Sabrina (jupiter_star) wrote in linguaphiles,

Comparing tone color and timbre between languages

This is more linguistics related than linguistics specific, but given some of the posts I see recurring pretty frequently on here, I bet you guys can help me still.

In my acoustics class we're getting ready to write our final term papers, and when I asked my professor for help he suggested that since I'm into languages and linguistic, I should consider doing something with comparing languages and acoustics of speaking. I finally decided that I want to focus on perceived differences in tone color and timbre of different languages as my topic, but I need a bit of help. I'm thinking to keep it simple that I should compare two languages with very different colors; possibly Japanese or Chinese, which I always perceived as very bright sounding, and German or Russian, which I think are on the darker side. First of all, would you guys agree that those are opposing languages in terms of tone color when spoken? I've seen plenty of posts on here about how you think different languages sound compared to one another, so I know you guys have opinions on this! ^_^.

Secondly, do you know of any good resources for comparisons between languages or dialects in terms of tone color and timbre? Ones comparing the languages I choose would be most helpful but it doesn't have to be that could even be comparisons of different US dialects or something like that. I've tried looking myself but most of the results I've gotten have to do with the actual words rather than the sounds or link to dead pages. And also, if any of you know anything about sources for info on spectral analysis or spectral envelopes in relation to the spoken word (even if it's just a link to a diagram or example of one online), that would be helpful as well...searches for that are mostly turning up definitions of "spectral envelope" and that's it.

Thanks so much!

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