Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:

$34638

Still Needed:

$40362

Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington


Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Query Details


Query Subject:   Inherent Pitch Differences and Monontonous Speech
Author:   Magdalene Jacobs
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Phonetics
Phonology

Query:   Dear All,

I am in need of advice from the linguistic community!

I am in the process of creating an experiment in which I need to use monotonous (or quasi-monotonous) natural speech stimuli.

First, let me say that this is a Statistical Learning experiment in which I am trying to see whether previous results using synthetic speech are replicable with natural speech. Given the nature of the experiment, I would like to preserve as much acoustic information in my stimuli as possible.


I have several syllable tokens that I am stringing together in order to create a ''monotonous'' stream of speech (e.g. ba, to, pi).

However, since the vowels in my syllables naturally vary in pitch depending on their height, some of my syllables still sound much more prominent than others in the speech stream (e.g. [pu] is much more prominent than [ba]). My range in pitch is [ba]=199.14 Hz; [pu]=240.31 Hz.

My mean pitch for all of my syllables is 216 Hz, with an SD of 12.941.

Here is my question:

I am struggling to maintain the integrity of the natural speech tokens as much as possible. However, I am wondering if anyone knows of a relatively sound protocol for manipulating the pitch of a range of vowels in order to create monotonous speech? I may be wrong, but I feel that changing the pitch of all vowels to some equal level (say, M=220 Hz), may not be the most methodologically sound way to go, given that vowels do naturally vary in pitch. I am wondering if, alternatively, there is a methodologically accepted way of bringing vowels closer together in terms of pitch in order to create monotonous sounding speech.

Alternatively, does anyone know of an article or other resource that discusses inherent pitch differences in monotonous speech (i.e. a resource that discusses values of F0 in high vs. low vowels in speech that is perceived by listeners as monotonous)?

Thank you all very much for your time.


N.B. The vowels in my tokens also differ along the parameters of loudness and duration, however, these differences are much smaller than the pitch differences and do not result in the addition of perceived rhythm in the speech stream.
LL Issue: 24.4257
Date posted: 28-Oct-2013



Back

Sums main page