Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

A Corpus Study of the Prosody of PolysyllabicWords in Mandarin Chinese

Catherine Lai, Yanyan Sui, Jiahong Yuan

Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

This paper presents a corpus study of polysyllabic words in Standard Mandarin Chinese. In particular, this study investigates their prosodic features with respect to the notions of prosodic strength and stress. We find a robust strong-weak alternation with respect to F0, but different patterns for duration. In disyllabic words the first syllable tends be slightly longer than the second. However, for three and four syllable words the last syllable is the longest, followed by the first. These patterns suggest that F0 is a reliable phonetic indicator of metrical structure in Mandarin Chinese, rather than duration.

Index Terms: Mandarin Chinese, corpus, tone, prosodic strength, stress, duration.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lai, Catherine / Sui, Yanyan / Yuan, Jiahong (2010): "A corpus study of the prosody of polysyllabicwords in Mandarin Chinese", In SP-2010, paper 457.