EEM.

ssr: Speaker & Speech Recognition

Vocal-tract acoustics
by Philip Jackson
CVSSP, School of Electronics & Physical Sciences

Articulators
• Jaw • Lips • Tongue tip • Tongue blade • Velum • Larynx
mid-sagittal MRI for vowel /i/

Source-filter theory (1)

• Sound is generated within the vocal tract (Source) • Vocal tract independently filters that sound (Filter) • Radiated from the lips to the far field

Source-filter theory (2)

Plane waves
1-D wave equation:

 2  2 2 − 0 =0 2 2  
c 0 = γRT0

where

There exist solutions of the form:

Assumptions
• The duct
– – – – Straight Rigid Static Abrupt area changes

• Sound waves
– Propagating along the axis – With planar wavefronts – Small – Lossless (isentropic) – Radiated only from the open end

• The medium
– Frictionless – Homogeneous – Fluid at rest

Boundary conditions

Closed end:

Open end:

Wave travelling in a tube

d((t - t 0 ) - x c 0 )t 0

Wave travelling in a tube

d ((t - t 0 ) - x c 0 )t1

Wave travelling in a tube

d((t - t 0 ) - x c 0 )t 2

Wave travelling in a tube

d((t - t 0 ) - x c 0 )t 3

= d (- (x - l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

- d((t - t 3 ) + (x - l ) c 0 )t 4 = - d(t 4 + (x - 2l ) c 0 ) = - d ((x - l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

- d((t - t 3 ) + (x - l ) c 0 )t5 = - d(t 5 + (x - 2l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

- d((t - t 3 ) + (x - l ) c 0 )t 6 = - d(t 6 + (x - 2l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

- d ((t - t 6 ) - x c 0 )t 7 = - d (t 7 - (x + 2l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

- d ((t - t 6 ) - x c 0 )t 9 = - d (t 9 - (x + 2l ) c 0 ) = - d (- (x - l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

d((t - t 9 ) + (x - l ) c 0 )t10 = d (t10 + (x - 4l ) c 0 ) = d ((x - l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

d((t - t 9 ) + (x - l ) c 0 )t12 = d (t12 + (x - 4l ) c 0 )

Wave travelling in a tube

d ((t - t12 ) - x c 0 )t13

= d (t13 - (x + 4l ) c 0 )

Resonances of a closed tube

c0 (2n - 1) fn = 4l

Vowels

Summary
• Plane waves approximate sound propagation in the vocal tract • Reflections at area changes create resonances (called formants) • Formant estimates can be made from simple tube shapes