Speaker Age Effects on Prosodic Patterns in Bulgarian

Snezhina Dimitrova, Bistra Andreeva, Christoph Gabriel, Jonas Grünke


We investigated prosodic variability attributable to age in Standard Bulgarian. In readings of The North Wind and the Sun, recorded by two groups of six female speakers aged between 19-23 and 79-88 years, we found significant differences in pitch span, minimum F0, syllable, intonation phrase and pause duration. The older speakers made more pauses, which were also of longer duration. They also realized longer syllables and intonation phrases than young speakers. Both groups used the same inventory of pitch accents and boundary tones, but there were significant differences in the frequency counts of some of the tones: young speakers used pre-nuclear rises with a post-tonic high target, while older speakers preferred rises with a high target within the stressed syllable; the nuclear pitch accent used most frequently by the young speakers was L*, whereas the one preferred by the elderly speakers was L+H*; younger speakers used more phrase accents (especially H-), while older speakers preferred boundary tones (H-% and L-%) and “level” (H-L% and HL-) pitch curves. Our findings suggest that the study of tonal repertoires and frequencies of use could offer interesting insights into age-related differences between speakers.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-144

Cite as: Dimitrova, S., Andreeva, B., Gabriel, C., Grünke, J. (2018) Speaker Age Effects on Prosodic Patterns in Bulgarian. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 709-713, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-144.


@inproceedings{Dimitrova2018,
  author={Snezhina Dimitrova and Bistra Andreeva and Christoph Gabriel and Jonas Grünke},
  title={Speaker Age Effects on Prosodic Patterns in Bulgarian},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={709--713},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-144},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-144}
}