12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Predicting Taiwan Mandarin Tone Shapes from their Duration

Chierh Cheng (1), Michele Gubian (2)

(1) University College London, UK
(2) Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands

A preliminary study on modelling tonal variation as a function of duration is carried out. An experimentally controlled acoustic database was utilized to construct functional linear models. In the construction of the linear models, duration was used as independent variable in predicting the shape of disyllabic pitch contours in Taiwan Mandarin, given the target tone sequences. Results showed that by moving duration values from short to long, tonal curve shapes of disyllables ranging from non-reduced to reduced were approximated with an adequate goodness-of-fit (usually below one semitone RMSE). This study provides a novel approach to examine the relation between duration and F0 realisation of small units such as disyllables and also supports the time pressure account of phonetic reduction in general.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cheng, Chierh / Gubian, Michele (2011): "Predicting taiwan Mandarin tone shapes from their duration", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 1073-1076.