Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

Contribution of Prosody to the Perception of Spanish/Italian Accents

Philippe Boula de Mareüil (1), Giovanna Marotta (2), Martine Adda-Decker (1)

(l) LIMSI-CNRS, Orsay, France; (2) University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Advantage is taken of new technologies, and in particular speech synthesis, to clear up the relative importance of prosody (melody and rhythm) in the identification of a foreign language or accent. The methodology we propose, based on the prosody transplantation paradigm, can be applied to different languages or language varieties. Here, it is applied to Spanish and Italian. We built up a dozen sentences which are spoken in almost the same way in both languages. And we wanted to study what is perceived when the segmental and suprasegmental characteristics of these two languages are crossed. Results obtained with French, Italian and Spanish listeners converge and suggest that prosody plays a greater role than the articulation of phonemes to identify the Spanish/Italian language and accent.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Boula de Mareüil, Philippe / Marotta, Giovanna / Adda-Decker, Martine (2004): "Contribution of prosody to the perception of Spanish/Italian accents", In SP-2004, 681-684.