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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences Research Institute for Linguistics Benczúr u. 33. H-1068 Budapest Hungary
  • | 2 Budapest University of Technology and Economics Laboratory of Speech Acoustics Dept. of Telecommunication and Media Informatics Magyar tudósok körútja 2. H-1117 Budapest Hungary
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This paper analyzes the nature of the process involved in optional vowel reduction in Hungarian, and the acoustic structure of schwa variants in spontaneous speech. The study focuses on the acoustic patterns of both the basic realizations of Hungarian vowels and their realizations as neutral vowels (schwas), as well as on the design, implementation, and evaluation of a set of algorithms for the recognition of both types of realizations from the speech waveform. The authors address the question whether schwas form a unified group of vowels or they show some dependence on the originally intended articulation of the vowel they stand for. The acoustic study uses a database consisting of over 4,000 utterances extracted from continuous speech, and recorded from 19 speakers. The authors propose methods for the recognition of neutral vowels depending on the various vowels they replace in spontaneous speech. Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients are calculated and used for the training of Hidden Markov Models. The recognition system was trained on 2,500 utterances and then tested on 1,500 utterances. The results show that a neutral vowel can be detected in 72% of all occurrences. Stressed and unstressed syllables can be distinguished in 92% of all cases. Neutralized vowels do not form a unified group of phoneme realizations. The pronunciation of schwa heavily depends on the original articulation configuration of the intended vowel.

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Editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Katalin É. Kiss,
Ferenc Kiefer

Editor: Éva Dékány

Technical Editor: Zoltán G. Kiss

Review Editor: Beáta Gyuris

Editorial Board

  • Anne Abeillé
  • Željko Bošković
  • Marcel den Dikken
  • Hans-Martin Gärtner
  • Elly van Gelderen
  • Anders Holmberg
  • Katarzyna Jaszczolt
  • István Kenesei
  • Anikó Lipták
  • Katalin Mády
  • Gereon Müller
  • Csaba Pléh
  • Giampaolo Salvi
  • Irina Sekerina
  • Péter Siptár
  • Gregory Stump
  • Peter Svenonius
  • Anne Tamm
  • Akira Watanabe
  • Jeroen van de Weijer

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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Language English
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Year of
Foundation
1951
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changed title
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Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia
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H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
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ISSN 1216-8076 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2624 (Online)