5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Phonetic Investigation of Boundary Pitch Movements in Japanese

Kazuaki Maeda (1), Jennifer J. Venditti (2)

(1) Univ of Pennsylvania and Bell Labs, USA
(2) Bell Labs and Ohio State Univ, USA

Pitch movements at the boundaries of sentence-medial and final phrases in Japanese can provide a cue to the speaker's intention. For example, the phrase /Nagano-de/ 'in Nagano' can be uttered with different rising and/or falling pitch movements on the the final mora /de/ to convey meanings such as clarification, incredulity, prominence in the discourse, insistence, etc. The identification of these movements is important not only for spoken language understanding systems, but also for natural-sounding speech synthesis. The current study examines F0 shape, height, and alignment characteristics of four distinct sentence-medial boundary rises. We compare these types with accented and focused unaccented words containing identical phonetic segments, and discuss a number of different possible phonological analyses of the pitch movements.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Maeda, Kazuaki / Venditti, Jennifer J. (1998): "Phonetic investigation of boundary pitch movements in Japanese", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0800.