A Comprehensive Framework for F0 Estimation and Sampling in Modeling Prosodic Variation in Infant-Directed Speech

Meisam Arjmandi, Laura Dilley, Matt Lehet


Accurate estimates of F0 are essential for modeling how pitch variation is used as an informative cue to linguistic structure. Multiple challenges exist for estimation and valid statistical modeling of F0 variation. First, certain speech styles, such as infant-directed speech, can involve dramatic pitch variation across utterances. Second, non-modal phonation can cause spurious F0 values. Third, F0 samples are not independent of one another, leading to issues with validity in applying generalized linear mixed effect models (GLMMs). To address these problems, we propose a comprehensive framework for accurate F0 estimation and sampling to model prosodic variation. Our method involves segmentation of speech into utterances, followed by determination of speaker- and utterance-specific pitch range parameters. Regions of non-modal phonation are identified, ensuring that portions of speech leading to spurious F0 values are rejected early. Next, F0 stylization at the utterance level ensures robustness to microprosodic variation. Finally, F0 turning points (e.g., local F0 minima and maxima) are extracted; these are linguistically significant “control points” in F0 contours connected by monotonic interpolations. This overall approach not only ensures accurate F0 estimates, but critically overcomes the problem of non-independence of successive samples for valid statistical treatments within GLMMs.


 DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-15

Cite as: Arjmandi, M., Dilley, L., Lehet, M. (2018) A Comprehensive Framework for F0 Estimation and Sampling in Modeling Prosodic Variation in Infant-Directed Speech. Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, 72-76, DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-15.


@inproceedings{Arjmandi2018,
  author={ Meisam Arjmandi and Laura Dilley and Matt Lehet},
  title={ A Comprehensive Framework for F0 Estimation and Sampling in Modeling Prosodic Variation in Infant-Directed Speech},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages},
  pages={72--76},
  doi={10.21437/TAL.2018-15},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2018-15}
}