The convergence of perceived prosodic highlight for discourse prosody

Helen Kai-Yun Chen, Wei-Te Fang, Chiu-Yu Tseng

Drawing on a parallel mechanism of motivic similarity in melody perception of music study, this research explores the convergence of perceived prosodic highlight allocations from lower-level prosodic units in reflecting higher-level discourse prosody. Based on the assumption that discourse prosody in cross-genre Mandarin speech corresponds to a coarsely graded distinction of prosodic contrastiveness that can be realized in limited numbers of variations (variation as in the sense of music study), this study attempts to test the feasibility of such convergence. It is demonstrated that numbers of prosodic variations at discourse-levels can be successfully narrowed down after merging. While the convergence for higher-level discourse prosody is achievable, the study further unveils the source for the divergent realizations of prosodic variations. The cross speech-genre analyses show that the divergence is directly associated with the chunking size of discourse-prosodic units in that the larger the planning size is, the more divergence exhibited in the numbers of non-mergeable prosodic patterns. The study thus offers an alternative insight to the commonly shared view toward the limited number of intonation variations found at higher levels of prosody discourse.

DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-134

Cite as

Chen, H.K., Fang, W., Tseng, C. (2016) The convergence of perceived prosodic highlight for discourse prosody. Proc. Speech Prosody 2016, 654-658.

author={Helen Kai-Yun Chen and Wei-Te Fang and Chiu-Yu Tseng},
title={The convergence of perceived prosodic highlight for discourse prosody},
booktitle={Speech Prosody 2016},