A speech analysis system for use in educational research

  • J.R. Runchman

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis describes work undertaken in order to fulfil a need experienced in the Department of Educational Enquiry at the University of Aston in Birmingham for speech analysis facilities suitable for use in teaching and research work within the Department. The hardware and software developed during the research project provides displays of speech fundamental frequency and intensity in real time. The system is suitable for the provision of visual feedback of these parameters of a subject's speech in a learning situation, and overcomes the inadequacies of equipment currently used for this task in that it provides a clear indication of fundamental frequency contours as the subject is speaking.
The thesis considers the use of such equipment in several related fields, and the approaches that have been reported to one of the major problems of speech analysis, namely pitch-period estimation. A number of different systems are described, and their suitability for the present purposes is discussed. Finally, a novel method of pitch-period estimation is developed, and a speech analysis system incorporating this method is described. Comparison is made between the results produced by this system and those produced by a conventional speech spectrograph.
Date of AwardDec 1981
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorIan Gould (Supervisor) & John Bradshaw (Supervisor)


  • speech analysis
  • pitch-period estimation
  • fundamental frequency

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