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Perception of Mandarin intonation

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1 Author(s)
Jiahong Yuan ; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA

This study investigates how tone and intonation, and how focus and intonation, interact in intonation type (statement versus question) identification. A perception experiment was conducted on a speech corpus of 1040 utterances. Sixteen listeners participated in the experiment. The results reveal three asymmetries: statement and question intonation identification; effects of the sentence-final Tone2 and Tone4 on question intonation identification; and effects of the final focus on statement and question intonation identification. These asymmetries suggest that: (1) statement intonation is a default or unmarked intonation type whereas question intonation is a marked intonation type; (2) question intonation has a higher prosodic strength at the sentence final position; (3) there is a tone-dependent mechanism of question intonation at the sentence-final position.

Published in:

Chinese Spoken Language Processing, 2004 International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

15-18 Dec. 2004