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

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Quantitative Analysis and Synthesis of Focus in Mandarin

Gao Peng Chen (1), Yu Hu (1), Ren Hua Wang (1), Hansjörg Mixdorff (2)

(1) iFlytek Speech Lab, University of Science and Technology of China
(2) Faculty of Computer Science, Berlin University of Applied Sciences, Germany

This paper analyzes the influence of narrow and broad focus on the F0 contours in Mandarin utterances. We employ the Fujisaki model as a means for parameterizing F0 contours. We can regard the F0 contour in Mandarin as a superposition of slowly and fast changing components. Whereas the slow phrase component is associated with declination, the fast tone component is the manifestation of the syllabic tone shape. If there is narrow focus on a word, the amplitude of tone commands (of positive and/or negative polarity) aligned with it increases. The amplitudes of commands on the preceding word increase likewise whereas the amplitudes of commands on all following words are reduced. When focus broadens, that is, when it is placed on more than one word of an utterance, command amplitudes are reduced as the length of the focus domain increases. As a consequence, the influence of focus on words at the tail of an utterance is relatively weak. Focus also influences duration and intensity.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chen, Gao Peng / Hu, Yu / Wang, Ren Hua / Mixdorff, Hansjörg (2004): "Quantitative analysis and synthesis of focus in Mandarin", In TAL-2004, 25-28.