I read some materials online How to Read a Spectrogram, Reading Spectrograms: Consonants, Reading Spectrograms: Vowels. I still have no idea how to analyze a spectrogram. Could anyone explain with the detailed example below?

enter image description here

This is a consonant-vowel-consonant sequence. I find very little information on it.

On the most left side, there are few striations below 1000. But I don't know what it tells.

For the following vowel, I found low F1, F2 near 1000, and F2 decrease rapidly at the beginning. It might be [u]? Any more information?

For the last consonant, there is no vocal fold vibration and thus no Fundamental Frequency. So it is voiceless. And the high frequency formant indicates that it is alveolar?

There are a few more examples. If you can analyze it, it will be appreciated. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    Did anyone mention which language this is?
    – user6726
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 0:52
  • 1
    See e.g. chapter 8 Acoustic Phonetics in A course in Phonetics (by Peter Ladefoged)
    – Alex B.
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 14:25
  • You ask two different questions: "how to read a spectrogram" and "what sounds are captured by the spectrogram". The two questions have radically different answers.
    – virolino
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 6:31

1 Answer 1

  1. In the first spectrogram you can see two different segments /S1-S1-S2/ the third segment seems an strident sound "s, sh" or something similar (because it shows an extremely turbulent airstream). The first segment could be an plosive (it is short and difficult to distinguish in the spectrogram. The second segment could be a vowel, leaving aside the inferior bar, two formants seem visible.

  2. In the second spectrogram, possibly, you have /KVV/ K: plosive, V: vocoid/vowel. Vocoids/vowels are longer in duration, and they show formants (dark bands around specific frequencies). Possibly, these two last vocoids form a diphthong, because there is a smooth transition in the formants of one and the other.

  3. In the third spectrogram, possibly, you have /SVN/ S: strident sound, V: vocoid with formants, N: sonorant (/m, n, l, r, .../).

  4. In the last spectrogram, you also have three segments, the last of which is a a strident or fricative sound.

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