The present study is a corpus analysis of discourse prosodic information using two different types of fluent continuous Mandarin speech. Global F0 heights and duration patterns of withinand between-paragraph phrases were compared by discourse positions. Results showed that overall phrase-level F0 height was paragraph-initial>-medial>-final while the tempo pattern was paragraph-initial<-medial<-final. All of the differences were statistically significant across speakers and speech materials. The results suggest that discourse prosody context provides information of discourse planning, within-paragraph phrase association and between-paragraph topic change. We argue that global discourse prosody context is a crucial factor of speech communication, and can be applied to discourse segmentation, TTS synthesis naturalness and language pedagogy.
Bibliographic reference. Tseng, Chiu-yu / Su, Zhao-yu (2008): "Discourse prosody context - global F0 and tempo modulations", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 1200-1203.