Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Boundary Tones Pitch and Ending Movements in Argentine Spanish

A. Renato, J. Alvarez, L. Caballero

Universidad de Buenos Aires, Departamento de Computacion, Ciudad Universitaria, Capital Federal, Argentina

Boundary tones pitch movements were analysed in terms of shape, pitch level and alignment with segmental structure. A speech database (2 1/2 hours of spontaneous speech) was performed with radial and TV announcers voices, all argentine Spanish speakers. Situations of dialogues, monologues and reading aloud were chosen for this purpose. Transcriptions and measurements were done in order to obtain the ending phrase movements contours. The results indicate that the falling pitch movements were prevailing for "finalization" phrase, and several rising and "half completion' falling movements for "continuation" phrase. The model is then perceptually evaluated. Contours of a monologue were normalised and stylised by the analysis-by-synthesis methodology. The resynthetized contours were included in three version of a monologue belonging to the database mentioned above. This monologue was used for a perceptual experiment in which ten listeners were instructed to push a computer key as quickly as possible, whenever they thought a major discourse unit had ended.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Renato, A. / Alvarez, J. / Caballero, L. (1997): "Boundary tones pitch and ending movements in argentine Spanish", In INT-1997, 285-288.