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

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


Effects of Repeated Intonation Patterns on Perceived Word-Level Organization

Laura C. Dilley, Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

Speech Communications Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Musical and auditory perception theorists have suggested that listeners prefer to interpret parallel events, such as parallel sequences of pitches, as having parallel metrical structure. In this study, strings of full-vowel monosyllables such as fort night club foot note book were produced with an alternating high-low (HL) or low-high (LH) intonation pattern. These sequences could be bracketed in different ways (e.g. fortnight clubfoot notebook or fort nightclub footnote book). When sequences were produced as disyllabic words, and the initial and final syllables were removed from the utterance, listeners reorganized the syllable strings into a new sequence of disyllabic words, e.g. nightclub footnote. Moreover, some subjects reported different prominence status for identical syllables in original-stimulus and cut-stimulus versions at rates higher than chance. These results are consistent with a view that listener interpretations of syllable sequences reflect some of the processing constraints proposed for general auditory perception and music perception.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Dilley, Laura C. / Shattuck-Hufnagel, Stefanie (1999): "Effects of repeated intonation patterns on perceived word-level organization", In ICPhS-14, 1487-1490.