16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Dresden, Germany
September 6-10, 2015

Acoustic Correlates of Perceived Syllable Prominence in German

Hansjörg Mixdorff (1), Christian Cossio-Mercado (2), Angelika Hönemann (3), Jorge Gurlekian (2), Diego Evin (2), Humberto Torres (2)

(1) BHT Berlin, Germany
(2) Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
(3) Universität Bielefeld, Germany

This paper explores the relationship between perceived syllable prominence and the acoustic properties of a speech utterance. It is aimed at establishing a link between the linguistic meaning of an utterance in terms of sentence modality and focus and its underlying prosodic features. Applications of such knowledge can be found in computer-based pronunciation training as well as general automatic speech recognition and understanding. Our acoustic analysis confirms earlier results in that focus and sentence mode modify the fundamental frequency contour, syllabic durations and intensity. However, we could not find consistent differences between utterances produced with non-contrastive and contrastive focus, respectively. Only one third of utterances with broad focus were identified as such. Ratings of syllable prominence are strongly correlated with the amplitude
    Aa of underlying accent commands, syllable duration, maximum intensity and mean harmonics-to-noise ratio.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mixdorff, Hansjörg / Cossio-Mercado, Christian / Hönemann, Angelika / Gurlekian, Jorge / Evin, Diego / Torres, Humberto (2015): "Acoustic correlates of perceived syllable prominence in German", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 51-55.