Speech Prosody 2004

Nara, Japan
March 23-26, 2004

Perceptual Discrimination of Prosodic Types

Masahiko Komatsu (1), Takayuki Arai (1), Tsutomu Sugawara (2)

(1) Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering; (2) Faculty of Foreign Studies; Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan

A perceptual discrimination test was conducted to investigate whether humans can discriminate prosodic types solely based on suprasegmental acoustic cues. Excerpts from Chinese, English, Spanish, and Japanese, differing in lexical accent types and rhythm types, were used. From these excerpts, "source" signals of the source-filter model, differing in F0, intensity, and HNR, were created and used in a perceptual experiment. In general, the results indicated that humans can discriminate these prosodic types and that the discrimination is easier if more acoustic information is available. Further, the results showed that languages with similar rhythm types are difficult to discriminate (i.e., Chinese-English, English- Spanish, and Spanish-Japanese). However, detailed investigation of the results suggested the need for reconsideration of prosodic types from an acoustic and perceptual basis.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Komatsu, Masahiko / Arai, Takayuki / Sugawara, Tsutomu (2004): "Perceptual discrimination of prosodic types", In SP-2004, 725-728.