8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

The Role of Pitch Range Variation in the Discourse Structure and Intonation Structure of Korean

Eunjong Kong

The Ohio State University, USA

This study explores pitch range variation in Korean spontaneous narratives and read transcripts of the same narratives. There are two research goals. One is to examine whether pitch range variation helps mark discourse segment boundaries and signal the hierarchy of discourse segment purposes. Another is to see whether categorical differences in pitch range encode the contrast between the two intonationally marked units in the Korean prosodic hierarchy. The narratives were prosodically annotated for Accentual and Intonational Phrase boundaries and the F0 maximum was measured in each Accentual Phrase. Comparing F0 maxima across adjacent phrases shows that pitch range is reset at discourse segment boundaries in spontaneous speech, and also that size of the pitch range reset reflects the hierarchy of discourse segment levels. By contrast, there is no systematic difference in pitch range resetting values between higher Intonational Phrases as compared to lower Accentual Phrase boundaries.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kong, Eunjong (2004): "The role of pitch range variation in the discourse structure and intonation structure of Korean", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 3017-3020.