5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

An Electropalatographic, Kinematic, and Acoustic Analysis of Supralaryngeal Correlates of Word-Level Prominence Contrasts in English

Jonathan Harrington (1), Mary E. Beckman (2), Janet Fletcher (3), Sallyanne Palethorpe (1)

(1) Speech, Hearing and Language Research Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
(2) Department of Linguistics, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
(3) Department of Linguistics, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

This study examines the phonetic characteristics of primary versus secondary stress on the first syllables of the surname 'Wheateron' and related adjective 'Wheateresque' in post-nuclear, deaccented position in a dialogue produced 40 times by 3 Australian English talkers. Synchronised acoustic, electromagnetometer, and electropalatographic recordings were analysed. One subject had a higher F0 in the primary stressed syllable. The other two had a longer acoustic duration for the syllable's voiced portion, corresponding to a longer lip closing movement. One of these two also had a larger and faster lip opening movement into the vowel. Taken together, the results show that primary versus secondary lexical stress may be differentiated even when accent contrasts are neutralised, although the differences are inconsistent across talkers and small by comparison to those that have been shown to characterise the accented-unaccented contrast.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Harrington, Jonathan / Beckman, Mary E. / Fletcher, Janet / Palethorpe, Sallyanne (1998): "An electropalatographic, kinematic, and acoustic analysis of supralaryngeal correlates of word-level prominence contrasts in English", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0646.