Speech Prosody 2002

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

Comparison of Declarative and Interrogative Intonation in Chinese

Jiahong Yuan (1), Chilin Shih (2), Greg P. Kochanski (2)

(1) Department of Linguistics, Cornell University, USA
(2) Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, NJ, USA

We model the differences between declarative and interrogative intonation in Chinese with Stem-ML, an intonation description language combined with an algorithm for translating tags into quantitative prosody. Our study shows that the diverse surface patterns can be accounted for by two consistent gestures: 1. Interrogative intonation has a higher phrase curve than declarative intonation; 2. Sentence final syllables have more careful intonation and wider pitch swings in interrogative sentences. Phrase curves of the two intonation types tend to be parallel and boundary tones are not necessary for modeling the differences between the two intonation types in Chinese.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yuan, Jiahong / Shih, Chilin / Kochanski, Greg P. (2002): "Comparison of declarative and interrogative intonation in Chinese", In SP-2002, 711-714.