Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Quantitative Analysis of Intonation Patterns in Statements and Questions in Cantonese

Joan K.-Y. Ma, Valter Ciocca, Tara L. Whitehill

Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong, China

The aim of this study was to investigate intonation patterns in Cantonese using a quantitative approach. The commandresponse model was employed to explore the differences between intonations, and the effects of lexical tone on fundamental frequency (F0) contours of intonation. Two intonation types (statements and questions), with six tonal contrasts embedded at the final position of the utterance, were collected from twelve native Cantonese speakers (six males and six females). Results showed that F0 in questions was raised for the entire utterance, which was mainly associated with baseline frequency changes. An additional rise in the F0 contour of questions, which was represented by tone command changes, was observed from the midpoint of the sentence onward. An additional positive boundary tone command occurred towards the end of the final syllable of questions, which denoted the final-rise in F0 in questions. A lengthened duration of the tone command towards the end of the utterance in questions was also observed. The amplitude of the final-rise in the contours of questions was affected by the tone of the final syllable, with significantly higher amplitude noted for the boundary tone command of tones 25 and 21.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ma, Joan K.-Y. / Ciocca, Valter / Whitehill, Tara L. (2006): "Quantitative analysis of intonation patterns in statements and questions in Cantonese", In SP-2006, paper 033.