14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

Mora-Based Pre-Low Raising in Japanese Pitch Accent

Albert Lee (1), Yi Xu (1), Santitham Prom-on (2)

(1) University College London, UK
(2) King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand

This study is an attempt to understand the phonetic properties of pitch accent conditions in Japanese as related to the two observed versions of H tones. We tested the hypothesis that the higher version (accented H) results from pre-low raising (PLR) rather than being inherently higher. Correlation analysis reveals an inverse relation between accent peak and the following low tone, and that the strength of such correlations is affected by both peak-toword- end distance (categorical effect) and within-mora time pressure (gradient), but the two effects work in opposite directions. We take this as evidence that the former effect is due to mora-level pre-planning while the latter is mechanical. These results suggest that in Japanese a low pitch target raises the preceding high target through anticipatory dissimilation. The findings of this study extend our previous understanding of the mechanisms of pitch production.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lee, Albert / Xu, Yi / Prom-on, Santitham (2013): "Mora-based pre-low raising in Japanese pitch accent", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 3532-3536.