Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Form and Function of Falling Pitch Contours in English

Felicitas Kleber

Institute of Phonetics and Digital Speech Processing (IPDS), Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany

This paper presents the results of a set of perception experiments concerning the phonological status of early, medial and late F0 peak synchronization in English and the nature of the contrast between these categories. By means of one identification and two discrimination tasks, it has been shown that subjects perceive a categorical-like change when the F0 maximum of a peak is shifted into the stressed vowel and a gradual change when the F0 maximum is moved into the following unstressed vowel. Therefore, we conclude that the early peak constitutes a phonological category as opposed to medial peaks; late peaks form a phonetic continuum.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kleber, Felicitas (2006): "Form and function of falling pitch contours in English", In SP-2006, paper 158.