InterSpeech 2021

Segmental Alignment of English Syllables with Singleton and Cluster Onsets
(3 minutes introduction)

Zirui Liu (University College London, UK), Yi Xu (University College London, UK)
Recent research has shown fresh evidence that consonant and vowel are synchronised at the syllable onset, as predicted by a number of theoretical models. The finding was made by using a minimal contrast paradigm to determine segment onset in Mandarin CV syllables, which differed from the conventional method of detecting gesture onset with a velocity threshold [1]. It has remained unclear, however, if CV co-onset also occurs between the nucleus vowel and a consonant cluster, as predicted by the articulatory syllable model [2]. This study applied the minimal contrast paradigm to British English in both CV and clusterV (CLV) syllables, and analysed the spectral patterns with signal chopping in conjunction with recurrent neural networks (RNN) with long short-term memory (LSTM) [3]. Results show that vowel onset is synchronised with the onset of the first consonant in a cluster, thus supporting the articulatory syllable model.