I'm doing research on speech, but I'm not a linguist. Hopefully it won't be a silly question.

I have been reading a little on regional variations of formants, because in my research we use formant space as a measure of psychological distress (as per Scherer, S. et al., 2015. Reduced vowel space is a robust indicator of psychological distress: A cross-corpus analysis. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP). IEEE, pp. 4789–4793.).

The research I've read mostly compares American English speakers with a standard formant space, however, we are based in Ireland and have Irish English speakers. I was wondering if the difference in accent can have an influence in the formant space.

To clarify, I understand that it has an influence on the vocal expression of the vowels, and I understand that a regional variation will mean that the same word is pronounced differently, but I think that the formant space itself should not be affected.

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    If I've understood correctly, then 'certainly'. Vowel space varies between individuals, and by a number of demographic, social, and idiosyncratic factors. It seems that estimating an individual's distress this way would require individual baseline data. Here is one example of vowel space reduction interacting with dialect and non-dialect factors: phon.ox.ac.uk/jpierrehumbert/publications/… Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 14:15
  • Thank you for the comment and the paper, I'll read that. Hopefully it will answer my question!
    – Karol
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:09


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