Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

A Global Perspective on Chinese Intonation

Lihan Wu (1), Qiuwu Ma (2)

(1) Department of Foreign Languages, Nankai University, China
(2) Department of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, China

An analysis procedure of Chinese intonation is tentatively proposed from a global perspective. This procedure starts from an observation of the interaction among three prosodic parameters and the hierarchical systems of production by looking at three continuums of utterances, followed by developing a system of acoustic and perceptual based features which can be further applied to the analysis of various types of intonation. This procedure is demonstrated by investigating into the five-syllable utterances produced by a male speaker. This pilot study suggests that the hierarchies of both duration and intensity might go up in a non-linear way in a speaker's mind, while the degree of pitch measured in semitone increases in a linear way. The selection and combination of global features indicate the restriction coming from both extrinsic (the communicative principle of explicitness) and intrinsic factors (the constraint of physical realization).

Index Terms: Chinese intonation, global feature, continuum, prosodic parameters

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wu, Lihan / Ma, Qiuwu (2012): "A global perspective on Chinese intonation", In SP-2012, 111-114.