American English pitch accent dynamics: A minimal model

Khalil Iskarous*, Jeremy Steffman, Jennifer Cole

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

What is the minimal mathematical model that can generate the F0 trajectories for a system of pitch accents? In this work, we propose a nonlinear coupled dynamical systems theory of American English pitch accents with a single basic parameter. As that parameter increases, F0 profiles for different pitch accents are generated. The terms in the differential equation are based on a novel dynamical analysis of a large database of F0 productions in terms of measurements of F0 peak, peak velocity, and the time to achieve peak velocity. We describe the basic dynamical properties of pitch accents in our database and argue for the proposed model as the simplest onethat realizes all the major dynamic F0 properties of the pitch accent system. We argue that the proposed model describes both abstract phonological and concrete phonetic aspects of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
EditorsRadek Skarnitzl, Jan Volín
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherGuarant International
ISBN (Electronic)9788090811423
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023
Event20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) - Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 7 Aug 202311 Aug 2023


Conference20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS)
Abbreviated titleICPhS 2023
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • intonation
  • pitch accents
  • dynamical systems
  • Fitzhugh-Nagumo differential equation


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