Shape matters: Machine classification and listeners’ perceptual discrimination of American English intonational tunes

Jennifer Cole, Jeremy Steffman, Sam Tilsen

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

Abstract / Description of output

In Autosegmental-Metrical models of intonational phonology, pitch accents, phrase accents and boundary tones may combine freely to create a predicted set of phonologically distinct phrase-final “nuclear” tunes. In this study we ask if an 8-way distinction in nuclear tune shape in American English, predicted from combinations of 2 (monotonal) pitch accents, 2 phrase accents and 2 boundary tones, is manifest in speech production and in speech perception. F0 trajectories from an imitative speech production experiment were analyzed using (i) neural net classification, and (ii) human listeners’ perceptual discrimination of the model utterances. Pairwise classification accuracy of the imitative productions is highest for tune pairs that differ in holistic shape (high-rising vs. rise-fall), and poorest for tunes with the same shape that differ in (higher vs. lower) final f0. Perception results show a similar pattern, with poor pairwise discrimination for tunes that differ primarily, but by a small degree, in final f0. Together the results suggest a hierarchy of distinctiveness among nuclear tunes, with a robust distinction based on holistic tune shape, which only partly aligns with distinctions in tonal specification, and a weak/poorly differentiated distinction between tunes with the same holistic shape but small differences in final f0.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody 2022
PublisherISCA
Pages297-301
Number of pages5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2022
Event11th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Speech Prosody 2022 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 23 May 202226 May 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association (ISCA)
ISSN (Electronic)2333-2042

Conference

Conference11th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Speech Prosody 2022
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period23/05/2226/05/22

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • intonation production
  • intonation perception
  • nuclear tunes
  • neural net classification
  • deep learning

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Shape matters: Machine classification and listeners’ perceptual discrimination of American English intonational tunes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this