13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Syllable Perception Depends on Tone Perception

Iris Chuoying Ouyang, Khalil Iskarous

Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

We conducted a perception study on Mandarin, a tone language where pitch carries contrastive information, to investigate whether pitch changes can override spectral information in determining the number of syllables in an utterance. We generated F0 contours and simulated tonal coarticulation using the qTA model. The perception of syllable numbers depended on the perception of tones, and this effect held across speech rate. Combining with prior work, the results indicate that laryngeal and supralaryngeal events interact in syllable perception in tone languages. We discuss how our findings support the notion of language-specific perception.

Index Terms: syllable perception, tonal coarticulation, speech rate, Mandarin

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ouyang, Iris Chuoying / Iskarous, Khalil (2012): "Syllable perception depends on tone perception", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 126-129.