Articulatory synthesis

This is a description of the articulatory synthesis package in Praat. For a detailed description of the physics and mathematics behind the model, see Boersma (1998), chapters 2 and 3. For examples of how to synthesize utterances, consult

How to start (after reading the Intro)

We are going to have the synthesizer say [əpə]. We need a Speaker and an Artword object.

1. Create a speaker with Create Speaker... from the New menu.

2. Create an articulation word of 0.5 seconds with Create Artword....

3. Edit the Artword by selecting it and clicking View & Edit.

4. To set the glottis to a position suitable for phonation, use the ArtwordEditor to set the Interarytenoid activity to 0.5 throughout the utterance. You set two targets: 0.5 at a time of 0 seconds, and 0.5 at a time of 0.5 seconds.

5. To prevent air escaping from the nose, close the nasopharyngeal port by setting the LevatorPalatini activity to 1.0 throughout the utterance.

6. To generate the lung pressure needed for phonation, you set the Lungs activity at 0 seconds to 0.2, and at 0.1 seconds to 0.

7. To force a jaw movement that closes the lips, set the Masseter activity at 0.25 seconds to 0.7, and the OrbicularisOris activity at 0.25 seconds to 0.2.

8. Select the Speaker and the Artword and click Movie; you will see a closing-and-opening gesture of the mouth.

9. Select the Speaker and the Artword and click To Sound... (see Artword & Speaker: To Sound...).

10. Just click OK; the synthesis starts.

11. If you are sitting at a 1997 computer, this will last for 5 minutes or so; at a 2010 computer, 6 seconds. If this is too slow for you, click Interrupt. Otherwise, you can watch the vibrating vocal cords and the changing vocal-tract shape.

12. You can play, view, and analyse the resulting Sound as you would any other. You can see and hear a sound movie if you select the Speaker, the Artword, and the Sound, and click Play.

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© ppgb, October 28, 20110