Second International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP'92)

Banff, Alberta, Canada
October 13-16, 1992

On Prosodic Features in Speech - Comparative Studies Between Japanese and Standard Chinese

Yoshimasa Tsukuma

Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

This paper illustrates the importance of a voice fundamental frequency contour resetting (an F0-resetting) for marking a major syntactic boundary in Japanese. For the learners of the spoken Japanese language, some tentative ideas expressing the F0-resetting are suggested in an old Japanese folk tale known as Momotaro, ' The Peach Boy'. This symbol, ' t', denotes that a phrase F0-resetting is placed at the beginning of every major syntactic boundary. Since the F0 functions distinctively at the word level in Chinese, it is assumed that the free manipulation of the F0 would be difficult for Chinese and therefore, the prosodic symbol such as the above could be an appropriate aid for them. In order to see if the prosodic features account for various syntactic structures, the F0-resettings, extracted acoustically, are compared with the corresponding syntactic boundaries. Then, the acoustic results by a native speaker of Japanese are compared with those by two Chinese students studying Japanese as a foreign language.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tsukuma, Yoshimasa (1992): "On prosodic features in speech - comparative studies between Japanese and standard Chinese", In ICSLP-1992, 659-662.