9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Effects of Intonational Phrase Boundaries on Pitch-Accented Syllables in American English

Yen-Liang Shue (1), Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (2), Markus Iseli (1), Sun-Ah Jun (1), Nanette Veilleux (3), Abeer Alwan (1)

(1) University of California at Los Angeles, USA; (2) MIT, USA; (3) Simmons College, USA

Recent studies of the acoustic correlates of various prosodic elements in American English, such as prominence (in the form of phrase-level pitch accents and word-level lexical stress) and boundaries (in the form of boundary-marking tones), have begun to clarify the nature of the acoustic cues to different types and levels of these prosodic markers. This study focuses on the importance of controlling for context in such investigations, illustrating the effects of adjacent context by examining the cues to H. and L. pitch accent in early and late position in the Intonational Phrase, and how these cues vary when the accented syllable is followed immediately by boundary tones. Results show that F0 peaks for H. accents occur significantly earlier in words that also carry boundary tones, and that energy patterns are also affected; some effects on voice quality measures were also noted. Such findings highlight the caveat that the context of a particular prosodic target may significantly influence its acoustic correlates.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shue, Yen-Liang / Shattuck-Hufnagel, Stefanie / Iseli, Markus / Jun, Sun-Ah / Veilleux, Nanette / Alwan, Abeer (2008): "Effects of intonational phrase boundaries on pitch-accented syllables in american English", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 873-876.