Paul Boersma’s writings on the Praat program

The Praat program is a tool for phonetics research and can be downloaded for free from praat.org.

1. How to cite Praat

To cite Praat in your own writings, you can do it as follows (change the year, the version number, and the download date):

Paul Boersma & David Weenink (2013):
Praat: doing phonetics by computer [Computer program].
Version 5.3.51, retrieved 2 June 2013 from http://www.praat.org/

At least, that is the style required by the American Psychological Association. The journal that you publish in may require a different style. If the journal does not allow you to cite a computer program, you can cite the following instead:

2001 Praat, a system for doing phonetics by computer.
Glot International 5(9/10): 341-345.
(These pages include a review by Vincent van Heuven.)

2. Tutorials

The following article is a tutorial on acoustic analysis, i.e. what the waveform, the spectrogram and the pitch curve tell you about durations, formants, pitches and more:

2013 Acoustic analysis. [preprint, 2013/02/02]
In Robert Podesva and Devyani Sharma (eds.): Research methods in linguistics, 375-396. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The following article can be read together with Praat’s Intro (under Help). It shows you some of the basic windows in Praat and how to work with TextGrids (it also explains how to create a corpus):

2014 The use of Praat in corpus research. [preprint, 2012/04/16]
In Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut & Gjert Kristoffersen (eds.): Handbook of corpus phonology, 342-360. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

3. Descriptions and illustrations of Praat’s algorithms

The following article describes Praat’s pitch extraction and HNR algorithms:

1993
Accurate short-term analysis of the fundamental frequency and the harmonics-to-noise ratio of a sampled sound.
IFA Proceedings 17: 97-110.
The world’s most accurate pitch-extraction algorithm: measures F0 with an accuracy of 10-6, and HNR values up to 60 dB.

The following article evaluates Praat’s jitter, shimmer, and HNR algorithms:

2004 Stemmen meten met Praat (measuring voices with Praat).
Stem-, Spraak- en Taalpathologie 12: 237-251.
Preprint: 2004/12/23, 13 pages.

Here is an English version (of the jitter part):

2009 Should jitter be measured by peak picking or by waveform matching?
Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica 61: 305-308.
Preprint: 2009/03/02, 6 pages.

The following article describes Praat’s pitch-corrected LTAS algorithm:

2006 Paul Boersma & Gordana Kovačić:
Spectral characteristics of three styles of Croatian folk singing.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 119: 1805-1816. [licence]

The following article describes a method for improving formant measurements by adapting the ceiling:

2009 Paola Escudero, Paul Boersma, Andréia Schurt Rauber & Ricardo Bion:
A cross-dialect acoustic description of vowels: Brazilian and European Portuguese.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 126: 1379-1393. [licence]

Here is an example of scripting in Praat, applied to Ton Wempe’s pitch-independent spectral analysis:

2003/03/01 Ton Wempe & Paul Boersma:
The interactive design of an F0-related spectral analyser.
Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona, August 3-9, 2003, pp. 343-346.

Praat’s articulatory synthesizer is described in chapters 2, 3, and 5 of Functional Phonology (1998). For historical completeness, here are two earlier papers:

1995/08
Interaction between glottal and vocal-tract aerodynamics in a comprehensive model of the speech apparatus.
Proceedings of the 13th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Stockholm, vol. 2, pp. 430-433. [Abstract]
1993/05
An articulatory synthesizer for the simulation of consonants.
Proceedings Eurospeech ’93, Berlin, pp. 1907-1910. [Abstract]

4. The Praat manual

The best way to consult the Praat manual is to look under Help in the Praat program. That gives you the newest version of the manual, and a search option. For historical completeness, here are some published versions of (parts of) the manual:

1999 Optimality-Theoretic learning in the Praat program.
IFA Proceedings 23: 17-35 (= Rutgers Optimality Archive 380).
1996 Paul Boersma & David Weenink:
Praat, a system for doing phonetics by computer, version 3.4.
Institute of Phonetic Sciences of the University of Amsterdam, Report 132. 182 pages.

Go to Paul Boersma’s home page.