The 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages

Nijmegen, The Netherlands
May 13-16, 2014

Rises and Falls in Dutch and Mandarin Chinese

Ao Chen (1), Aoju Chen (1,2), René Kager (1), Patrick C. M. Wong (3)

(1) Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
(2) Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands
(3) Laboratory for Language, Learning, and the Brain, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Despite of the different functions of pitch in tone and nontone languages, rises and falls are common pitch patterns across different languages. In the current study, we ask what is the language specific phonetic realization of rises and falls. Chinese and Dutch speakers participated in a production experiment. We used contexts composed for conveying specific communicative purposes to elicit rises and falls. We measured both tonal alignment and tonal scaling for both patterns. For the alignment measurements, we found language specific patterns for the rises, but for falls. For rises, both peak and valley were aligned later among Chinese speakers compared to Dutch speakers. For all the scaling measurements (maximum pitch, minimum pitch, and pitch range), no language specific patterns were found for either the rises or the falls.

Index Terms: alignment, scaling, lexical tone, pitch accent, tone language, non-tone language

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chen, Ao / Chen, Aoju / Kager, René / Wong, Patrick C. M. (2014): "Rises and falls in Dutch and Mandarin Chinese", In TAL-2014, 83-86.