Third European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Berlin, Germany
September 22-25, 1993


Prosody in the Perception of Syntactic Boundaries

Eva Strangert (1), Bo Strangert (2)

(1) Department of Phonetics
(2) Communication Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Umea, Umea, Sweden

Previous experiments on Swedish indicate (a) that it is possible to differentiate between syntactic boundaries on the basis of prosodic cues alone, (b) that the best results are obtained when pre- and post-boundary information is combined with information about the boundary itself (the silent interval), (c) that a fairly good categorization may be based exclusively on pre-boundary cues and (d) that, for the majority of the subjects tested, the silent interval appears to be the stronger cue when in conflict with other prosodic cues. The experiments to be reported are an extension of this work. A new test series has been designed applying the signal detection theory in order to explore in more detail how pre-boundary information combines with information about the boundary. Two tasks are compared: categorical judgments of type of boundary, and perceptual responses to the semantic information of the sequences.

Keywords: Perception, prosody, syntactic boundaries, signal detection theory, Swedish.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Strangert, Eva / Strangert, Bo (1993): "Prosody in the perception of syntactic boundaries", In EUROSPEECH'93, 1209-1210.