Refining and extending measures for fricative spectra, with special attention to the high-frequency rangea)

Christine H. Shadle, Wei Rong Chen, Laura L. Koenig, Jonathan L. Preston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Fricatives have noise sources that are filtered by the vocal tract and that typically possess energy over a much broader range of frequencies than observed for vowels and sonorant consonants. This paper introduces and refines fricative measurements that were designed to reflect underlying articulatory and aerodynamic conditions These show differences in the pattern of high-frequency energy for sibilants vs non-sibilants, voiced vs voiceless fricatives, and non-sibilants differing in place of articulation. The results confirm the utility of a spectral peak measure (FM) and low-mid frequency amplitude difference (AmpD) for sibilants. Using a higher-frequency range for defining FM for female voices for alveolars is justified; a still higher range was considered and rejected. High-frequency maximum amplitude (Fh) and amplitude difference between low- and higher-frequency regions (AmpRange) capture /f-θ/ differences in English and the dynamic amplitude range over the entire spectrum. For this dataset, with spectral information up to 15 kHz, a new measure, HighLevelD, was more effective than previously used LevelD and Slope in showing changes over time within the frication. Finally, isolated words and connected speech differ. This work contributes improved measures of fricative spectra and demonstrates the necessity of including high-frequency energy in those measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1932-1944
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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