Fourth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Madrid, Spain
September 18-21, 1995

Effects of Time Pressure on the Choice of Accent-Lending and Boundary-Marking Pitch Configurations in Dutch

Johanneke Caspers, Vincent J. van Heuven

Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics and Dept. Linguistics/Phonetics Laboratory/Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

In a corpus of normal and fast read-aloud speech material, the phonological choice of pitch accents and melodic boundary markings was compared. Starting from the assumption that speakers will preserve the more important melodic characteristics under time pressure, this comparison may provide insights into the relative importance of the choice of specific pitch configurations. The following questions were asked: is the phonological form of pitch markings altered under time pressure? And if so, is there any evidence for a strategy for phonologically simplifying pitch accents and/or melodic boundary markings when speech rate is increased? Results show that the choice of pitch markings is altered under time pressure in a substantial minority of the cases. The shifts occurring may be interpreted in terms of a semantic simplification strategy: shades of meaning are sacrificed by replacing more marked configurations by unmarked ones under time pressure.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Caspers, Johanneke / Heuven, Vincent J. van (1995): "Effects of time pressure on the choice of accent-lending and boundary-marking pitch configurations in dutch", In EUROSPEECH-1995, 1001-1004.