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

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Pitch and Alignment in the Perception of Tone and Intonation: Pragmatic Signals and Biological Codes

David House

Department of Speech, Music and Hearing, Centre for Speech Technology KTH, Stockholm, Sweden

In this paper a case is made for examining tone perception and particularly phenomena of tonal alignment in terms of perceptual limitations to pitch processing. The perception of pitch and tonal movement is discussed in relationship to research on alignment. Results from perception experiments using Swedish listeners and non-scripted speech production data from Swedish speakers are used to exemplify the discussion. The results of these experiments are further discussed in terms of biological codes. Finally thresholds of tonal movement perception are proposed based on principles of syllable alignment consistent with perceptual constraints including cognitive processing.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  House, David (2004): "Pitch and alignment in the perception of tone and intonation: pragmatic signals and biological codes", In TAL-2004, 93-96.