7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

September 16-20, 2002
Denver, Colorado, USA

A Phonetic Study of Vietnamese Tones: Acoustic and Electroglottographic Measurements

Vu Ngoc Tuan, Christophe d’Alessandro, Sophie Rosset


Vietnamese is a tone language using 6 different tones. The phonology of Vietnamese makes use of both melodic tones (pitch movements and registers) and voice quality tones. In this paper we present a phonetic description of the 6 tones of Vietnamese. Acoustic and electroglottographic data are provided. Two speakers (one female, one male) participated in the recordings. Phonetic realization of phonological tones using these acoustic parameters is discussed. The results indicate that several phonetic features are able to make possible the phonological contrasts. The first feature is the mean melodic register (high-low), represented mainly by the fundamental frequency. The second feature is the melodic movement (fall, rise, and fall-rise) represented mainly by the fundamental frequency. The third feature is voice quality, represented mainly by the voice open quotient and energy. Finally, a fourth feature seems to be the tone duration. However, all these features are not equally effective for all the tones, and some features seem correlated.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tuan, Vu Ngoc / d’Alessandro, Christophe / Rosset, Sophie (2002): "A phonetic study of vietnamese tones: acoustic and electroglottographic measurements", In ICSLP-2002, 1101-1104.