Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Acoustic Cues of Stress and Accent in Catalan

Lluďsa Astruc, Pilar Prieto

University of Cambridge, UK, & ICREA-UAB, Barcelona, Spain

The goal of this paper is to examine the phonetic correlates of stress and accent in Catalan. We analyzed five acoustic correlates of stress (syllable duration, spectral balance, vowel quality, vowel pitch, and vowel intensity) in two stress conditions and in two accent conditions, which is to say, in stressed and unstressed syllables in both accented and unaccented environments (that is, appositions in sentences such as Vol la vela, la vella ‘(S)he wants the sail, the old sail’ vs. right-dislocated subjects in Vol la vela, la vella ‘(S)he wants the sail, the old lady’. In keeping with the findings of Slujter & collaborators on Dutch and on English [1], [2], [3], and Campbell & Beckman on English [4], Catalan reveals systematic differences in the acoustic characterization of the accent and stress dimensions. Specifically, syllable duration, spectral balance, and vowel quality are reliable acoustic correlates of stress differences, while accentual differences are acoustically marked by intensity and pitch cues.

References

  1. Slujter, A.M.C.; van Heuven, V., 1996a. Spectral balance as an acoustic correlate of linguistic stress. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 100(4), 2471-2485.
  2. Slujter, A.M.C.; van Heuven, V., 1996b. Acoustic correlates of linguistic stress and accent in Dutch and American English. Proceedings of ICSLP, 96. Philadelphia: Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories, Alfred I. duPont Institute, pp. 630-633.
  3. Slujter, A.M.C.; van Heuven, V.; Pacilly, J.J.A., 1997. Spectral balance as a cue in the perception of linguistic stress. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 101 (1), 503-513.
  4. Campbell, N.; Beckman, M., 1997. Stress, prominence and spectral tilt. In Intonation: Theory, Models and Applications, A. Botinis, G. Kouroupetroglou & G. Carayiannis (eds.). ESCA and University of Athens Department of Informatics, 67-70.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Astruc, Lluďsa / Prieto, Pilar (2006): "Acoustic cues of stress and accent in Catalan", In SP-2006, paper 209.