Various measures and the distinction of tense and lax contrasts: The case of Zhoucheng Bai

Abstract 摘要

The acoustic characteristics of the tense and lax contrasts have been studied extensively, and different measures were attested to be related, but few of these studies discussed different measures together and explored their relationships. Three of the eight tones in Zhoucheng Bai (i.e., T2, T6, and T7) are marked as tense tones, while the rest are lax tones. Based on Electroglottographic (EGG) and acoustic signals, this paper examined eight measures, namely fundamental frequency (F0), open quotient (OQ), speed quotient (SQ), H1*-H2*, H2*-H4*, H1*-A1*, H1*-A2*, and H1*-A3*, in the data obtained from 10 Zhoucheng Bai speakers. It shows that different measures perform variously in the distinction of tense and lax contrasts. F0 well distinguishes between T6 and T1, and both EGG measures and spectral measures can differentiate between T2 and T8, but none of measures reflects the contrast of T7 and T3 for all speakers. The case of T7 and T3 suggests that the relationship between production and perception is not as straightforward as commonly assumed and needs further research. Although different measures don’t always participate in the distinction of tense and lax contrasts together and have equal contributions, they are significantly correlated with each other, which are supported by the correlation analysis.



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