Revisiting Neutral Tone in Mandarin Broadcast News Speech

Chenzi Xu


This study examines the duration and fundamental frequency (F0) contour of neutral tones in the 1997 Mandarin Broadcast News Speech Corpus. 7208 disyllabic occurrences with a neutral tone syllable following a full lexical tone syllable and 180 trisyllabic occurrences in which two consecutive neutral tone syllables follow a full lexical tone syllable from 21 speakers were analysed using polynomial and linear mixed effects models. Instead of the oversimplified claim that neutral tone syllables are shorter than other syllables, the results suggest that the length of a neutral tone syllable is sensitive to its syllable structure. The results also capture a converging low pitch target for Mandarin neutral tones, having visualised the distribution of pitch variation of neutral tones.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-104

Cite as: Xu, C. (2020) Revisiting Neutral Tone in Mandarin Broadcast News Speech. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 508-512, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-104.


@inproceedings{Xu2020,
  author={Chenzi Xu},
  title={{Revisiting Neutral Tone in Mandarin Broadcast News Speech}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={508--512},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-104},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-104}
}