Acoustical features of diphthongs in Afrikaans
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The main purpose of the study was to shed more light on the acoustical features of diphthongs in Afrikaans. To achieve this goal diphthongs were examined and analysed in a production test as weIl as a perception test. In order to find a way to be able to give an adequate description of diphthongs acoustically the target theory, the trajectory theory, as well as the temporal formant pattern were discussed and critically evaluated. The production test was performed and in pursuit of finding a way of analysing the whole diphthong, curve fits were performed for the FI-F3, amplitude and B l-B3. The result of the production test indicated that none of the different components of the formant pattern could individually describe diphthongs unambiguously, and therefore, has to lie in a combination of these components. On the grounds of the results obtained from the production test synthetic stimuli for the perception test was devised to test whether the target theory, the trajectory theory (the direction and the rate of change) or the temporal formant pattern could describe diphthongs in Afrikaans unambiguously. Subjects were asked to identify and give quality judgements on synthetic diphthongs in a listening test. The results showed that diphthongs of the temporal formant pattern were identified best and were also judged by the listeners as being of a higher quality than diphthongs of the target theory, the direction of change or the rate of change. These results are also in accordance with the findings ofthe production test.
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