Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Signalling Affect in Mandarin Chinese - the Role of Non-Lexical Utterance-Final Edge Tones

Patricia Mueller-Liu

Institute of Phonetics, Saarland University, Germany

Of the 5 pitch-phenomena contained in Y. R. Chao’s framework of Mandarin Chinese intonation, the phenomenon termed ‘successive tonal addition’ has proved highly elusive. Using communicatively-based spontaneous speech samples, the first instrumental evidence of successive tonal addition is presented here, found to consist of nonlexical pitch-movements added to the lexical tones of utterance-final syllables. Investigation into the functions of these phenomena, referred to as ‘edge tones’, showed these to be affective in nature, signalling emotio-attitudinal messages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mueller-Liu, Patricia (2006): "Signalling affect in Mandarin Chinese - the role of non-lexical utterance-final edge tones", In SP-2006, paper 048.