Homework 7, ECE438, Fall 2011, Prof. Boutin

Due Wednesday November 9, 2011 (in class)

Note: Hand in a hard copy of your code, along with your report. You will get bonus points if you post your report below (using the media wiki markup language; do not post a pdf of your report or a word file!. Individual modifications to this assignments are welcome with prior approval from your instructor.


Questions 1

Design and perform a small experiment to investigate the following question:

"A man and a woman pronounce the same voiced phoneme. How are the formants of the phoneme pronounced by the man different from the formants of the phoneme pronounced by the woman?"

Describe your experiment and discuss your results.

Question 2

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind", was the phrase Purdue alumnus Neil Armstrong planned to say as he stepped foot on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. However, a careful listening of the recording indicates that the phrase he actually uttered is "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", skipping the "a" before "man" and thus creating a tautology.

Listen for yourself at either of these links:



Using any appropriate DSP technique, investigate whether Neil Armstrong did say "a" before the word "man".


NOTE: For those trying to mess with the sound file in Matlab you may need to download the file from the wiki page and also a toolbox (you can seach for it on Google like I did. The .aiff kept giving me errors when trying to read.) to be able to read the .ogg file extension. Also to be able to sound the file you will have to use the argument "sound(x,44000)" because Matlab's default speed of 8192 Hz is too slow to understand the actual audio.

Write your questions/comments here

Professor,for Q2 I've got a question. I mean,"a" is a vowel which should be voiced for most of the time. It's very uncommon that vowels are unvoiced. What's more,if there was an unvoiced "a" existing between the voiced "for" and "man", doesn't it seem so weird? So, I guess that it has two possibilities. 1.Liaison phenomenon in English; 2.There was none at all. Does that make sense?

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