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First moment of spectrum

I am amazed that no phonetician has so far bothered to weigh in in this
debate, and I have not seen any psychoacoustic concerns addressed, either.
For one, there are bi- and multimodal spectra in the acoustic world around
us. Prey tell, what would the first moment tell about an /i/ or /u/ vowel?
Would you be able to identify any of these vowels (and most of the others)
if somebody only told you its first moment? In the case of differentiating
/i/ and /u/, not even the second moment would be of much help. Furthermore,
as profile analysis tells us, our ears don't simply resolve complex spectra
by zeroing in on the first moment and we can tune our listening to monitor
several bands simultaneously and quite effectively. The moment should not
be regarded more than a mere first-approximation to the auditory
characteristics of complex spectra.

Pierre Divenyi

Pierre Divenyi, Ph.D.      Experimental Audiology Research (151)
                                     V.A. Medical Center, Martinez, CA
94553, USA
Phone: (925) 370-6745
Fax:     (925) 228-5738
E-mail :                       pdivenyi@marva4.ebire.org