This paper describes an experiment in which listeners had to evaluate the amount of perceptual difference between pitch contours derived from the same intonation pattern. The melodical difference was felt to be largest if the contours differed in overall shape, irrespective of additional differences in the size of the pitch movements. On the speakers' side, the choice between different contour shapes appears to be controlled by syntactic factors. Listeners however, have no outspoken preference for one shape over the other.
Bibliographic reference. Collier, René / Zitter, A. de / Terken, Jacques M. B. (1989): "On the perceptual salience of melodical variations and its consequences for intonation synthesis", In EUROSPEECH-1989, 2108-2111.