14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Fundamental Frequency is an Important Acoustic Cue to Word Boundaries in Spoken Finnish

Jyrki Tuomainen (1,3), Stefan Werner (2), Jean Vroomen (1), Beatrice de Gelder (1)

(1) Tilburg University, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Tilburg, The Netherlands
(2) University of Joensuu, Department of Foreign Languages, Joensuu, Finland
(3) University of Turku, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Turku, Finland

Fixed word stress on the first syllable may be used as a cue to word boundaries in spoken Finnish. Recently, Vroomen et al. (1998) showed that correct position of word stress facilitates word recognition in a word spotting task. We studied the acoustic correlates of stress by analyzing acoustically the stimuli employed by Vroomen et al. Regression analyses revealed that fundamental frequency (F0) was the only acoustic variable that predicted significantly reaction times to word targets. We suggest that F0 is an important acoustic correlate of word stress, and listeners employ prominence cue to detect word boundaries in spoken Finnish.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tuomainen, Jyrki / Werner, Stefan / Vroomen, Jean / Gelder, Beatrice de (1999): "Fundamental frequency is an important acoustic cue to word boundaries in spoken Finnish", In ICPhS-14, 921-924.