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Accentuation boundaries in Dutch, French and Swedish
KTH, Superseded Departments, Speech Transmission and Music Acoustics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4628-3769
2001 (English)In: Speech Communication, ISSN 0167-6393, Vol. 33, no 4, 305-318 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a comparative study investigating the relation between the timing of a rising or falling pitch movement and the temporal structure of the syllable it accentuates for three languages: Dutch, French and Swedish. In a perception experiment, the five-syllable utterances /mamamamama/ and /?a?a?a?a?a/ were provided with a relatively fast rising or falling pitch movement. The timing of the movement was systematically varied so that it accented the third or the fourth syllable, subjects were asked to indicate which syllable they perceived as accented. The accentuation boundary (AB) between the third and the fourth syllable was then defined as the moment before which more than half of the subjects indicated the third syllable as accented and after which more than half of the subjects indicated the fourth syllable. The results show that there are significant differences between the three languages as to the location of the AB. In general, for the rises, well-defined ABs were found. They were located in the middle of the vowel of the third syllable for French subjects, and later in that vowel for Dutch and swedish subjects. For the falls, a clear AB was obtained only for the Dutch and the Swedish listeners. This was located at the end of the third syllable. For the French listeners, the fall did not yield a clear AB, This corroborates the absence of accentuation by means of falls in French. By varying the duration of the pitch movement it could be shown that, in all cases in which a clear AB was found. the cue for accentuation was located at the beginning of the pitch movement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 33, no 4, 305-318 p.
Keyword [en]
intonation, accentuation, temporal alignment, language differences, speech
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-20354ISI: 000166887400004OAI: diva2:339049
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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House, David
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