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

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

On Production and Perception of Boundary Tone in Chinese Intonation

Maocan Lin

Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

Two variables: pitch accent and boundary tone in Chinese intonation have been found by acoustical analysis and listening test of echo questions in read speech and yes-no questions in spontaneous speech.

Identification test is adopted to verify the acoustic manifestations of boundary tone, and to find out that the register of the ending-point (or the slope) of the F0 curve in boundary tone plays a more important role than the register of its starting-point in differentiating between question and statement and the identification function about question and statement is not categorical, but continuous.

It is advocated that features of boundary tone is "high" and "low". Pitch (F0) patterns of boundary tone in Standard Chinese is given. Whether tone-1, tone-2, tone-3, or tone-4, pitch pattern in the boundary tone with question keeps the citation form.

It is single-directionally and hierarchically that intonation acts upon on tones. In the pitch space of five-point values, intonation is represented mainly by register and range of the F0 curve, but tone is represented by its F0 contour.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lin, Maocan (2004): "On production and perception of boundary tone in Chinese intonation", In TAL-2004, 125-130.