Third International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 94)

Yokohama, Japan
September 18-22, 1994

Segmental Effects on Timing and Height of Pitch Contours

Jan P. H. van Santen, Julia Hirschberg

Linguistics Research Department, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, USA

Instantiations of a given type of pitch contour vary systematically as a function of the segmental material with which the contour is associated. In this study, we report on results of statistical analyses of 1,926 utterances collected from a single female speaker. Results show that the observed pitch contours can be quantitatively modeled as distortions in the temporal and frequency domains of a single, underlying contour. Distortions in the temporal domain can be described as non-linear rightward stretching of the contour as the durations of onset, vowel nucleus, and coda increase. Variations in the frequency domain include effects of vowel height and overall syllable duration. Frequency effects of onset voicing can be attributed to systematic differences in duration between voiced and voiceless consonants as well as to a small local perturbation confined to the first 50 ms after the vowel onset.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Santen, Jan P. H. van / Hirschberg, Julia (1994): "Segmental effects on timing and height of pitch contours", In ICSLP-1994, 719-722.