s].