Circuits, Systems, and Signal Processing

, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 2837–2851 | Cite as

Automatic Detection of Retroflex Approximants in a Continuous Tamil Speech



Phonetic feature extraction is used in many types of speech applications. In this paper, we propose an approach for automatic detection of retroflex approximant Open image in new window in a Tamil continuous speech using sonorant regions and formant structure of speech. Retroflex approximant is one of the distinctive phonetic features of Tamil speech. It occurs in V_V and V_ contexts. In the proposed approach, slopes of the formant trajectories and spectral dynamics of F2 and F3 in the region of retroflex approximant are considered as acoustic cues for detecting them in continuous speech. In this work, numerator of the group delay function-based formant extraction method is used to track formant trajectories. Based on experimental results, formants extracted using this approach produced better evidence compared to state-of-the-art formant extraction techniques for retroflex approximant detection.


Automatic phone detection Retroflex approximant Zero frequency filtering Numerator of the group delay function Sonorant region Formant transition slope 



The authors thank Prof. Peri Bhaskararao and S. Rajendran, IIIT Hyderabad, for providing insights of retroflex approximants in Tamil language. We also like to thank Dr. Suryakanth V Gangashetty for his suggestions and partly funding our work through CESP.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Language Technologies Research CenterInternational Institute of Information TechnologyHyderabadIndia

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