Solution for August 2007

labeled spectrogram
<A href="../../wav/wav070.wav"> "The ducks float downstream."

We seem to be on a wildlife thing. Except that this was supposed to be about rubber ducks in a race. But whatever.

[θ̝], IPA 130
Theta + Raising Sign
Well, there's not much of anything going on, but there's a transient or something that precedes the first 'real' voicing pulse, which I'm going to take as evidence of something useful happening. What exactly it is, I'm not sure. We can eliminate voiceless plosive, since that would aspirated here, and this isn't aspriated. We can rule out anything sonorant, which owuld produce, well sonorance. Which leaves unaspirated plosives and fricatives. Which doesn't leave us a lot of options. However, if you're familiar with my voice, you know that I tend to stop my dental fricatives word/utterance initially. So this is probably some kind of /ð/. TMSAISTI.

[ə], IPA 322
Tiny little short vowel, especially considering it's in an initial syllable. Must be reduced. Call it a schwa and move on.

[d], IPA 104
Lower-case D
Lovely voicing bar, and long. Clearly a voiced plosive of some kind, and the falling F2 and F3 transitions in the following vowel suggest alveolar. The length may have to do with the stress, since this is clearly the onset of the most heavily stressed (and highest pitched) syllable in the utterance. Then again, it may not.

[ʌ], IPA 314
Turned V
I swore I'd stop calling these things[ʌ], but this one is too far back (too low an F2) to count as central). And it's F1 is sort of in between a lower-mid and a middish-lower kind fo f vowel. So [ʌ] it is, I guess.

[k], IPA 109
Lower-case K
Another plosive some some kind, from just before 400 msec to that clunk just before 500 msec. Longish. That clunk may or may not be meaningful, so let's ignore it and see how far we get. Nice long closure. F2 in the preceding vowel is headed ever slow slightly upwards, F3 is definitely trending down. So this could be a velar. And velars are often accompanied by odd clunks of various sorts, so I'm going to move on. (I didn't say this was going to be a good solution, now did I?)

[s], IPA 132
Lower-case S
So following the clunkc and heading to about 600 msec there's some frication. Voiceless, and apparently getting louder the higher up in frequency it goes. Pretty standard [s].

[f], IPA 128
Lower-case F
On the other hand, after 600 msec, something else is going on. Suddenly we lose a lot of the high frequency stuff, and we get more stuff in the lower frequencies. But it's not really organized like a 'voiceless vowel', so it's not going to be an [h]. That leaves [f] or [θ]. I might suggest that the F2 transition into the following vowel, which is rising, might indicate a labial, but Id'd be making stuff up to make myself sound smart. Then again, these two sounds are easily confused, and I think we can sound out the right form later.

[ɫ], IPA 209
Tilde L (Dark L)
Now this would be easy to miss. There's a very slight change in the amplitude of the voicing/F1 complex round about 750 msec. But this corresponds to an apparent zero, or somethin, higher up that turns off at that moment too.  So there's something going on here that we might want to pay attention to. (Then again, if we can get a better word/phrase out of it, we might want to ignore it. But I'm leading you somewhere.) If we take it seriously, we've got a short bit of sonorant something in between the fricative and the vowel. It has a mid-to-low F1, and a 'quite' low F2, indicating something backish. But the F3, if anything, is just a little high of where we see it in most of the rest of the utterance. What do we think when we see a high F3?  Right.

[o], IPA 307
Lower-case O
F1 is basically about 500 Hz, possibly a little lower. F2 is about 1200 Hz or so.  F3 is trending down, slightly, from sort of above 2500 Hz to sort of below 2500 Hz. So there you go. Middish, or higher-than-strictly mid. Definitely back and/or round. F2 is pretty flat, although F1 might also be trending down. So flattish rather than diphthongy [o].

[ʔt], IPA 103 + 113(?)
Lower-case T + Left Superscript Glottal Stop (?)
By which I mean a preglottalized [t]. Which probably isn't right, but I convinced myself that the low pitch was glottalization and I had to do something to stick in both /t/s. So anyway, , the transitions aren't really helping us.  F3 is sort of heading down, unless it's not.  F2 is sort of heading up, but it's so low there's no where else for it to go really. I'd rather talk about the release, but that's a separate phoneme, if it isn't a separate 'gesture'.

[t], IPA 103
Lower-case T
So there's a sharp elease transient just before 1000 msec. It's distinct from the glottal pulses which immediately follow it, in both spectrum and amplitude, not to mention timing.  The release burst itself has energy in the very highest frequencies, and except for that bit between F1 and F2, looks very much like an [s]. Which is typical of [t] releases. The transitions are consistent with an alveolar release.

[aɪ], IPA 304 + 319
Lower-case A + Upsilon
I'm a little disturbed by the starting frequency of the F1, but since that's transition out of a plosive, I choose to ignore it. F1 reaches it's flat bit at around 1100 msec near 600 or 700 Hz, which isn't exactly 'high', but will do. F2 starts frontish, but dives sharly to almost 1000 Hz, so decidedly back and probably round. Typical of a frontish [aɪ] diphthong.

[n], IPA 116
Lower-case N
There's a nice little nasal from about 1200 to about 1260 msec or so. Fully voiced and sonorant, but with an overall lowered amplitude, a nice little zero at about 800 Hz, and, unfortunately, a clear looking pole around 1000 Hz. Which in my voice is almost always associated with [m]. I'm going to suggest that something weird is happening with the F2 transition (don't ask me what) and the pole we should really be looking at is the one at 1500 Hz (or so) aboe the little microzero thing (whatever that is) above the whatever it is we're ignoring at 1000 Hz. ARound 1500 Hz, we get a pole typical of [n]. So use your imagination and move on.

[s], IPA 132
Lower-case S
So now we move into voiceless territory, for quite awhile, and at least from around 1300 msec to almost 1400 msec, there's serious [s] frication. Almost prototypical. The little release thing at about 1300 msec is probably the release of the [n] into the fricative. A little stronger and it would be an excrescent [t]. Or whatever they're called.

[t], IPA 103
Lower-case T
And there's this short little gappy thing at 1400 msec. Must be a plosive. Nothing in it to suggest bilabial (there should be a 'tail' as the [s] noise gets shaped by the closing lips. So it could be [k] or [t]. And what's coming up isn't helping. There's some release noise (and a lower frequency double clunk that we're going to ignore), which is tilted to the higher frequencies, except it *is* being shaped by the following segment ....

[ɹ], IPA 151
Turned R
Which features an F2/F3 complex at its left edge, if that's how you want to think about it, around 1600 Hz. F3 never gets that low (in English) unless it's an /r/.

[i], IPA 301
Lower-case I
So F1 is where now?  Hmm. Well, not high at least. Must be below that harmonic at 500 Hz, so we're looking at a fairly high vowel. F2, when it finally settles down is up around 2200 or 2300 Hz. Great Gatsby, that's high.  About as front as a vowel can get. So this is very, very front, probably very high vowel.

[m], IPA 114
Lower-case M
And we can see the F2 and F3 transitions pointing down, which is typically a bilabial cue, but they're so high where else could they go. It would be nice if there were a nice little pole to latch onto, but this thing (starting at about 1750 msec) is so weak that we can't see anything really above the voicing bar. So in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we'll guess [m] here and try to make a good word out of it.