Statistical modeling of prosodic contours of four speech acts in Brazilian Portuguese

Luma Miranda, João Moraes, Albert Rilliard


In this paper, the prosody of four speech acts (assertions, echo questions, wh-questions and wh-exclamations) in Brazilian Portuguese was acoustically described and their variations analyzed using a non-linear statistical model. The aim of the paper is to formally present the relevant changes in prosody linked to these four types of speech acts. The sentence Como você sabe was recorded by ten speakers (5 male) from Rio de Janeiro that produced the four speech acts ten times, resulting in a total of 400 utterances. The corpus was analyzed in terms of F0, intensity and duration. Automatic extraction of acoustic measures was made and submitted to normalization procedures. A Generative Additive Mixed Model (GAMM) was applied to the acoustic measures. Results showed that the four speech acts presented significant differences in their F0 patterns, with four different types of contours differentiated either on the initial high F0 peak or on the final tonic syllable; the wh-questions were also performed with a higher mean pitch. Differences in the intensity of some syllables among speech acts were found, but not in their mean levels. No significant differences in duration were verified among the speech acts.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-83

Cite as: Miranda, L., Moraes, J., Rilliard, A. (2020) Statistical modeling of prosodic contours of four speech acts in Brazilian Portuguese. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 404-408, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-83.


@inproceedings{Miranda2020,
  author={Luma Miranda and João Moraes and Albert Rilliard},
  title={{Statistical modeling of prosodic contours of four speech acts in Brazilian Portuguese}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={404--408},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-83},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-83}
}