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Articulatory study of consonant production via epg and ema techniques


Research objectives and content In the context of a complete understanding of the task of speaking, my main objective is now the study of articulatory dynamics of consonant production particularly the temporal trajectories of articulators such as the tongue. It is now well-known that for the production of consonants, the constriction occurs in a well-defined zone of the vocal tract but it has been shown that the exact position of the contact in this zone can be modified by the vocalic context within which the consonant is produced. To understand details of the influence at vocalic context and to simulate such a phenomenon, the question of the existence of the consonantal target is fundamental: is there for the production of a plosive consonant a spatial articulatory target as proposed for the production of vowels or, if so, then should the task be considered in another manner, for example by the production of a contact between articulators ? This question will be the centre of interest of the post doctoral project that I propose to do at Queen Margaret College. For this, I will record the production of alveolar plosives and fricatives in both French and English and will study the correlation between acoustic and articulatory events. The articulatory data will be acquired with the combined use of Electropalatograph and Electromagnetic Articulograph. The Electropalatographic technique (EPG) provides information about location and timing of tongue contacts with the hard palate and the electromagnetic Articulograph (EMA) tracks the movement, in the mid-sagittal plane, of up to five miniature coils attached to themid-line of the tongue. When used in combination, the two techniques can provide a reasonable representation of the overall shape and configuration of the tongue and its movement. I will study the cinematic characteristics of specific tongue points in the zone of occlusion and friction for different speakers (French and English) producing V-C-V sequences in carrier sentences. Some simple functional dynamical modelling will be developed for the interpretation of the kinematic measurements in terms of command, position or target. Moreover the results obtained will be exploited later in a general model of co-articulation simulating the vowel-consonant-vowel sequences. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) My coming to Professor Hardcastle's Department is for me an opportunity to acquire new skills and techniques in EPG and EMA instrumentation. In fact, this Department is one of the few that possess both instrumentations and it will be a real chance for a researcher, such as myself, working in the articulatory domain to manipulate in parallel both techniques. Moreover, during this post-doc year I will benefit of the quality of the methodological procedure in data acquisition and in result analysis that this Department has now acquired as attested by previous works published by this laboratory.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


Queen Margaret College
Corstorphine Campus
EH12 8TS Edinburgh
United Kingdom