Mechanisms of Question Intonation in Mandarin

  • Jiahong Yuan
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4274)


This study investigates mechanisms of question intonation in Mandarin Chinese. Three mechanisms of question intonation have been proposed: an overall higher phrase curve, higher strengths of sentence final tones, and a tone-dependent mechanism that flattens the falling slope of the final falling tone and steepens the rising slope of the final rising tone. The phrase curve and strength mechanisms were revealed by a computational modeling study and verified by the acoustic analyses as well as the perception experiments. The tone-dependent mechanism was suggested by a result from the perceptual study: question intonation is easier to identify if the sentence-final tone is falling whereas it is harder to identify if the sentence-final tone is rising, and was revealed by the acoustic analyses on the final Tone2 and Tone4.


question intonation perception acoustics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiahong Yuan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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