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Objective Evaluation of Consonant-Vowel pairs produced by Native Speakers of Danish

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Nonsense syllable speech materials are often used when investigating speech perception in quiet andunder adverse conditions. The main advantage of using nonsense syllables over words and sentencesis that the acoustic as well as the linguistic context is minimal. This paper presents three anechoicrecordings of 13 male and 13 female native talkers of Danish each speaking 65 nonsense syllablesrepeated three times with the neutral intonation contour for Danish (in total 15210 syllables). Theauthors compared and ranked groups of three recordings. These three recording had the same talkerand had identical phonetic content. The syllables were ranked according to the general “appropriateness”and consistency, i.e., prototypical production of the consonant-vowel (CV) with respect toapplicability in speech perceptual studies. The results were compared to results of an automaticmethod based on acoustic measures. The two novel ideas are 1) to devise an automated method forevaluating “appropriateness” of CVs and 2) to develop a Danish CV-material annotated with an objectivemeasure of “appropriateness” for each recorded CV. The latter would potentially render moreCV’s appropriate for perceptual studies. Moreover, objective evaluation would make it possible toexamine any perceptual effects of variability in CV production (for example how susceptible differentrenderings by the same talker of CV’s are to background noise). To the knowledge of the authors, nosuch material has yet been published for any language.

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Thomas U. Christiansen, Peter Juel Henrichsen

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