ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2002
ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2002

Pitch contour guides spoken word recognition

Claudia K. Friedrich, Sonja A. Kotz, Angela D. Friederici, Kai Alter

Three experiments investigated the processing of pitch contour during spoken word recognition. In Experi- ment 1 event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded while subjects made decisions to artificially pitch manipulated bisyllabic words. ERPs revealed that pitch contours are discriminated already within the first syllable of a word. In Experiment 2 subjects heard spoken word-initial syllables with re- synthesized pitch contours and were asked to name a word starting with that syllable. They answered more likely with an initially stressed word if the syllable carried a stressed pitch contour. However, if the same syllable carried an unstressed pitch contour, subjects more frequently responded with an initially unstressed word. In a cross-modal priming paradigm we pre- sented pitch modulated initial syllables as auditory primes followed by visual targets (Experiment 3). Reaction times as well as ERPs were found to be sen- sitive to pitch information. Taken together the results indicate that pitch is automatically extracted during spoken word recognition and that this prosodic pa- rameter guides lexical access.

Cite as: Friedrich, C.K., Kotz, S.A., Friederici, A.D., Alter, K. (2002) Pitch contour guides spoken word recognition. Proc. Speech Prosody 2002, 311-314

  author={Claudia K. Friedrich and Sonja A. Kotz and Angela D. Friederici and Kai Alter},
  title={{Pitch contour guides spoken word recognition}},
  booktitle={Proc. Speech Prosody 2002},