Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Declarative and Interrogative Intonations by Brain-damaged Speakers of Uygur and Mandarin Chinese

Xinlu Yang (1,2), Jie Liang (1)

(1) College of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
(2) College of Foreign Languages, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi, China

In this study we investigated the declarative and interrogative intonations of Uygur and Mandarin Chinese by right hemisphere brain-damaged (RHD) speakers. We found the two RHD speakers employed the falling tone for both declarative and interrogative sentences. The pitch range of the RHD speakers was more than 1.5 times narrower than that of the healthy speakers. The global F0 curves of questions did not display the higher level than those of statements. Not a single final rise occurred in the interrogative intonations by the RHD speaker of Uygur, but slight pitch raising of the final syllable occurred in declarative question and wh-question intonations by the RHD speaker of Mandarin Chinese. The utterance onsets were lower in the questions than in the statement by the RHD speaker of Mandarin Chinese, which was manifested in a higher level above the declarative intonation by the RHD speaker of Uygur. Moreover, the raised F0 minima from the statements to questions did not occur in the intonations of RHD speakers. Finally, the fixed stress pattern in Uygur preserved intact when the speaker of Uygur suffered from intonation damage. The results are in support of the finding that intonation is processed in the right hemisphere.

Index Terms: intonation, brain-damaged, Uygur, Mandarin Chinese

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yang, Xinlu / Liang, Jie (2012): "Declarative and interrogative intonations by brain-damaged speakers of Uygur and Mandarin Chinese", In SP-2012, 701-704.