Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

Word Melodies vs. Pitch Accents: A Perceptual Evaluation of Terracing Contours in British and Nigerian English

Carlos Gussenhoven (1), Inyang Udofot (2)

(1) Department of Linguistics, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands; and Department of Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London, UK
(2) Department of English, University of Uyo, Nigeria

The results of a perception experiment in which Nigerian English listeners judged the well-formedness of Nigerian English intonation contours suggests that the language has tonal specifications for each syllable, including syllables that are unstressed in British English. The association of pitch accents to accented syllables in British English explains why British English listeners are relatively insensitive to deviations in the pitch of unstressed or unaccented syllables.

Index Terms: perception, intonation, word melody, pitch accent

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gussenhoven, Carlos / Udofot, Inyang (2010): "Word melodies vs. pitch accents: a perceptual evaluation of terracing contours in British and Nigerian English", In SP-2010, paper 015.