10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

Mandarin Spontaneous Narrative Planning - Prosodic Evidence from National Taiwan University Lecture Corpus

Chiu-yu Tseng (1), Zhao-yu Su (1), Lin-shan Lee (2)

(1) Academia Sinica, Taiwan
(2) National Taiwan University, Taiwan

This paper discusses discourse planning of pre-organized spontaneous narratives (SpnNS) in comparison with read speech (RS). F0 and tempo modulations are compared by speech paragraph size and discourse boundaries. The speaking rate of SpnNS from university classroom lecture is 2 to 3 times to that of RS by professionals; paragraph phrasing of SpnNS is 6 times that of RS. Patterns of paragraph association are distinct for SpnNS and RS. Sub-paragraph and paragraph units in RS are marked by distinct relative F0 resets and boundary pause duration, but by patterns of intensity contrasts in SpnNS instead. Consistent to both data sets is the finding that combined relative supra-segmental cues reflecting global prosodic properties are more discriminative to distinguish discourse boundaries than any fragments of singular cue, supporting higher-level discourse planning in the acoustic signals. We believe these findings can be directly applied to speech technology development.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tseng, Chiu-yu / Su, Zhao-yu / Lee, Lin-shan (2009): "Mandarin spontaneous narrative planning - prosodic evidence from national taiwan university lecture corpus", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 2943-2946.