8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Antwerp, Belgium
August 27-31, 2007

Rigid vs Non-Rigid Face and Head Motion in Phone and Tone Perception

Denis Burnham (1), Jessica Reynolds (1), Guillaume Vignali (1), Sandra Bollwerk (1), Caroline Jones (2)

(1) University of Western Sydney, Australia
(2) University of New South Wales, Australia

There is recent evidence that the visual concomitants, not only of the articulation of phones (consonants & vowels), but also of tones (fundamental frequency variations that signal lexical meaning in tone languages) facilitate speech perception. Analysis of speech production data from a Cantonese speaker suggests that the source of this perceptual information for tones involve rigid motion of the head rather than non-rigid face motion. A perceptual discrimination study was conducted using OPTOTRAK output in which rigid or non-rigid motion of the head could be presented independently, using two conditions: one in which words to be discriminated only differed in tone, and another in which they only differed in phone. The results suggest that non-rigid motion is the critical determinant for successful discrimination of phones, whereas both non-rigid and rigid motion are required for the discrimination of tones.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Burnham, Denis / Reynolds, Jessica / Vignali, Guillaume / Bollwerk, Sandra / Jones, Caroline (2007): "Rigid vs non-rigid face and head motion in phone and tone perception", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 698-701.