Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

The Relationship between Utterance Type and F0 Contour in German

aren Brinckmann (1), Ralf Benzmüller (2)

(1) Institute of Phonetics, University of the Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany
(2) Data Software, Bochum, Germany

In this study we investigate the intonational characteristics of the four utterance types statement, wh-question, yes/no-question and declarative question. Readings of two German scripted dialogues were examined to ascertain characteristic features of the F0 contour for each utterance type. Final boundary tone, nuclear pitch accent, F0 offset, F0 onset, F0 range, and the slopes of a topline and a bottomline were determined for each utterance and compared for the four utterance types. Results show that for an average speaker, the final boundary tone, the F0 range, and the slope of the topline can be used to distinguish between the four utterance types. However, speakers may deviate from this pattern and exploit other intonational means to distinguish certain utterance types or choose not to mark a syntactic difference at all.

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Bibliographic reference.  Brinckmann, aren / Benzmüller, Ralf (1999): "The relationship between utterance type and F0 contour in German", In EUROSPEECH'99, 21-24.