12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

L1/L2 Perception of Lexical Stress with F0 Peak-Delay: Effect of an Extra Syllable Added

Shinichi Tokuma (1), Yi Xu (2)

(1) Chuo University, Japan
(2) University College London, UK

This study addressed the problems of our previous study [5] and investigated the perceptual effect of F0 peak-delay on L1 / L2 perception of English lexical stress. A trisyllabic English nonsense word 'ninini' /nInInI/ whose F0 was set to reach its peak around the second syllable was embedded in a frame sentence and used as the stimulus of the perceptual experiment. Native English and Japanese speakers were asked to determine lexical stress locations in the experiment. The results showed that in the perception of English lexical stress, delayed F0 peaks which were aligned with the second syllable of the stimulus words perceptually affected both Japanese and English groups, although slightly in a different manner: the Japanese group perceived the delayed F0 peaks as a cue to lexical stress in the first syllable when the peaks were aligned with, or before, the end of /n/ in the second syllable, while the English group had the boundary shifted in an earlier temporal position. It was also discovered that the Japanese group had greater sensitivity to the delayed peak positions. The difference could be attributed to the dependency upon F0 as a perceptual cue and upon its alignment position in a constant / relative timing, as well as the speech rate difference between the two languages.


  1. Tokuma, S. and Xu, Y., “The effect of F0 peak-delay on the L1 / L2 perception of English lexical stress.” Proceedings of Interspeech 2009, Brighton, UK. pp. 1687-1690, 2009.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tokuma, Shinichi / Xu, Yi (2011): "L1/L2 perception of lexical stress with F0 peak-delay: effect of an extra syllable added", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 1881-1884.