14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

The Interplay of Intonation and Complex Lexical Tones: How Speaker Attitudes Affect the Realization of Glottalization on Vietnamese Sentence-Final Particles

Thi-Lan Nguyen, Alexis Michaud, Do Dat Tran, Dang-Khoa Mac

MICA, Vietnam

A salient aspect of the tone system of Hanoi Vietnamese is its use of phonation-type characteristics. This pilot study investigates intonational variation in the realization of two tones: tone 3 (nga), a rising tone with a strong glottalization in its first half, and tone 6 (nang), which starts on a middle pitch and usually falls dramatically because of a strong glottalization in its second half. This study focuses on how speaker attitude affects the realization of glottalization on two sentence-final particles (SFPs) carrying tones 3 and 6: da [IPA: da3], conveying tense-aspect-modality information, and "a." [IPA: a6], conveying politeness. Audio and electroglottographic recordings from 4 male speakers suggest that glottalization is phased earlier for surprise than for declaration. Irritation also tends to be reflected in earlier glottalization, but with an added glottal constriction at the very end. A methodological challenge is that phonetic realizations of tones 3 and 6 span a wide range of states of the glottis. A procedure is proposed for detecting the complex-repetitive patterns found in cases of lapse into creaky phonation (vocal fry). This helps quantify glottalization phenomena, with a view to arriving at a model that can be used in speech processing.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nguyen, Thi-Lan / Michaud, Alexis / Tran, Do Dat / Mac, Dang-Khoa (2013): "The interplay of intonation and complex lexical tones: how speaker attitudes affect the realization of glottalization on vietnamese sentence-final particles", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 3522-3526.