5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

Temporal-Alignment Categories of Accent-Lending Rises and Falls

David House (1), Dik Hermes (2), Frédéric Beaugendre (2,3)

(1) Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
(2) IPO, Center for Research on User-System Interaction. Eindhoven, The Netherlands
(3) Currently with Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products

This paper presents a theoretical framework for a model of perceived accentuation categories. This framework is based on the combined results of a series of experiments on accentuation boundaries in Dutch, French and Swedish and on theoretical work on tonal perception in speech. We propose a model in which several different language- dependent categories of accentuation are represented as the falling or rising pitch movement is advanced through the syllable. The perceived category depends upon whether an onset of the pitch movement or a pitch jump is perceived, whether or not the particular category is represented in the language in question, and whether or not the movement also serves as a cue for phrasing. Dutch and Swedish display similarities in accentuation categories while French differs from these two languages. These differences are explained by the conflict between cues for accentuation and phrasing and the differing intonational structure of French. The proposed perceptual categories have general implications for the understanding and description of accentuation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  House, David / Hermes, Dik / Beaugendre, Frédéric (1997): "Temporal-alignment categories of accent-lending rises and falls", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 879-882.