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