ISCA & IEEE Workshop on Spontaneous Speech Processing and Recognition

April 13-16, 2003
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan

Intonational Structures and Topic Discourse: Patterns in Discourse

Li-chiung Yang

Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA

Prosody is critical in conveying topic coherence and the salience of information in speech. In this study we propose that the overall coherence is brought about through pitch level structuring of phrases at both the local level of hierarchical phrase unit positioning and the global level of pitch baseline rise and fall as climax and resolution. Our results show that prosody has critical importance in the understanding and generation of natural conversation, and is crucial to enhance performance in topic segmentation, topic tracking, and advanced conversational synthesis and recognition.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yang, Li-chiung (2003): "Intonational structures and topic discourse: Patterns in discourse", in SSPR-2003, paper TAP9.