8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

Perceptual Discrimination of Prosodic Types and Their Preliminary Acoustic Analysis

Masahiko Komatsu (1), Tsutomu Sugawara (2), Takayuki Arai (2)

(1) Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Japan
(2) Sophia University, Japan

A perceptual discrimination test was conducted to investigate whether humans can discriminate prosodic types solely based on suprasegmental acoustic cues. Excerpts from Chinese, English, Spanish, and Japanese, differing in lexical accent types and rhythm types, were used. From these excerpts, "source" signals of the source-filter model, differing in F0, intensity, and HNR, were created and used in a perceptual experiment. In general, the results indicated that humans can discriminate these prosodic types and that the discrimination is easier if more acoustic information is available. Further, the results showed that languages with similar rhythm types are difficult to discriminate (i.e., Chinese-English, English-Spanish, and Spanish-Japanese). As to accent types, tonal/non-tonal contrast was easy to detect. We also conducted a preliminary acoustic analysis of the experimental stimuli and found that quick F0 fluctuations in Chinese contribute to the perceptual discrimination of tonal/non-tonal accents.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Komatsu, Masahiko / Sugawara, Tsutomu / Arai, Takayuki (2004): "Perceptual discrimination of prosodic types and their preliminary acoustic analysis", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 3045-3048.