Perception of Peak Placement in Tashlhiyt Berber

Timo Roettger, Rachid Ridouane, Martine Grice

Previous production studies on Tashlhiyt Berber have demonstrated that questions and statements have similar intonation contours, i.e., a final rise to a F0 peak and subsequent fall. The contours tended to differ in overall pitch register and peak location: questions (a) revealed a stronger tendency to be realized with the F0 peak on the final syllable than statements and (b) even within the same syllable, peaks were often aligned later in questions than in statements. The peak location, however, was reported to vary strongly both within and across speakers, interpreted as free alternation of tonal association. Given this high degree of variation, the question arises as to how relevant this variation is for communication. The present perception study shows that both pitch register (low vs. high) and tonal placement (peak on penultimate vs. final syllable) affect listeners’ judgments on sentence modality as well as reaction times. Whereas peak alignment within the syllable (early vs. late) did not affect judgments, it did have an effect on reaction times. By demonstrating their perceptual impact, this study confirms that the patterns found in production are communicatively relevant.

 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-68

Cite as: Roettger, T., Ridouane, R., Grice, M. (2014) Perception of Peak Placement in Tashlhiyt Berber. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 408-412, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-68.

  author={Timo Roettger and Rachid Ridouane and Martine Grice},
  title={{Perception of Peak Placement in Tashlhiyt Berber}},
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},