Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Tempo Effects in Chinese Prosodic Patterns

Eva Garding (1), Jialu Zhang (2)

(1) Lund University, Dept. of Linguistics and Phonetics, Sweden
(2) Institute of Acoustics, Academia Sinica, Beijing, China

This paper is a study of how speech rate (normal, fast and slow) influences temporal and tonal patterns in Standard Chinese. The main effect of a shift of tempo from slow to fast is a compression and an upward movement of the overall pitch range while the number of turning points and their positions relative to the segments are well retained. In the time domain there is a lengthening of about 50% from normal to slow and a shortening of about 25% from normal to fast speech. This compression is not uniform. For the higher tempo the last constituent increases in relative duration and prominence at the expense of the segments of the first constituent. The larger number of lexically pitch-determined syllables in a Chinese sentence makes the prosodic patterns of Chinese differ from some European languages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Garding, Eva / Zhang, Jialu (1997): "Tempo effects in Chinese prosodic patterns", In INT-1997, 145-148.