5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

The Influence of Phrase Boundaries on Perceived Prominence in Two-Peak Intonation Contours

Toni Rietveld, Carlos Gussenhoven

Department of Language and Speech University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Dutch listeners rated the perceived prominence of the second Fo peak in a number of artificial two-peak intonation contours. When the two peaks were contained within a single intonation phrase, as signalled by the shape of the contour between the two peaks, and the pitch range of the contour was neutral, the perceived prominence of the second peak appeared to be determined by the Fo of the first. However, when the two peaks occurred in separate intonation phrases, or when the pitch range was wide, no such effect was found. The results suggest that the prominence of peaks is judged as a function of the prominence of the contour of its intonation phrase, at least in contours with normal pitch range. These findigs confirm the effect of pitch range found in the literature for English, and extend them by their demonstration that the effect is chiefly to be attributed to the phonological shape of the contour, and only secondarily to its pitch range.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rietveld, Toni / Gussenhoven, Carlos (1997): "The influence of phrase boundaries on perceived prominence in two-peak intonation contours", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 859-862.