Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Temporal Alignment of Accentuation Boundaries in Dutch

Dik J. Hermes (1), Frédéric Beaugendre (1), David House (2)

(1) IPO, Center for Research on User-System Interaction, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
(2) Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

This study is concerned with the temporal alignment of accent-lending pitch movements within the structure of the syllables they accentuate. The experiments were carried out with reiterant utterances consisting of five syllables of the type /a/, /Ca/, /CCa/ or /CCCa/. The middle three syllables were exact replicates of each other as to duration and spectral content. The timing of the pitch movements, rises and falls, was systematically varied in such a way that they accented the third or the fourth syllable. Subjects were asked to indicate which syllable they perceived as accented. The accentuation boundary (AB) was then defined as the moment before which more than half of the subjects indicated the previous syllable as accented and after which more than half of the subjects indicated the next syllable. In order to find out to which segments of the utterance the AB is linked to, the temporal relation was investigated between this AB and the vowel offset, the voicing onset, the vowel onset, and the perceptual moment of occurrence of the syllable, i.e. the P-center. The results show that, in Dutch, the AB of rises is linked to the vowel offset of the syllable, while the accentuation boundary of falls is most closely linked to the vowel onset.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hermes, Dik J. / Beaugendre, Frédéric / House, David (1997): "Temporal alignment of accentuation boundaries in dutch", In INT-1997, 177-180.