The perception of fricative peaks and noise bands

Jonathan Goodacre, Yoshitaka Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Recent work on the identification and perception of fricatives has focussed on the use by listeners of spectral moments derived from the whole spectrum and there appears to be no work in the literature on the use of prominent spectral peaks. In this study, we map the response of a single listener to narrow bands of noise that "mimic" the spectral peaks of English voiceless fricatives. The stimuli are based on the critical-band rate scale (Zwicker and Fastl, 1990) which divides the audible frequency range up to 15500 Hz into 24 abutting critical bands. The results suggest that listeners have knowledge that enables them to connect a narrow-band spectral peak with a particular fricative consonant. We demonstrate that such knowledge, particularly in conjunction with a normalization metric that takes account of an individual speaker's vocal tract characteristics (F0 of the vowel following the fricative), could be used to good effect, particularly in noisy conditions which impair the use of the whole spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-154
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of physiological anthropology and applied human science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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