14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

Prosodic Changes Pre-Announcing a Syntactic Completion Point in Japanese Utterance

Yuichi Ishimoto (1), Mika Enomoto (2), Hitoshi Iida (2)

(1) NINJAL, Japan
(2) Tokyo University of Technology, Japan

In this paper we aim to clarify that participants of conversation can predict whether an utterance includes grammatical terminal elements, which have been referred to as the utterance-final elements (UFEs) in Japanese. We carried out perceptual experiments with Japanese utterances missing a part close to their end. The results showed that subjects distinguished whether an UFE follows at the verb before the appearance of the UFE, and they noticed that the end of the utterance arrives sooner or has already arrived even if the last mora is missing when the utterance includes the UFEs. Then, we analyzed the prosodic differences between the utterances with/without the UFE. The results presented the following information. The F0 declines gradually toward the end-of-utterance, the final lowering of the F0s remarkably occurs at the UFE, the power falls at the verb if the utterance does not have the UFE, and the power falls at the UFE if the utterance has the UFEs. That is, the F0 declination towards the end-of-utterance and the power falling at the verb are pre-announcing the syntactic completion point in the utterances to the hearers.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ishimoto, Yuichi / Enomoto, Mika / Iida, Hitoshi (2013): "Prosodic changes pre-announcing a syntactic completion point in Japanese utterance", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 788-792.