Prominence and Coreference On the Perceptual Relevance of F0 Movement, Duration and Intensity

Stefan Baumann, Anna Roth


We conducted a web-based experiment on German testing the perception of an element’s prosodic prominence in relation to its status as a potential coreferent of an antecedent. Data were elicited by asking subjects to judge the probability of a coreference relation between a context noun (antecedent) and a target word (anaphor), whose lexically stressed syllable was manipulated as to the parameters F0 movement, duration and intensity. Results suggest a direct but inverse relationship between prominence and coreference judgements indicating that the likelihood of a coreference interpretation decreases with increasing prosodic prominence. F0 movement turned out to be the dominant cue for prominence as the main trigger for the perception of pitch accents with rises being perceived as more prominent than falls. In turn, lack of tonal movement probably led to perceived deaccentuation and thus favoured the evaluation of a target word as being coreferential with an antecedent. Duration was found to be a significant factor as well, while intensity did not prove to be relevant for the task given. Thus, the present study with its revised methodology adds new aspects to the debate of which parameters are crucial for prominence perception, directly linking it to the investigation of information structure.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-33

Cite as: Baumann, S., Roth, A. (2014) Prominence and Coreference On the Perceptual Relevance of F0 Movement, Duration and Intensity. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 227-231, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-33.


@inproceedings{Baumann2014,
  author={Stefan Baumann and Anna Roth},
  title={{Prominence and Coreference On the Perceptual Relevance of F0 Movement, Duration and Intensity}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={227--231},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-33},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-33}
}