13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Describing the Development of Intonational Categories Using a Target-oriented Parametric Approach

Britta Lintfert (1,2), Bernd Möbius (1)

(1) Department of Computational Linguistics and Phonetics, Saarland University, Germany
(2) Institute of Natural Language Processing, University of Stuttgart, Germany

In this paper we analyze the relation between adults' intona- tional categories as described in the ToBI framework and chil- dren's intonation contours, using a parametric approach and cluster evaluation methods. In the field of prosody, an increas- ing number of studies on the development of intonation apply the intonational categories of adult speech described as a se- quence of high (H) and low (L) tones to child speech. However, the categories described by ToBI or by its language- specific variants are developed for adult speakers. Instead of imposing adult category representations on the description of de- velopmental stages in L1 intonation acquisition, we propose and validate a parametric approach and cluster evaluation methods that are applicable to both adult and child speech. First, we show that clusters of parametrized contours obtained from German adult-directed and child-directed speech correlate well with GToBI(S) categories. We then assess how well clusters at different stages of intonation acquisition correspond to adult tar- get categories. Our results indicate that the proposed methodol- ogy is capable of demonstrating, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the continuous development of intonational categories at early ages towards adult target categories.

Index Terms: development of intonation, F0 parametrization, GToBI(S), clustering, adult targets

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lintfert, Britta / Möbius, Bernd (2012): "Describing the development of intonational categories using a target-oriented parametric approach", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 1965-1968.