Saturday, February 27, 2010

Software for Phonetics

Perhaps the best software available for examining speech is the PRAAT freeware developed by Paul Boersma and David Weenink at the University of Amsterdam. (Also available from here.) You can now download version 5.1.26. This programme was used extensively in Halliday and Greaves' Intonation in the Grammar of English. If that isn't a top rate recommendation, I do not know what is.

PRAAT offers
Speech analysis:
•spectral analysis (spectrograms)
•pitch analysis
•formant analysis
•intensity analysis
•jitter, shimmer, voice breaks
•excitation pattern

Speech synthesis:
•from pitch, formant, and intensity
•articulatory synthesis

Labelling and segmentation:
•label intervals and time points on multiple tiers
•use phonetic alphabet
•use sound files up to 2 gigabytes (3 hours)

Speech manipulation:
•change pitch and duration contours

•multidimensional scaling
•principal component analysis
•discriminant analysis

and much, much more.

What else can it do? Take a look at the screenshot:

The question should be: What can't it do?

I expect Paul and David would love to hear it if you have further challenges for them.

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