Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

Contrastive Emphasis: Comparison of Pitch Accents with Syllable Magnitudes

C. Menezes (1,3), Donna Erickson (2), Osamu Fujimura (1)

(1) Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Ohio State University, USA
(2) Gifu City Women’s College, Japan
(3) NTT Communication Science Laboratory, NTT Corp., Japan

Contrastive emphasis as elicited from a semi-spontaneous dialogue paradigm was studied with respect to pitch accents and syllable magnitude. In this study, syllable magnitude is defined within the C/D model framework whereby the magnitude of the syllable is related to the displacement of the jaw from the occlusal plane. Articulatory data were collected using the x-ray microbeam facility at the University of Wisconsin. Fundamental frequency patterns were extracted using WAVES+, and the pitch patterns were transcribed using the ToBI system. The results indicate that for all speakers syllable magnitude increases with emphasis in a linear fashion, such that on the average, words that were well-perceived as emphasized have larger jaw opening than those that were poorly perceived as emphasized. The pitch accent associated with the emphasized word differs both within and across speakers. For well-perceived emphasis, the pitch accents can be H*, !H*, L+H*, L*+H, and L*+!H, and these same pitch accents also occur for the same speaker for moderately or poorly-perceived emphasis situations.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Menezes, C. / Erickson, Donna / Fujimura, Osamu (2002): "Contrastive emphasis: comparison of pitch accents with syllable magnitudes", In SP-2002, 495-498.