5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

The Perception of Stressed Syllables in Finnish

Jyrki Tuomainen, Jean Vroomen, Beatrice de Gelder

Tilburg University, The Netherlands

The effect of word level prominence on detection speed of word boundaries in Finnish was investigated in two word spotting experiments. The results showed that the perceived stress was not a function of the fundamental frequency (F0) difference between the preceding syllable and the first syllable of the target word. Given the fast response times, the results suggest that subjects perceived in both experiments the first syllable of the target as stressed. This seems to indicate that when words are recognized in continuous speech the acoustic cues in the F0 contour signaling prominence may not be computed relative to the prominence of neighboring syllables. Instead, we hypothesize that subjects may be sensitive to a local pitch movement indicating change in the F0 slope.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tuomainen, Jyrki / Vroomen, Jean / Gelder, Beatrice de (1998): "The perception of stressed syllables in finnish", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0760.