Third International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 94)

Yokohama, Japan
September 18-22, 1994

Features of Prominent Particles in Japanese Discourse, Frequency, Functions and Acoustic Features

Toshiko Muranaka (1), Noriyo Hara (2)

(1) Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Tokushima University, Tokushima, Japan
(2) Central Research Laboratories, Matsushita Electric Ind. Co., Ltd., Kyoto, Japan

Japanese particles have lexically no accent. However, some particles are sometimes uttered with higher tone in Japanese natural discourse. This phenomenon, prominence on particles, plays an important role for naturalness and understandability of discourse. In this study, discourses on six different topics uttered by a male announcer with no instruction at five speech rates were analyzed. The incidence of prominence on particles was higher in explanatory discourses than that in dramatic discourses, and was higher for a slower speech rate. As for grammatical function, prominent particles were used (1)when they expressed the theme or make clear syntactic structure or semantic boundary, or (2) when they were followed by an assistant negative phrase. Fundamental frequency (F0) contour was rising gradually in case 1 and rising abruptly in case 2. These results suggest that grammatical function of prominent particles is reflected in the F0 contour.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Muranaka, Toshiko / Hara, Noriyo (1994): "Features of prominent particles in Japanese discourse, frequency, functions and acoustic features", In ICSLP-1994, 395-398.