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

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Tonal Alignment in Different Tone Systems

Yiqing Zu (1), Runqiang Yan (2)

(1) China Research Center, Motorola Labs, Shanghai, China
(2) Department of biomedical Engineering, Jiaotong University, China

This study analyzed pitch distribution on speech corpora of Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese and American English. Each Language or dialect has one male speaker and one female speaker. The results show that the tone language has boarder pitch range in high frequency range for tones realization. As a result, tonal alignment is crucial for tone languages. It seems unnecessary to use boarder pitch range for lexical stress in English.

In Mandarin Chinese, when two tones in a di-syllable word is conflicting and the initial of second syllable is voice, it will introduce a extra pitch peak to the onset of second syllable. When those syllables are used in another context when concatenation is conducted it will sounds un-pleasant perceptively. To investigate tonal alignment, this paper studies the di-syllable prosodic words in a Mandarin TTS speech corpus and concludes that the alignment failure phenomena, which are important to speech technology, have more chances occurring in tone languages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Zu, Yiqing / Yan, Runqiang (2004): "Tonal alignment in different tone systems", In TAL-2004, 243-246.