Previous work has shown that velar stops are produced with a forward movement during closure, forming a forward (anterior) loop for a VCV sequence, when the preceding vowels are back or mid. Are listeners aware of this aspect of articulatory dynamics? The current study used articulatory synthesis to examine how such kinematic patterns are reflected in the acoustics, and whether those acoustic patterns elicit different goodness ratings. In Experiment I, the size and direction of loops was modulated in articulatory synthesis. The resulting stimuli were presented to listeners for a naturalness judgment. Results show that listeners rate forward loops as more natural than backward loops, in agreement with typical productions. Acoustic analysis of the synthetic stimuli shows that forward loops exhibit shorter and shallower VC transitions than CV transitions. In Experiment II, three acoustic parameters were employed incorporating F3-F2 distance, transition slope, and transition length to systematically modulate the magnitude of VC and CV transitions. Listeners rated the naturalness in accord with those of Experiment I. This study reveals that there is sufficient information in the acoustic signature of "velar loops" to affect perceptual preference. Similarity to typical productions seemed to determine preferences, not acoustic distinctiveness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics