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Title: Vocal effort levels and underlying acoustic phonetic characteristics
Author: Cushing, I. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 2202
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis presents empirical research which investigates diverse vocal effort levels in anechoic conditions from a large number of British English speakers. Five vocal effort labels were stipulated: hushed, normal, raised, loud and shout. New results show similar averages to previous work, but lower standard deviations which are attributed to the more descriptive vocal effort labels used in this study. Building on this data, a phonetic investigation into vocal effort was carried out, taking its inspiration from the natural segmental variation in speech which occurs at different vocal efforts. Speech was split into voiced and unvoiced components which allowed for a more phonetically motivated profile of vocal effort. In a bid to mirror analysis with the speech communication chain of talker to listener, listening tests were conducted where subjects rated the perceived vocal effort level of isolated words. Listeners also rated perceived clarity of articulation, taking the assumption that different degrees of clarity are an inherent feature of different speech levels. Multiple regression analysis revealed that listeners exploit the voiced-unvoiced distinction in their perception of vocal effort and clarity of articulation. The resulting validation equation from the multiple regression model showed that vocal effort levels can be reliably predicted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available