International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
With Emphasis on Tone Languages

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Mandarin Chinese Tonal Issues from the Perspective of Speech Synthesis

Fangxin Chen (1), Jianfen Cao (2)

(1) IBM China Research Laboratory; (2) Linguistics Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Science, Beijing, China

This paper presents two tonal issues in spoken Mandarin Chinese from the perspective of speech synthesis. One is a unique Chinese phonetic category Qingsheng. Based on speech synthesis and natural speech analysis, two acoustic criteria were suggested for distinguishing Qingsheng from the unstressed syllables which occur frequently in natural speech. The other is a tone sandhi phenomenon which differed from the known tonal behaviors and affected the application of normal tone sandhi rules in our text-to-speech system. Tentative discussion was presented to solicit further theoretical enquiry.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chen, Fangxin / Cao, Jianfen (2004): "Mandarin Chinese tonal issues from the perspective of speech synthesis", In TAL-2004, 21-24.