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Academic Paper

Title: Quantitative measurement of prosodic strength in Mandarin
Paper URL:
Author: Greg Kochanski
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Oxford University Phonetics Laboratory
Author: Chilin Shih
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Author: Hongyan Jing
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics
Abstract: We describe models of Mandarin prosody that allow us to make quantitative measurements of prosodic strengths. These models use Stem-ML, which is a phenomenological model of the muscle dynamics and planning process that controls the tension of the vocal folds, and therefore the pitch of speech. Because Stem-ML describes the interactions between nearby tones, we were able to capture surface tonal variations using a highly constrained model with only one template for each lexical tone category, and a single prosodic strength per word. The model accurately reproduces the intonation of the speaker, capturing 87% of the variance of f0 with these strength parameters. The result reveals alternating metrical patterns in words, and shows that the speaker marks a hierarchy of boundaries by controlling the prosodic strength of words. The strengths we obtain are also correlated with syllable duration, mutual information and part-of-speech.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Speech Communication

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