Phonetics of Finnish: Acoustic quality of vowels
Phonetics of Finnish / Word and its sound structure / Vowels / Acoustic quality of vowels

 

Acoustic quality of vowels

Monopthongs
Diphthongs

Sound samples
Vowel charts of other languages

 

Acoustic quality of monophthongs

Vokaalien laadun kuvaus voi perustua artikulaatioon, akustiikkaan tai kuulovaikutelmaan. Artikulaation kuvaus ei vielä ilmaise, millaisen äänen artikulaatio tuottaa. Akustisesti vokaalia voidaan kuvata sen spektrissä ilmenevien formanttien avulla. Formanttien havaitsemista voidaan lisäksi jäljitellä eli simuloida laskennallisesti kuulon toimintaperiaatteita hyväksi käyttäen. Menetelmä on siten psykoakustinen tai tarkemmin psykofoneettinen. Merkittäviä ovat etenkin kolme ensimmäistä formanttia (F1, F2 ja F3). Formantti F4 on puhujilla varsin yksilöllinen. Formantti F3:n merkitys lisääntyy silloin kuin F2 ja F3 lähestyvät toisiaan vokaalien akustisessa spektrissä. Vokaalit voidaan esittää formanttien F1 ja F2 psykofoneettisessa formanttikartassa.

Figure: Oscillograms of vowels

Figure: Spectrograms of vowels

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Figure: Formant frequencies of vowels


Formant frequencies of vowels (monophthongs)

The frequencies of the three first formants (F1-F3 in Hz) of Finnish vowels according to the mean of five male speakers (N= 756)(Wiik 1965). Long vowels are represented with coloured bars and their formant frequencies are shown; for comparison, the corresponding short vowels are indicated with white bars. The vowels are arranged according to frontness, explaining the decreasing F2 frequency (except for /æ/, which is due to the fact that the previous vowels /y:/ and /ø:/ are rounded, resulting in lower F2 frequencies).

 

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Figure: Monophthongs on a psychoacoustic formant chart

Psychoacoustic formant chart of Finnish primary stressed monophthongs

Primary stressed Finnish vowels according to the mean of five male speakers. Short vowels are slightly centralized in comparison to the long ones, the short /u/ more noticeably. Mid vowels are placed halfway between close and open vowels. The International Phonetic Alphabet does not provide distinct symbols for these vowels (cf. "e", "ø", "o"; Maddieson 1984: 204). The problem has been solved by indicating long vowels with half-close symbols and short vowels with half-open symbols. Short and long // are indicated with the IPA symbol of a back vowel.

Data from: Wiik (1965). Long vowels are indicated with one-syllable keywords.

Compare with the vowel charts of other languages! You can also listen to sound samples.

 

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Figure: Stressed and unstressed vowels

Primary stressed short and long vowels and short unstressed vowels

Blue = primary stressed long vowels
White = primary stressed short vowels
Red = short unstressed vowels

Compare with the vowel charts of other languages! You can also listen to sound samples.

 

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Figure: Vowel centralization

Vowel centralization

When Finnish vowels are centralized, the short stressed vowels (white circle) move closer to the centre of the formant chart than long stressed vowels (outer black circles), and short untressed vowels (inner black circles) are even more centralized. This phenomenon is caused by the weakening of vowel quality (reduction).

 

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Acoustic quality of diphthongs

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