15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Perception of Pitch Tails at Potential Turn Boundaries in Swedish

Margaret Zellers

KTH, Sweden

In a number of languages, intonational patterns at prosodic boundaries are considered to be relevant for turn transition or turn hold. A perception experiment tested the influence of fundamental frequency (F0) peak height and rising final contours on Swedish listeners' judgment about whether a speaker wanted to hold the turn. While F0 peak height, as has been previously shown, did influence listeners' judgments, the end height of rising pitch tails apparently did not influence listeners' judgments about whether a speaker planned to continue talking, even though they showed sensitivity to the differences in a discrimination task. The differences in responses in the tasks, as well as the difference from results found for other languages, may indicate that listeners used comparative prominence to guide their judgments, rather than intonation playing a direct role in the turn-transition system.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Zellers, Margaret (2014): "Perception of pitch tails at potential turn boundaries in Swedish", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 1944-1948.