I’m so embarrassed. I ran off to class on Monday, with my pants only half-way up. I mean, my pants post. I promised you some pants, and then I left you hanging. So, here I am again. Back with the pants.
Before I begin with the in-depth pants analysis, let’s pull our pants back up:
a. Listen to the pants. The file pair_of_pants.wav (and the streamed mp3 version of the same) contains two productions of the word pants, one “normal,” and one “funny.” (Before I tell you which is which, I’ll let you try the pants on yourself for size. I mean, judgements.)
Streamed version of pair_of_pants.mp3:
pair_of_pants.wav soundfile (can be downloaded):
b. pants methods. To recap:
The two productions of pants were spoken by a female native speaker of American English who was wearing pajama pants at the time of the recording. Each of the two versions of pants is of a similar length (roughly .7 seconds from the onset of the [p] burst), and produced in citation form with a similar f0 contour (H* L-L% in ToBI terms).
c. The funny pants. In my head at least, the second pants version is way funnier than the first. Especially when used in a sentence, such as “you’re not wearing pants:”
d. Look at the pants. Let’s return to our citation form examples.
Figure 1: pair_of_pants.wav with accompanying Praat TextGrid, and some arrows and stuff
Note: The display shows waveform (top panel) and spectrogram with overlayed f0 track in blue (middle panel). The third panel, the TextGrid, shows orthographic transcription.
e. Pants analysis. A couple of acoustic differences between the two versions are quite striking: 1) differences in aspiration and 2) differences in the second formant.
- differences in aspiration. Check out the much higher amplitude aspiration noise in the second version (on the right). The arrows marked with “1” point to this in the waveform. Further, you can hear the aspiration ([h]-ness) continuing through the vowel, which is produced with a much breathier voice than the first version.
- differences in the second formant. (Note: if you’re not used to reading spectrograms, the first 3 formants show up as more-or-less horizontal dark smudgy lines. The first formant is on the bottom. The second formant, marked with the red arrows marked with “2”, is the middle dark smudgy line.) In the “normal” pants version, the second formant falls rather steeply throughout the vowel (indicating that the vowel is diphthongized). In the “funny” pants version, the second formant stays pretty much horizontal.
f. Pants conclusions. Pants is a funny word. I like to say the word pants.