In the Spring of 2001, my daughter, Tina, came to me with questions regarding her study of phonetics for her Masters in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).
She wanted to know exactly how various sounds are generated. She had learned that various sounds are produced by changing the position of the tongue, the lips, and the vocal chords but she wanted to know exactly how this created the various phonemes.
We started by reviewing waves and then how sounds are affected by the
sizes of containers.
We visited the San Francisco Exploratorium and saw a nice model of the voice tract made from a duck pipe and pipes with different shapes.   Blowing air through this contraption produced clearly discernable sounds of the vowels.
Vocal tract and pipe model  for the vowel "e" Vocal tract and pipe model  for the vowel "o"
I wrote a computer program to record sounds and to analyze them with a Fast Fourier Transformation.
The resulting time dependent spectra (frequency content) are displayed in a SONOGRAM.

high pitch
low pitch


time axis --------------------->
     Tina says
  "ooooo"                "eeeee"
  time axis --------------------->
     Tina says
           "oi"                "au"
Here Tina is speaking into a microphone and recording some text samples.  The computer stores the waveform of the sound and calculates the spectrum.       
Tina's Study Object:   "Using Sonograms to Recognize Affect in Speech"
                 Having plunged headfirst into the world of phonemes, Tina returned to her Masters Program with a completed research paper, “Using Sonograms to Recognize Affect in Speech", to which her Professor responded with a “Unique approach – Great Job”. Furthermore, Tina now uses this knowledge, in a very simplified way, to explain to her many International students how to properly pronounce words like “this” and “these”.

Emotion sad:  low pitch, low volume
Emotion joy:  higher pitch, louder, wider pitch variation

     sad              joy    



Tina likes frogs.  She has a huge collection of frogs: small and big ones, made of porcelain and plastic, mugs and caps.  Missing was the sound!    I found a CD with the sounds of North American Frogs  - 94 of them!    Ingrit prepared a special version of the cover of the frog CD

Here is the sonogram of the wake up call of "Frogus Ingolfus"



Ingolf's Projects
Ingolf's Professional Career Ingolf's Parallel Career
ingolf's First Personal Computers to measure is to know
Hand - Eye Coordination RoboGames
Model of a Windmill Jumping Jack
Dollhouse Ingolf's Big Picture
Sonogram Viewport
Line follower  

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