Speech Prosody 2006
In this study, we investigate whether and how focus and topic can be separately encoded in Mandarin. A total of 60 sentences with three lengths and five tone combinations were recorded in four topic-focus conditions: initial focus, new topic, implicit topic and given topic, by six speakers. The results of acoustic analysis show that new topic is encoded with a raised pitch range on the initial word. Focus, in contrast, is encoded with an expanded pitch range on the focused word and a suppressed pitch range on the subsequent words.
Bibliographic reference. Wang, Bei / Xu, Yi (2006): "Prosodic encoding of topic and focus in Mandarin", In SP-2006, paper 172.