8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


The Perceptual Cues of a High Level Pitch-Accent Pattern in Japanese: Pitch-accent Patterns and Duration

Tsutomu Sato

Meiji Gakuin University, Japan

It has been pointed out that a head-high pitch accent pattern (hereafter HLL) of a loanword in Japanese tends to be flattened and pronounced as a high level pitch-accent pattern (phonetically represented here as HHH) by younger generation. This paper attempts to clarify how Japanese who are in their twenties distinguish a high level pitch-accent pattern from a level pitch-accent pattern (hereafter LHH) as a form of perception experiment, using speech synthesis techniques. In the first part of this paper, it will be shown how often HHH patterns appear among 10 Japanese college students' production experiment and the F0 configurations will be investigated. Then, the result of perception experiment indicates that HHH patterns are taken for LHH patterns in faster speech. Finally, it will be suggested that durational differences caused by pitch-accent patterns can be perceptual cues in telling the pitch-accent patterns apart.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sato, Tsutomu (2003): "The perceptual cues of a high level pitch-accent pattern in Japanese: pitch-accent patterns and duration", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 2061-2064.