Truncation and Compression in Southern German and Australian English

Jenny Yu, Katharina Zahner


Nuclear pitch accents are realized differently when there is little sonorant material (as in monosyllabic compared to disyllabic words): Southern British English speakers compress rises and falls, while Northern German speakers truncate falls and compress rises [1] (Grabe 1998). This leads to different phonetic surface patterns for final falls. Within these languages, dialectal variation affects alignment and the frequency of occurrence of nuclear tunes. We test whether the differences in compression and truncation use are a stable cross-linguistic phenomenon (and occur in other varieties of English and German) or whether they are limited to the varieties tested in [1]. Here, we investigated productions of rises and falls in Australian English and Southern German in words with different proportions of sonorant material. Australian English speakers compressed rises and falls, while Southern German speakers only compressed rises but truncated falls, consistent with Grabe’s findings for Southern British English and Northern German. This indicates consistent use of strategies within a language, even though the varieties under investigation display other phonetic differences from previous varieties tested. We discuss implications of these findings for automatic labelling.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2513

Cite as: Yu, J., Zahner, K. (2018) Truncation and Compression in Southern German and Australian English. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 1833-1837, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2513.


@inproceedings{Yu2018,
  author={Jenny Yu and Katharina Zahner},
  title={Truncation and Compression in Southern German and Australian English},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},
  pages={1833--1837},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2513},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2513}
}