Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

How Fast Can We Really Change Pitch? Maximum Speed of Pitch Change Revisited

Yi Xu, Xuejing Sun

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, USA

The present paper reports preliminary data obtained in a study of maximum speed of pitch change. The study used an imitation paradigm to elicit fast alternating high and low pitch sequences from native speakers of Mandarin and English who were not professional singers. The speed of pitch change was measured both in terms of response time - time needed to complete the middle 75% of a pitch shift, as defined in previous studies, and in terms of excursion time - time needed to complete the entire pitch shift. Results show that the latter is nearly twice as long as the former, indicating that the maximum speed of pitch change is not nearly as fast as previous data may have implied. Potential implications of this finding on our understanding of F0 contour production in speech are discussed.


Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Xu, Yi / Sun, Xuejing (2000): "How fast can we really change pitch? maximum speed of pitch change revisited", In ICSLP-2000, vol.3, 666-669.