10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

German Boundary Tones Show Categorical Perception and a Perceptual Magnet Effect When Presented in Different Contexts

Katrin Schneider, Grzegorz Dogil, Bernd Möbius

Universität Stuttgart, Germany

The experiment presented in this paper examines categorical perception as well as the perceptual magnet effect in German boundary tones, taking also context information into account. The test phrase is preceded by different context sentences that are assumed to affect the location of the category boundary in the stimulus continuum between the low and the high boundary tone. Results provide evidence for the existence of a low and a high boundary tone in German, corresponding to statement versus question interpretation, respectively. Furthermore, in contrast to previous findings, a prototype was found not only in the category of the low but also in the category of the high boundary tone, supporting the hypothesis that context might have been taken into account to solve a possible ambiguity between H% and a previously hypothesized non-low and non-terminal boundary tone.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Schneider, Katrin / Dogil, Grzegorz / Möbius, Bernd (2009): "German boundary tones show categorical perception and a perceptual magnet effect when presented in different contexts", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 2519-2522.