Frequently Asked Questions

(Compiled by Puisan Wong, CUNY, USA)


Running the script

Parameter Setting

Editing Vocal Pulses in the Point Process Window

Labeling Intervals and Points

Making Changes

The Output files


Running the script (Back to top)


1.    How do I run the script?


Put the script file (_ProsodyPro.praat) and the .wav files you want to analyze in a folder.

Start the PRAAT program. Click "Praat" then "Open Praat script" in the PRAAT object window. Look for the script file (_ProsodyPro.praat) and click on it. A Script window will pop up.

Go to the Script window, under the "Run" menu, click "Run". A Start window will pop up for you to choose the parameters.


Parameter Setting (Back to top)


1.    What does "perturbation time" mean?


Perturbation refers to a brief but extensive F0 raising or lowering by a prevocalic consonant. If you want to avoid this perturbation effect in your analysis, you can enter a non-zero value there so that the initial portion of F0 of the specified duration will be excluded from your subsequent analysis.


2.    Should I change the "perturbation time"?


You should not increase it to more than 30 ms. You can use a smaller number if the voiced interval to be analyzed is too short, say shorter than or just above 30 ms.


4.    What is the function of "get ensemble results"?


After you have labeled all the .wav files you want to analyze, you may check this box to put the values (e.g., duration, mean f0) of all the individual .wav files into single overall spreadsheets (e.g., normf0.txt, samplef0.txt, meanf0.txt, maxvelocity.txt, duration.txt, and meanintensity.txt).


5.    Should I click "apply" or "OK"


Either one. There is no difference.


6.    Can I change the parameter settings (e.g., max f0, min f0) from file to file, while I am working on the .wav files in the folder?


No. Praat does not support this. If you want to change the settings, you should first write down the number of the last file you worked on, stop the script, and rerun it. You can then skip the ones you have worked on using the previous settings and work on the one you want to analyze using the new setting.


Editing Vocal Pulses in the Point Process Window (Back to top)


1.    What can I do in the Point Process Window?


Mostly you inspect the existing vocal pulses generated by Praat to see if there are apparent problems. If there are, you may insert a point (Ctrl P) where a vocal pulse is missing and delete any (Ctrl-Alt P) that do not belong there.


2.    Should I care about the pulses in the spectrogram window in the TextGrid window, when I am editing the vocal pulses?


No. Ignore the pulses in the spectrogram window. You can even turn it off to make display faster. The script is totally unrelated to those pulses and PRAAT does not allow users or scripts to change anything there.


Labeling Intervals and Points (Back to top)


1.    Where do we label intervals and points?


In the Textgrid window.


2.    What happen if I do not label any intervals?


If you do not name any interval, the program will ignore that interval and will not generate any data for that interval.


3.    What is the purpose of marking the intervals?


We mark and label the intervals to indicate to the program which sections of the stimuli we want to be included in the analysis. In other words, the interval tier is for us to divide the stimuli into the desired number of sections for independent normalization.


4.    Does it matter what labels I give to the intervals?


No. You can give any names to the intervals. The program only cares about whether an interval is named or totally blank. If it is named, the program will obtain data for the interval. If it is blank, the program will ignore that interval and will do nothing with it.


5.    How do I give the label for the interval?


Select the interval and then type the label in the field in the upper part of the window.


6.    How do I mark the intervals?


Place the cursor at the point you want to mark or remove a boundary. You could double click on the upper circles or go to "Boundary" in the menu and choose the appropriate functions.


7.    Do I have to worry about the length of each interval?


Yes. Each interval, excluding the perturbation time caused by plosives and fricatives, etc., should not be shorter than the default value (i.e., 30 ms).


8.    Does it matter what we do in the point tier of the TextGrid window?


No. The script does not look at the point tier. It is for your own record. You can put whatever notes there as you please.


9.    Should I include or exclude the silent or voiceless periods?


This depends on your purpose. However, because the script does not do voicing check as PraatÕs own f0 function does, if voiceless regions are included, the script will just smooth things over. Therefore, it is better not to include any pulseless regions.


Making Changes (Back to top)


1.    After working on the files, if I want to change the global settings such as "perturbation in ms", what should I do?


You can set the new parameter, check the "Process all sounds without pause" button, and run the script over all the sound files in the folder again. This way, the script will process all the files without stopping.


2.    After I have worked on the files, I want to make changes in the text grid window (e.g., change the intervals) for some files, do I need to redo all the files in the folder from scratch?


No, you can change the number in the Pause window to the number of the file you want to modify minus one and then press "Continue", do the changes you want, and then hit "Continue" again to save all the new measurements. The new file will be saved over the old file.


3.    After I have worked on the files, I want to make changes in the PointProcess window (e.g., changing the vocal pulses), what should I do?


Because once the pulse files are saved, the script always opens them without generating new ones, if you need to redo a file because the pulses are really messy with the previous setting, you need to first find the corresponding .pulse file and delete it. Then you run the script again, go to the file and make the necessary changes.


4.    If I just want to take a look at the files and don't want to change any saved data, what should I do?


You just uncheck the "Save output files" box in the "start" window, where you set the parameters.


5.    After I make any changes, do I need to rerun all the files to get the data in the ensemble files?


Yes. If you don't, the new ensemble files will exclude all the results before the starting files.


The Output files (Back to top)


1.    I see "????" in the first column under the "row label". Is there a problem?


No. Just ignore it.


2.    What information is included in the .f0 files?


The file will keep the original time so that users can compare the data with the sound file directly. You can easily get what you want in Excel by subtracting all the time values by the very first time value.


3.    What are the PitchTier files?


You don't usually need to look at these files. But when you do need to see the f0 track obtained by the script in PRAAT, you can open this file together with the sound file corresponding to it.


4.    What information do .timenormf0 files contain?


They contain the f0 for the normalized points in each labeled interval.


5.    What do the ensemble files (e.g., duration.txt, maxvelocity.txt, meanintensity.txt, meanf0.txt, normf0.txt) contain?


They contain the data from all the individual files, arranged in rows.