InterSpeech 2021

Inhalations in speech: acoustic and physiological characteristics
(3 minutes introduction)

Raphael Werner (Universität des Saarlandes, Germany), Susanne Fuchs (ZAS, Germany), Jürgen Trouvain (Universität des Saarlandes, Germany), Bernd Möbius (Universität des Saarlandes, Germany)
This paper examines the acoustic properties of breath noises in speech pauses in relation to similar speech segments and with regard to their inhalation speed. We measured intensity, center of gravity, and formants, as well as kinematic data (via Respiratory Inductance Plethysmography) for inhalations, aspirations of stops, glottal fricatives, and schwa vowels. We find that inhalations within speech are louder than those initiating speech, share spectral properties (center of gravity) with the aspiration phase of /k/-realizations, and generally involve a more open vocal tract (higher F1) than schwa-realizations. Intensity, center of gravity, and F1 are found to be positively correlated to inhalation speed. Overall, we conclude that jaw openness and inhalation speed are major contributors to inhalation noises in speech pauses.