Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Contextual Tonal Variations and Pitch Targets in Cantonese

Ying Wai Wong

Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

With Cantonese as the target language, this study investigates the phonetic details of contextual tonal variations in disyllabic tonal sequences. It is found that the main source of F0 (fundamental frequency) contour deviation from the canonical form comes from carryover effect, which is assimilatory in nature. Furthermore, based on the Target Approximation (TA) model, an optimization problem is formulated as an attempt to unveil mathematically pitch targets of the six lexical tones in Cantonese. Finally, implications of our results on tone production and perception are discussed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wong, Ying Wai (2006): "Contextual tonal variations and pitch targets in Cantonese", In SP-2006, paper 199.