Effect of Age, Gender and Vowel Type on Vowel Space Area in Sinhala Speakers
This study was conducted to document the effect of age, gender and vowel type on vowel space area in Sinhala language. Three groups of participants were employed. Group 1 included 20 children, Group 2 included 20 adults and Group 3 consisted of 20 elderly subjects. All the subjects spoke the dialect of central province of Sri Lanka. Words consisting of three Sinhala short vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/ in were recorded. Formant frequencies of vowels were extracted and vowel space area was constructed. The results showed that the formant frequencies were significantly higher for children compared with those of adults.
Female subjects had significantly higher formant frequency values than male subjects. Effect of vowel types were also significant on the formant frequencies and vowel space area. Sinhala also follows universal criteria of resonance characteristics and vocal tract constriction.
Keywords: vowel space area, formant frequencies, Sinhala, vowel articulation