13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Language Differences in the Perceptual Weight of Prominence-lending Properties

Bistra Andreeva, William Barry, Magdalena Wolska

Department of Computational Linguistics & Phonetics, Saarland University, Germany

A Bulgarian and a German sentence were presented to Bulgarian and German listeners together with a question which either expected an early narrow focus or a late narrow focus. The answering sentences were manipulated so that the word in the late-focused position ranged from completely de-accented to strongly accented. The early focused position was neutral, allowing late-focus perception with late strong accentuation and early focus with de-accentuation of the late-focus position. Accentuation strength of the late position was varied by changing the duration, intensity and F0 values individually between accented and low de-accented. Subjects were asked to judge the suitability of the answers to the question with. Results show the relative contribution of the three parameters to the acceptability of the word in the late focus position as focally accented or de-accented. Differences between Bulgarian and German in the relative weighting of the parameters are revealed.

Index Terms: focal accentuation, perception, parameter weighting, cross-language differences

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Andreeva, Bistra / Barry, William / Wolska, Magdalena (2012): "Language differences in the perceptual weight of prominence-lending properties", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 2426-2429.