The presented study concerns the influence of the syllabic structure on perceived prominence. We examined how gaps in the F0 contour due to unvoiced consonants affect prominence perception, given that such gaps can either be filled or blinded out by listeners. For this purpose we created a stimulus set of real disyllabic words which differed in the quantity of the vowel of the accented syllable nucleus and the types of subsequent intervocalic consonant(s). Results include, inter alia, that stimuli with unvoiced gaps in the F0 contour are indeed perceived as less prominent. The prominence reduction is smaller for monotonous stimuli than for stimuli with F0 excursions across the accented syllable. Moreover, in combination with F0 excursions, it also mattered whether F0 had to be interpolated or extrapolated, and whether or not the gap included a fricative sound. The results support both the filling-in and blinding-out of F0 gaps, which fits in well with earlier experiments on the production and perception of pitch.
Bibliographic reference. Mixdorff, Hansjörg / Niebuhr, Oliver (2013): "The influence of F0 contour continuity on prominence perception", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 230-234.