Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

The Effects of Speaking Rate and Intonation on the Duration of Tones in Mandarin Chinese

Jiahong Yuan

Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, USA

This study investigates the effects of speaking rate and intonation on the duration of tones in Mandarin Chinese. My previous study found that the effect of intonation on the duration of tones is tone-dependent, i.e., the final falling tone is longer in question intonation than in statement intonation, whereas the final rising tone has similar duration for the two intonation types. In this study, the effects of intonation on the duration of sentence-final tones with different speaking rates (normal, fast, and slow) are examined. The results show that tonal targets and tone-bearing units have orthogonal or independent effects on the duration of tones. The results also suggest that the effect of changing tonal targets on the duration of tones is not speaker-controlled, i.e., the process of changing tonal targets is blind to its effect on tonal duration.

Index Terms: tone, intonation, duration, Mandarin Chinese

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yuan, Jiahong (2012): "The effects of speaking rate and intonation on the duration of tones in Mandarin Chinese", In SP-2012, 532-534.