Perceptual dynamics in the processing of tonal alignment

Leonardo Lancia, Cristel Portes


The perception of intonational meaning is affected by multiple features of the f0 curves. It remains unclear however how these features interact and how they are integrated in the perception of intonational categories. In this study we investigate how the shape of the f0 curves and the lag between f0 targets and tone bearing syllables (i.e. tonal alignment) affect the perception of high pitch accents. To this aim, we conceived a minimal dynamical model accounting for the perception of abstract tonal categories from the continuous f0 curve. In the model the internal representation of the f0 curve is continuously updated by a law of change that depends on features of the actual f0 curve but also on the current state of its internal representation. Through this model, we could successfully simulate the main findings observed so far in the literature concerning the interaction between f0 shape and tonal alignment in the perception of High tones. The success of the model demonstrates the role of perceptual dynamics in the processing of intonational categories. Moreover it permits explaining the partial success of previous accounts of the same facts as well as their shortcomings.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-31

Cite as: Lancia, L., Portes, C. (2020) Perceptual dynamics in the processing of tonal alignment. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 151-155, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-31.


@inproceedings{Lancia2020,
  author={Leonardo Lancia and Cristel Portes},
  title={{Perceptual dynamics in the processing of tonal alignment}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={151--155},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-31},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-31}
}