range of frequency.

Yukiharu Hadeishi YHADEISH at biomed.med.yale.edu
Sat Feb 6 00:49:21 EST 1993


In a recent post (Fri, 5 Feb 1993 14:41:59 GMT), Xstern Peiter
(xpei at gwdgv1.gwdg.de) writes:
> May anyone so kind tell me that what is the range of frequency
> when people speaks. What is the frequency differences between man and
> women, and between children, boys and  girls. What is the difference in
> hamonics.  Thanks in advance.

You are welcome, in advance.  :-)  As you probably know already, we humans use
principally the fundamental tone and the first harmonic--- which people who
work on the physics of speaking call the first and second formants,
respectively--- to distinguish between different vowel sounds.  For example,
the energy in the second formant is much smaller relative to the first in
vowels like /ee/ as opposed to vowels like /ai/ or /oh/.  However, the
relationship between the two formants are not constant over the growth of an
individual person, as you rightly suggest in your post.  The only reference
that I know of for information on this subject is a chapter out of a book
entitled _Child phonology:  perception and production_, G. Yeni-Komshian and J.
Kavanaugh (eds).  New York:  Academic Press.  The chapter is entitled "On the
development of vowel production in young children", and it is by Phillip
Lieberman.

If I am not mistaken, Phillip Lieberman was originally trained as an engineer
or a physicist or something, and later became interested in the physics of
speech production.  He became quite an expert in this area and published
several good articles on the subject, although many of them relate more to the
question of whether or not the Neanderthals were capable of producing language,
like Homo sapiens sapiens (as you probably know, there was a school of thought
in anthropology that claims it was this difference, our ability to speak, that
made us "win out" over our bigger brained, more robust brethren).  In any case,
I think you will find his (1980) book, _The Biology and Evolution of Language_,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA or London, England:  Harvard University Press to
be of some interest, particularly chapters 8 and 9.

Anyway, I hope this helps.  I'm not involved in the neurobiology of language,
but it seemed to me that your question was addressing the physics side of the
issue--- so there's my $0.02.  Take care.

  -- yh.


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Yukiharu "Yuki" Hadeishi   -   Lurker at Large
Internet:  yhadeish at biomed.med.yale.edu
The Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program will have
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