Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

On the Normalization of Syllable Prominence Ratings

Christopher Sappok (1), Denis Arnold (2)

(1) German Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
(2) Speech and Communication, University of Bonn, Germany

The instructions under which raters quantify syllable prominence perception need to be simple in order to maintain immediate reactions. This leads to noise in the rating data that can be dealt with by normalization, e.g. setting central tendency = 0 and dispersion = 1 (as in Z-score normalization). Questions arise such as: Which parameter is adequate here to capture central tendency? Which reference distribution should the normalization be based on? In this paper 16 different normalization methods are evaluated. In a perception experiment using German read speech (prose and poetry), syllable prominence ratings were collected. From the rating data 16 complete “mirror” data-sets were computed according to the 16 methods. Each mirror data-set was correlated with the same set of measures from the underlying acoustic data, focusing on raw syllable duration which is seen as a rather straightforward acoustic aspect of syllable prominence. Correlation coefficients could be raised considerably by selected methods.

Index Terms: syllable prominence, syllable duration, perception experiment, normalization, read speech, German

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sappok, Christopher / Arnold, Denis (2012): "On the normalization of syllable prominence ratings", In SP-2012, 314-317.