Third International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 94)

Yokohama, Japan
September 18-22, 1994

Role of Prosodic Features in the Human Process of Speech Perception

Nobuaki Minematsu, Keikichi Hirose

Dept. of Electronic Engineering, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Prosodic features of speech are tightly related to the linguistic information of an utterance, such as the lexical meaning of a word and the syntactic structure of a sentence. Although we have conducted a series of perceptual experiments and constructed a model for the human process of speech recognition, only the segmental features have been taken into account. In order to quantitatively examine the role of prosodic features, two perceptual experiments were performed, where speech stimuli were synthesized by manipulating accent and phrase components of the fundamental frequency contour. Word stimuli were used in the first experiment to clarify the effects of word accent types on word perception. It was found that the words with type 1 accent were perceived differently from those with the other types. In the other experiment, sentence stimuli were used to examine the effects of phrase components on the perception of higher-order linguistic information. The results indicated that the phrase component, even if its command value was small, could work as a cue for detecting the syntactic structure in a sentence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Minematsu, Nobuaki / Hirose, Keikichi (1994): "Role of prosodic features in the human process of speech perception", In ICSLP-1994, 1151-1154.