Variation of Accent Prominence within the Phrase: Models and Spontaneous Speech Data

  • Jacques Terken


Various models have been proposed to account for judgments of the relative prominence of pitch accents in relation to F0 variation. Two topics are addressed in this paper. The first topic is how pitch accents need to be realized in order to obtain the appropriate prominence patterns. In order to answer this question, relevant data and models for prominence perception are summarized. It is tentatively concluded that the prominence associated with F0 peaks is judged relative to the local F0 range, as signalled by the pitch at utterance onset. No model for prominence perception proposed so far can account for the available data, and more insight is needed into the issue of pitch range estimation before real progress can be made. The second topic concerns the assumption of free gradient variability underlying models of prominence perception: it is assumed that the prominence associated with pitch accents may vary freely and in a gradient way from accent to accent within the phrase. Prominence ratings collected for fragments of spontaneous speech provide no evidence of a constraint prohibiting such variation. Some implications of these findings are considered.


Spontaneous Speech Pitch Accent Prosodic Boundary Current Contour Prominence Variation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1997

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  • Jacques Terken

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