Tonal effects on articulation: Acoustic analysis, ultrasound data, and articulatory synthesis

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project seeks to investigate the relationship between tongue movement and tone in speech production – two parts of articulation formerly considered independent from each other. Although tone is produced by controlling vocal cord tension, a recent study on Swedish (Svensson Lundmark et al., 2021 [Phonetica 78:515–569]) has shown that pitch can affect tongue movement at the same time. We plan to extend this new line of research by looking at consonant-vowel coordination in Cantonese and Mandarin, two languages with respectively six and four lexical tones, under different tone and speech rate conditions. Both acoustic (formant) and articulatory (high temporal resolution ultrasound tongue imaging) data will be collected for analysis, followed by analysis-by-synthesis using VocalTractLab. Our findings will shed new lights on (i) our understanding of speech production, (ii) individual differences in articulatory control, and demonstrate (iii) the use of articulatory synthesis as a convenient tool for hypothesis-testing in articulation research.

Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
Effective start/end date01/01/2430/06/26


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