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This paper uses principal components (PC) analysis to represent coronal tongue contours for the 11 vowels of English in two consonant contexts (/s/, /l/), based upon five replicated measurements in three sessions for each of 6 subjects. Curves from multiple sessions and speakers were overlaid before analysis onto a common (x, y) coordinate system by extensive preprocessing of the curves including: extension (padding) or truncation within session, translation, and truncation to a common x range. Four PCs plus a mean level allow accurate representation of coronal tongue curves, but PC shapes depend strongly on the degree of padding or truncation. The PCs successfully reduced the dimensionality of the curves and reflected vowel height, consonant context, and physiological features.
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