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

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

The Synthesis of German Contrastive Focus

Petra S. Wagner

Institut für Kommunikationsforschung und Phonetik, University of Bonn, Germany

Using a prominence -based speech synthesizer of German, different patterns of prosodic prominence have been examined as to whether they are capable of consistingly creating an impression of "contrastive focus". The results confirm the conclusions of previous phono- logical and phonetic analyses, that the impression of con- trast is best explained by a specific prosodic pattern. Such a pattern can be characterized by postfocal "deaccentuation" and/or a high perceptual prominence on the contrastively stressed syllable, the latter correlating with a (high) pitch accent and increase in duration. Thus, a notion of percep- tual prominence as a relational parameter ought to be able to model contrastive focus, because it is able to capture such contextual phenomena.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wagner, Petra S. (1999): "The synthesis of German contrastive focus", In ICPhS-14, 1529-1532.