Interspeech'2005 - Eurospeech

Lisbon, Portugal
September 4-8, 2005

Duration and the Temporal Structure of Mandarin Discourse

Li-chiung Yang

Tunghai University, Taiwan

Duration is a primary factor in the structural and cognitive organization of discourse. In this study, we investigate pauses and durational patterns in Mandarin Chinese spontaneous conversation, as well as investigate how reliably such elements can serve as boundary-marking predictors across different types of speech corpora, and how language activities are affected by their cognitive correlates. Our results show that pause duration is significantly correlated with specific boundary status and that syllable duration is inversely correlated with distance to phrase end, suggesting that syllable duration is a robust feature in predicting phrase boundary status. Our findings show that duration features are highly informative and provide valuable information on discourse structure and the expressiveness of cognitive state in language communication.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yang, Li-chiung (2005): "Duration and the temporal structure of Mandarin discourse", In INTERSPEECH-2005, 1385-1388.