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The spectral analysis of the 14 Spanish diphthongs was undertaken under two different speaking rates. The central frequency and relative intensity of the first (F1) and second (F2) formant were measured as well as the duration of the onset and offset steady states, the transition between them, and the total duration of the diphthong. The values in hertz per millisecond for the rate of change of the F2 transition were also obtained. Results show that the formant pattern, rate of change and temporal relations between both steady states contribute to the characterization of Spanish diphthongs; the distinction between diphthongs and vowel sequences in hiatus depends on the temporal relationship.
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