First International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 90)
Sternohyoid activity involving accentual contrast was examined in a male speaker of Tokyo Japanese. The contrast of interest was in the initial position of sentence frames; thus, unaccented vs. accented pairs of two-mora meaningful words were compared in terms of pitch movements and electro- myographic activity. The utterance types all showed such activity preceding the audio onset. For words with accent, this activity became still for a short period and was followed by consistent reactivation; moreover, the mean level of this pre-audio activity was lower for one type of utterances with initial accent. On the other hand, words with no accent showed a different timing for the offset of the pre-audio activity. These findings lend support to the role played by the sternohyoid muscle in pitch lowering, and specifically in the accentual distinction in Japanese.
Bibliographic reference. Simada, Zyun'ici B. / Horiguchi, Satoshi / Niimi, Seiji / Hirose, Hajime (1990): "Sternohyoid muscle activity and pitch control at the onset of utterances", In ICSLP-1990, 449-452.