Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

A Perceptual Study on Variability in Break Allocation within Chinese Sentences

Min Chu (1), Honghui Dong (2), Jianhua Tao (2)

(1) Microsoft Research Asia; (2) National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, CAS; Beijing, China

This paper investigates the variability of break allocations within Chinese sentences by perceptual experimentation. The results confirm the existence of prosodic chunks. We have found that (1) prosodic chunks are the basic units in the rhythmic organization of Chinese utterances (breaks can generally be allocated by chunk boundaries and breaks placed within a chunk will significantly decrease the naturalness of synthesized speeches); (2) given prosodic chunks, multiple break solutions are acceptable. Furthermore, breaks can be allocated by chunk boundaries using simple rules that impose a length-balance constraint without considering the syntax or semantic structure of a sentence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chu, Min / Dong, Honghui / Tao, Jianhua (2006): "A perceptual study on variability in break allocation within Chinese sentences", In SP-2006, paper 111.