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Phonological atoms

The constructive compositionality of speech signals can represent the speech signal as non-negative linear combinations of atomic units "atoms", which are themselves non-negative to ensure that such a combination does not result in subtraction or diminishment (Virtanen et al., 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/msp.2013.2288990). The power of the sum of uncorrelated atomic signals in any frequency band is the sum of the powers of the individual signals within that band. The central point is to define the sound atoms that are used as the compositional models. Following this line of research, we hypothesise that the acoustic representation of the phonological features, produced by a phonological vocoder, forms a set of speech signal atoms (the phonological sound components) that define the phones. We call these sound components phonological atoms. It is possible to generate the atoms for any phonological system.

More details are available in Speech vocoding for laboratory phonology.