8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


On the Role of Intonation in the Organization of Mandarin Chinese Speech Prosody

Chiu-yu Tseng

Academia Sinica, Taiwan

This paper reports 3 perception experiments on intonation groups and the role of phrasal intonation in the organization of speech prosody. The goal is to help unlimited TTS achieve better naturalness. Experiments were also designed to compliment previous extensive analyses of speech data. Using the PRAAT software and removing segmental information humming experiments of extracted intonation groups ending in interrogative and declarative intonations in both complete and edited forms were used. Results showed that (1.)phrasal or sentential intonation contour is less significant for Mandarin, (2.) yes-no questions with utterance question particles are characterized by a rising pitch on the final syllable only, (3.) the general higher register exhibited in yes-no questions without utterance final question particles is not the most salient cue for intonation, (4.) utterance final lengthening appears to be a salient perceptual cue for intonation identification, (5.) speech units larger than single sentences deserve more attention.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tseng, Chiu-yu (2003): "On the role of intonation in the organization of Mandarin Chinese speech prosody", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 481-484.