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Phonetics Waveforms

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Parth Jawale

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(a) Suppose the frequency of Wave A is 150 Hz. What is the frequency of Wave B?

75 Hz. Wave A takes t1 to t5: 4 time units. Wave B takes t1 to t9: 8 time units. We

know that time taken for a wave to come back to its original position (simple

harmonic motion) is inversely proportional to frequency. So, frequency of B will be

half that of A.

(b) What is the amplitude of each of the waves? (Don’t worry about the units.)

Amplitude is the maximum disturbance of a wave from its original resting position.

Here A’s amplitude is 3 units and B’s amplitude is 2 units.

(c) Use sine wave addition to draw a complex wave made up of component waves A & B.

(d) Still assuming the frequency of Wave A is 150 Hz, what is the fundamental frequency of

Wave AB (the wave you drew in (c))?

75 Hz.

2. Given the following waveform…

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190

200

(a) Mark the point in the waveform where the pitch changes and label it (a).

(b) Mark the point in the waveform where the vowel quality changes and label it (b).

point A, what we’re looking for is this change in frequency. Frequency is cycles per

second, so we will see a change after an inflection point. Similarly, for point B, what

we’re looking for is a change in the periodicity. All vowels are periodic, but their

period of oscillation will differ. The formant frequencies will also change but it is

not necessary for the fundamental frequency to change. The pattern of periodicity

however, can be observed to change at point B.

(d) Calculate the approximate f0 for each of the 3 parts of the sound.

(all values are approximations)

3. Given a spectrum…

(a) What is the fundamental frequency of the sound represented by this spectrum?

(b) What are the frequencies of the 1 st, 3rd, and 20th (if you could see it) harmonics?

1st: 250 Hz

3rd: 750 Hz

20th: 5000 Hz (you can’t see it in the graph, but can multiply 20 and 250)

(c) What are the approximate frequencies of the first three formants?

Frequency of the 1st formant is 750 Hz, 2nd formant is 1250 Hz and the 3rd

formant is 2250 Hz.

(d) If the speaker lowered her voice an octave (i.e., halved her fundamental frequency),

what would be the answers to (a)-(c)?

would be thus 125 Hz, 3rd would be 375 Hz, 20th would be 2500 Hz. In a similar

fashion, the approximate frequency of the 1st formant would be 375 Hz, 2nd

formant would be 625 Hz and the 3rd formant would be 1125 Hz.

4. Given an actual FFT spectrum…

(a) What is the fundamental frequency of the sound represented by this spectrum?

(b) Explain how you found the fundamental frequency in part (a)

All the peaks are equidistant (because they’re the harmonics). So, the first peak comes around

the 120~125 mark. Or we can just take the total number of peaks it covers before say, 1000

Hz, and divide it by 1000 – to get 125 as the more accurate value.

(c) What are the frequencies of the 1st, 3rd, and 20th harmonics?

1st: 125 Hz

3rd: 375 Hz

20th: 2500 Hz

(d) What are the approximate frequencies of the first three formants?

Frequencies of:

2nd formant: 2125 Hz

3rd formant: 2875 Hz

5. Given the vocal tract filter shown below…

(a) Draw the (idealized power) spectrum for the vowel that will be produced if the

speaker’s fundamental frequency is 100Hz. (You can draw it right on the same set of

axes with the filter.)

(c) Draw the (idealized power) spectrum for the vowel that will be produced if the

speaker’s fundamental frequency is 400Hz. (You can draw it right on the same set of

axes with the filter.)

(d) What are the frequencies for F1 and F2 in the new sound?

(e) All other things being equal, say which speaker’s vowel will be easier to understand and

explain why.

100 Hz is a normal value of fundamental frequency. 400 Hz, on the other hand is very high and

beyond the normal range. The second sound would thus be characterized of sharp tonal changes

and screeches. So, we can say that the first speaker would be easier to understand.

6. Draw an approximate spectrum for the following (you may ignore formants above F3) (NB –

You may find it helpful to draw the filter too.):

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