An Index for Quantifying Tongue Curvature
AbstractThis study develops a method of quantifying tongue curvature by modeling the shape of the tongue surface in any anatomical plane using a polynomial approximation. In a validation experiment, the curvature indices of English vowel and consonant sounds were calculated across ten native speakers’ productions based on midsagittal ultrasound images of the tongue. Indices confirm substantially higher curvature values for liquids /r/ and /l/ than for all other sounds in the inventory. This method is both more generalized and less dependent upon fixed locations than previous methods, and provides a simple, powerful metric for evaluating shape complexity with applications in areas such as motor development and aeroacoustics.
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