Create formant table (Peterson & Barney 1952)

A command to create a Table object filled with the fundamental frequency and the first three formant frequency values from 10 American-English monophthongal vowels as spoken in a /h_d/ context by 76 speakers (33 men, 28 women and 15 children). Every vowel was pronounced twice, so that there are 1520 recorded vowels in total.

Table layout

The created table will contain 9 columns:

Column 1, labelled as Type
speaker type: "m", "w" or "c" (for man, woman or child).
Column 2, labelled as Sex
speaker sex: either "m" or "f" (for male or female).
Column 3, labelled as Speaker
speaker id: a number from 1 to 76.
Column 4, labelled as Vowel
the vowel name. The following list gives the vowel in a h_d context word together with its representation in this column: (heed, iy), (hid, ih), (head, eh), (had, ae), (hod, aa), (hawed, ao), (hood, uh), (who'd, uw), (hud, ah), (heard, er).
Column 5, labelled as IPA
the IPA notation for the vowels as defined in Peterson & Barney (1952).
Column 6, labelled as F0
the fundamental frequency in Hertz.
Column 7, 8 and 9, labelled as F1, F2 and F3
the frequencies in Hertz of the first three formants.


We originally downloaded the data from the University of Pennsylvania FTP site, where they were reportedly based on a printed version supplied by Ignatius Mattingly.

About the IPA notation. We used the original notation from the Peterson & Barney article. The notation in Watrous (1991) differs for three vowels: Watrous uses /e, o, ɜ/ where Peterson & Barney use /ɛ, ɔ, ɜ˞/.

More details about these data and how they were measured can be found in the articlesWatrous (1991) and in Peterson & Barney (1952).

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© djmw, May 9, 2008